Recently I was waiting to board a bus from Dehiwela to Boralesgamuwa at around 9.45 pm. At this time there were no private buses. The last bus came to the halt at 9.50 pm. I asked the conductor what time the bus would be leaving.
He said 10.30 pm. The driver and conductor went to a close by hotel keeping the bus engine on. Till the bus left sharp at 10.30 pm, the engine was running for 40 minutes.
I asked the conductor as to why they had kept the engine on, wasting fuel.
The guy replied that the battery is weak and they have to push the bus if they did switch off the engine. I said I would complain to the relevant depot and conductor said ‘no problem’. The depot foreman has written in their log book to do Nonawathwa Dawanaya which means not to switch off the engine till the work is over. The funny conductor added that no one would have done it if they owned the vehicle.
This bus belongs to Maharagama depot. It would have run like this the whole day between Maharagama and Dehiwela 119 route.
How many buses run without the engine being switched off, I have no idea. But one thing is clear.
It is a colossal waste of state funds. I am writing this letter for your information, Transport Minister, please!
To make things worse, no one else was bothered about the running engine. Most passengers consisted of young boys and girls.
While the engine ran without the driver and the conductor, this young crowd was bothered only about the smartphones held on their palms.