Ensuring less fuel wastage

Cutting costs

Ensuring less fuel wastage

The BMTC has been trying to provide better services even as it is cutting down unnecessary expenditure. It is keeping a strict watch on the ‘idling time’ of the buses so that there is less fuel wastage. ‘Idling time’ is when the bus engine is switched on and the vehicle is not in motion.

The drivers too are aware of this and have been doing their bit. B Fakrudheen, a bus driver on the Shivajinagar-Yelahanka route, who has been in this profession for 12 years, says, “The authorities have been saying that we should be careful about fuel wastage. When the engine is on at a signal for quite some time, it is just burning diesel. The engine must be switched off and this is common sense.”

Fakrudheen says that this is a motto for all drivers on the road and not just the BMTC. “If a BMTC driver is caught doing so, action is taken and he is sent for special training,” he says.

There are some drivers who say that everything depends on the time spent at the signal. “I’ve been working for the past eight years with the BMTC. I’m aware of the rules and regulations of the BMTC. I do switch off the engine but only if the red light is on for more than a minute. Otherwise, the friction caused by switching the engine on and off will damage the engine,” says Yaseen Saba, who drives on the Hegde Nagar-JP Nagar route.

Bangaloreans support this measure but say that this is not being practised by all bus drivers. M Kumar, a professional and a commuter, says that drivers do not switch off the engines at signals. “It takes at least three to five minutes at busy traffic signals. So switching off the engine entirely at such signals must be a requisite as petrol is a scarce resource,” he says.

Kumar says that all the buses should be connected to radio sets. Constant wireless messages can help tremendously. “Drivers should also be strictly penalised for not
adhering to instructions,” he adds.

While most agree that this step by the BMTC will surely help conserve fuel, there is yet another side to this. Environmentalist Suresh Heblikar says, “Carbon emission at traffic junctions is at the maximum, and this will reduce drastically if all drivers stop the engines at signals. Many people cross the road during signals and it’s during this time that one gets exposed to maximum smoke and emission from vehicles. This in turn affects the health of the citizens.”

Suresh also adds that proper traffic management is a must. Defending the drivers and clarifying the situation, C G Anand, general manager technical, BMTC, says, “Switching off the engine during traffic congestion is not a possibility since one never knows when the traffic will move. In such a case, one will actually burn more fuel by restarting the engine.”
   He informs that to monitor this situation Sarathi, an 11-member mobile team, will be at different traffic signals throughout the day. “Extra training and fuel-efficiency courses are also made mandatory for repeated offenders,” he concludes.

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