Other states won't get more time to instal emergency exits in buses

Other states won't get more time to instal emergency exits in buses

After giving ample time to other State Transport Undertakings (STUs), the Karnataka transport department is in no mood to give them any more time for installing emergency exit doors in their buses plying in the State.

The deadline for installing emergency exit doors in buses belonging to the neighbouring states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra ended last week, and the transport department has refused to give more time to the STUs.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) installed emergency exists in its fleet within the deadline.

Among the other STUs, Andhra Pradesh plies the maximum number of buses in Karnataka, close to 1,500, followed by Maharashtra (1,350 buses), Tamil Nadu and Kerala which ply about 600 and 300 buses respectively. Buses run by other STUs in Karnataka were already given more time compared with the vehicles run by the State government and the private operators. Officials in the transport department claim that even though the neighbouring states were earlier seeking more time to instal exit doors in their buses arguing that the rules in their states, etc, were different, they have more or less complied with the directive.

Pvt buses taken off road

On the contrary, many private bus operators in the State, especially those in Bangalore, had voluntarily taken their buses without the emergency exits off roads for fear of being penalised.

An official in the transport department said the crackdown on buses without the emergency doors had instilled fear among the bus operators, and many of them had kept their vehicles in the workshops.

The department had set June 1 as the deadline for installing emergency exit doors in buses operated by road transport corporations of neighbouring states following their request. The deadline was later extended by a week.

In fact, the managing director of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation had spoken to the Transport Minister, Ramalinga Reddy, requesting for more time for installing emergency exit doors, the earlier deadline for which was April 30.

Similar requests had come from STUs of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The minister, however, refused to extend the deadline for private operators, saying adequate time had been given to them.

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