Govt to make fire extinguishers mandatory in pvt, govt buses

Govt to make fire extinguishers mandatory in pvt, govt buses

 The Transport department will make it mandatory that all buses, both government and private, should be equipped with fire extinguishers.

The decision follows a KSRTC bus catching fire near Nelamangala in Bengaluru Rural district recently which claimed the life of a woman passenger. “We have been repeatedly stating that all operators should ensure that buses are equipped with fire safety measures. This time we will make it mandatory. I will speak to the transport commissioner in this regard,” Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy told reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Reddy said his department will soon invite tenders to buy fire extinguishers for its fleet of 24,000 buses with four state-run transport corporations. He said a notification will be issued soon and the department will keep a tab on private operators to ensure that they follow fire safety norms.

Regarding the fire incident in KSRTC bus, the minister said there is a suspicion that the fire originated in a bag containing pooja items including camphor, coconuts and oil. The bag along with other materials recovered at the fire site has been sent to the forensic science laboratory and a report is likely to be submitted within a week. He said there was no technical or mechanical fault in the bus as the fuel tank, tyres, battery and engine were found intact. Besides, there was no short circuit in the bus. However, a clear picture will emerge after the completion of the forensic examination.

Reddy said passengers are prohibited from carrying inflammable materials inside buses. Random check of luggage of passengers will be carried out by conductors to ensure that the rule is followed, he added.

New buses

 Present fleet of buses with Road Transport Corporations (RTCs): 24,000
 Total buses to be added to BMTC by March end: 1500 regular and 150 Volvo
 Total buses to be added
to three other RTCs by June end: 3,850
 Existing buses to be scrapped: around 2,000
 Proposal for purchase of buses next year: 1,500 vehicles
 Proposal for hiring private buses next year: 1,500 vehicles



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