No emergency exit doors: 70 private buses seized in Bengaluru

Most of the bus owners failed to fix mandatory emergency exits

Bengaluru: October 30, 2013: 45 burnt alive as Volvo bus owned by Jabbar Travels catches fire in Andhra Pradesh.

Nov, 14, 2013: Seven passengers charred to death when a Volvo bus owned by National Travels hit the median near Haveri.

To avoid deaths and injury in such accidents and to make long-route journeys in high-end buses including popular Volvo buses safe, the state transport department has started cracking down on buses without emergency exits. In the last two days, 70 buses were seized in the city alone. Following the Jabbar and National Travels Volvo bus fire accidents, the government had made emergency doors mandatory for all high-end buses. April 30 was the deadline for the buses to fix emergency exits.

A department official said that most of the private contract carriage buses have failed to stick to the deadline. “We have seized Volvo buses operated by well-known operators in the city. At many places, buses were seized when they were about to start the journey from the city with passengers. Passengers were provided alternatives along with full fare reimbursement," he said.

Passengers happy

Passengers are happy with the transport department's action. Ms Rajeshwari Hegade, a frequent traveler between Bengaluru and Belgaum, said the two fire accidents opened the eyes of the government. "If the transport department had implemented this before the fire accidents, many lives could have been saved. At least now the government has come out with a stricture,” she said.

Drive to continue

Officials said the drive will continue till all the buses are fitted with emergency doors. “Following Jabbar and National Travels fire accidents, it was felt that lives of passengers would have been saved if these buses had emergency exits,” he said.
“We have given enough time to private bus operators to install the exit doors. They can't blame us for this,” he added.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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