Outdated RTC buses on way to join list of major polluters

1,012 buses are older than 10 years while 127 are above 15 years old.

Hyderabad: RTC has been running some old buses that have run their lifespan. These buses ply the city with high emissions, causing pollution, as they are not maintained properly. In fact, these buses have become one of the biggest polluters in the city.

About 3,796 buses run in the city. Of which, some 1,012 buses are older than 10 years, and another 127 buses are 15 years old and some even more, according to TSRTC. The buses run on diesel, which is considered to be less fuel efficient compared to petrol. In addition, as the vehicle gets older, fuel efficiency reduces further and they start releasing more smoke.

According to Mr. W.G. Prasanna of the Pollution Control Board, age of the vehicle, maintenance, and vehicle load are the three major parameters for buses. As the engine gets old, the fuel efficiency reduces, he said. Improper maintenance may lead to accumulation of carbon in combustion pipes, causing improper burning of fuel, he added. The city buses run all day till night, leaving no time for the drivers to send the buses for maintenance check-up.

The city buses are usually overloaded, especially on busy roads. According to Mr. Prasanna, overloaded vehicles release more smoke causing pollution. However, new vehicles can handle overloads better than the older ones, he added. The driving styles of the drivers also matter. However, the RTC drivers are well trained and the department also encourages fuel efficiency driving with awards, he further added.

“We do the pollution check-ups every six months at depots for all the city buses and fitness checks every year,” said Mr A Sridhar, Deputy Chief Traffic Manager for Hyderabad, RTC. The vehicles are usually stopped based on the age of the vehicle and not on the number of kilometres the vehicle travelled, he said. Most vehicles complete travelling about 13.5 to 14 lakh kilometers by the time they complete 15 years, he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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