Two accidents in the South have claimed more than 50 lives

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has decided to probe the Volvo bus fire tragedies.

Taking a serious view of the two accidents which claimed more than 50 lives, committee chairman Sitaram Yechury told reporters that details would be sought from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) pertaining to the causes and circumstances that led to breakout of fire in the two long-distance Volvo buses originating from Bangalore.

He wondered why the buses caught fire if the claims of Volvo that the buses were built to international standards of safety and technology were correct. Was it that the manufacturer had not taken into consideration the Indian conditions, he asked.

Mr. Yechury said the government had been hasty earlier in ordering the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircrafts which were now having manufacturing and maintenance problems.

Once clarifications were received from the MoRTH, the committee would consider its next course of action, he said. Replying to questions, Mr. Yechury said alignment of roads was an important aspect, adding the government had not adhered to technical aspects.

He said wrong alignments could prove disastrous in the present day context when multi-axle buses sought to turn at the fair speed of 60 km per hour.

It was also essential to probe whether drivers had the necessary skill to handle such technologically advanced vehicles.

The MoRTH has asked the National Automotive Testing & RD Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) to probe into the tragedy in Andhra Pradesh which claimed 45 lives. The second one involving the Volvo bus in Karnataka claimed seven lives.

In the third incident in less than three weeks, a State transport bus in Gujarat caught fire on Thursday.

All passengers managed to escape through the emergency door.

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