Passengers travelling in APSRTC air-conditioned buses like Indra, Garuda will hereafter be given a two-minute live demonstration about emergency exit measures, placement of hammers to break open windows and position of fire extinguishers like the one given by flight stewards in aircrafts.
Apart from the demonstration, a three-minute video about the emergency measures in place will also be played on the television sets in all AC buses, said APSRTC Executive Director (Engineering and IT) G. Jaya Rao.
From next week onwards, AC bus drivers before commencing the journey, will introduce themselves to the passengers and inform them about the placement of hammers and fire extinguishers in buses.
They will also demonstrate how to use these tools in emergency situations.
The move comes after the Volvo bus mishap at Palem in Mahabubnagar last month in which 45 passengers were charred to death.
The corporation has procured over 200 hammers to be installed in the buses, which lacked such tools and is hiring the services of a private agency to refill fire extinguishers and maintenance.
Over 1,500 drivers driving high-end AC buses like Garuda, Garuda plus, Indra and even those driving AC buses in the capital were given a one-day special training at the six zonal staff training colleges across the State about operation of fire extinguishers and conduct of live demonstration in buses, Mr. Rao said.
There are over 450 AC buses, including Garuda, Vennela sleeper, Indra and those plying in the capital.
Authorities plan to install six hammers and two fire extinguishers in each Garuda plus bus in different locations.
Likewise, four hammers and two fire extinguishers will be provided in Garuda and Vennela sleeper buses.
In Indra buses, two hammers and one fire extinguisher will be provided.
Most AC buses had hammers and fire extinguishers installed in them but over a period of time some got stolen and some damaged.
After the Mahabubnagar incident, APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director A. K. Khan issued a directive that hammers and fire extinguishers should be installed in all AC buses and a ‘live’ demonstration by drivers be made mandatory, Mr. Rao said.
Camp on safety
A training camp is being organised for supervisors and mechanical staff operating AC buses on November 16 at the RTC Academy, Hakimpet. Experts from Volvo, Mercedes and Ashok Leyland will train the staff on safety measures such as checking automatic door functioning, fire extinguishers, AC connections, tyre pressure, etc.
Passengers will be given a two-minute live demonstration on emergency exit measures