Staff Reporter

Concerned over lack of action on maintaining safety rules

  • All buses will have to undergo quarterly safety inspections
  • DTC told to set up mobile vehicle inspection and maintenance facility

    NEW DELHI: In the wake of a CNG-run school bus catching fire here in the Capital last week, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has cracked the whip on implementing agencies, bus manufacturers and operators and issued a set of directives that call for strict adherence to the rules.

    Fool-proof system

    The EPCA, the pollution-monitoring arm of the Supreme Court, said there had been lapses in implementation of the directives of the Authority.

    "There is a need to make the system fool-proof and put in place a mechanism of checks and re-checks to ensure safety," said EPCA Chairperson Bhure Lal addressing a press conference here on Saturday.

    "We are deeply disturbed as safety regulations are not being fully enforced," he added.

    A team of EPCA experts examined the school bus that caught fire at Chirag Dilli on January 27 and found the 13-year-old converted bus had not met the mandatory quarterly inspection criterion.

    To prevent such incidents from happening, the EPCA has instructed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to set up by February 7 a mobile facility that will carry out on-road surprise safety inspection to check gas leakage and other parameters.

    Annual fitness

    In an effort to tighten surveillance and implementation of directives, apart from the annual fitness and third party inspection, all buses will have to undergo quarterly safety inspections at the any of the 20 safety centres -- five of which are at DTC depots and 15 at the workshops of manufacturers Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland.

    The EPCA has directed all operators to register for quarterly inspection at the centres within 15 days and has asked the Transport Department to maintain a list of the registrations.

    The Department has also been asked to take strict action, even impounding buses, to rein in the violators. The bus owners will also have to maintain a logbook with the details about periodic testing and repairs.

    Automatic leak detectors

    In a wake-up call to the Transport Department, the Authority has directed it to acquire the automatic leak detectors and voltage testing meters at its workshops at the earliest.

    All buses would have to be inspected according to the approved checklist for safety tests.

    The Department will also have to submit to the EPCA a list of the buses that are due for phase-out.