Kerala

Eight new Volvo sleeper buses to join KSRTC fleet soon

The Volvo sleeper buses conform to Euro-VI emission norms. Each bus is priced at ₹1.50 crore and will have 39 sleeper berths.  

The much-awaited airconditioned Volvo sleeper buses that conform to Euro-VI emission norms will join the KSRTC’s fleet of premium buses in 10 days’ time, for services to Bengaluru.

They will operate trips from both Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi to Bengaluru, a route which has demand all through the year, said KSRTC Managing Director Biju Prabhakar. “The eight buses will create history, since it will be the first time in India that a bus manufacturer is building a sleeper-class body,” he said.

The body-building job is generally done by firms which have expertise in that sector. Each bus priced at ₹1.50 crore will have 39 sleeper berths, with charger sockets in all berths. They will also have fire detection and suppression system (FDSS) and CCTVs that face the interiors and exteriors. Their light-weight body and BS-VI engine are expected to provide higher fuel efficiency.

High in demand

With the KSRTC not operating sleeper buses to Bengaluru, its Karnataka counterpart and private operators were operating many more services, including sleeper buses, to cities in Kerala. The KSRTC’s services to Bengaluru were hitherto limited to airconditioned and semi-sleeper buses (with recliner seats). On their part, the Railways are still hesitant to introduce adequate number of trains in the sector, despite the whopping demand.

“The KSRTC’s sleeper buses are expected to rein in the exorbitant fares that most private bus operators levy on the route, especially during festival seasons. We hope safety concerns like drivers who opt for extended duty hours [like doing continuous/double shift] will be addressed, since exhaustion and driving fatigue cause approximately 40% of road accidents in the country. This could even be the reason for an accident in which a premium bus of KSRTC rammed a lorry from behind while in Tamil Nadu, last week [and the driver suffered serious injuries],” official sources said.

Drivers opt for this and often compromise on sleep to get four days’ off after doing double shift. Put short, they will thus have to work only eight days a week. This practice is expected to end when K-Swift, a subsidiary of the KSRTC, is formed to operate long-distance services.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 5:42:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/eight-new-volvo-sleeper-buses-to-join-ksrtc-fleet-soon/article37743818.ece

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