According to a new bus body code prepared by various government organizations, a comfortable and safer bus ride norms will now be implemented by the Ministry of Road transport and Highways. The organizations include the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), and Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU).
The new bus code will include features like increase in space between the rows of seats, more cabin space for drivers, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, insulation of doors and windows and proper ventilation and illumination. However, the new norms will be applicable to buses which will be manufactured or built post October 1. Thus, it is clear that no changes would be done for present 16 lakh buses serving the Indian roads.
This will include tourist buses, city buses, private luxury buses and buses owned by state run corporations. Reports suggest that every year around two lakh buses are produced by the manufacturers. The government is also working on to enhance the manufacturing capability of the bus body builders through accreditation. Till date, around 500 bus body builders have already been accredited. Bus body builders without approval are not allowed to produce buses or even register with the RTO’s.
This news was released almost a month after the accident on Mumbai-Pune expressway where a bus rammed into a stationary Maruti Suzuki Swift before hitting a Toyota Innova claiming 17 lives.