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Poor upkeep = fiery buses

delhi Updated: Apr 27, 2010 00:14 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Why were the swanky newly acquired low-floor buses catching fire? Because they weren’t properly maintained!

A committee probing incidents of smoke billowing out of low-floor buses, and some catching fire, found the staff of the bus manufacturer (responsible for the fleet’s maintenance) and DTC’s staff guilty of negligence and poor maintenance.

“Several components that need frequent maintenance were found ill-maintained. Pressure in tubeless tyres in several buses was found low and there was a problem in the air pressure in the hydraulic braking system,” said a source who has access to the panel’s report.

The panel has said that the incidents could have been avoided if the DTC staff were more vigilant, the source added.

Nine incidents of smoke and fire in low-floor buses forced the Delhi government to form an expert panel to probe the issue.

The panel submitted its report listing the reasons for the incidents and solutions. It also suggested formation of a monitoring committee to ensure that such incidents don’t occur again.

Sources say, the committee found that air pressure in the tyres was low in most buses. “Since the engine is heavy, the drivers didn’t notice the problem. This led to overheating and smoke,” sources said.

Poor tyre quality is also said to be a reason. While most tyres wore out before quickly, cuts were found in several new tyres.

Sources also confirmed that lack of greasing resulted in faster wear and tear of several key components of the bus.

“There are more than 20 points in low-floor buses where greasing is needed at regular intervals. The committee found that more than half of these points were not aligned properly. Thus, grease did not reach the full network,” the source said.