The air-conditioned King Long buses covered with advertisements driving across the city are in fact bulletproof.
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has coated the windows of 140 of the 270 King Long buses with special chemical films for the safety of passengers.
“In case of an explosion or accident the windows will not break and injure the passengers but only develop cracks, resulting in fewer fatalities,” said a BEST official, requesting anonymity.
However, the special films coating the windows will not help if a King Long bus catches fire.
“The administration has to provide space for smoke to go out of the bus in case of fire. Proper apparatus for cutting through these windows too aren’t available in several King Long buses,” said Ravi Raja, BEST committee chairman.
But the administration feels all precautions have been taken to tackle eventualities in case of an accident.
“We have not coated the emergency windows with these chemical films for safety reasons. So, if the bus meets with an accident, passengers can easily break open and exit from emergency windows,” said G. Jagtap, assistant general manager (Transport), BEST.
These buses have also been provided with three emergency windows instead of one. The middle door has been fitted with a button that will automatically open if the bus meets with an accident.
The administration expects to make the entire King Long fleet bulletproof within six months.