As many as eight HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) buses of Punjab Roadways in Jalandhar are off road for last seven days at the department workshop after they developed some technical snag. The depot-1 of Punjab Roadways in Jalandhar has a total of 26 HVAC buses. Even as other buses continue to run on their passenger routes, a bus breaks down on city roads every day due to ineffective and faulty air-conditioning system.
The service was started with much fanfare to provide comfortable air-conditioning services to passengers by charging nominal extra fares during summers and muggy rainy season, these buses have failed to deliver any comfort.
The Jalandhar depot-1 of Punjab Roadways has 17 HVAC buses of which five are out of order whereas the depot-2 has nine such buses of which three are not plying.
Most of these buses ply on long routes to places such as New Delhi, Jammu, Amritsar and Chandigarh and this is the peak time when they earn profits as they ferry an average 45-50 passengers daily.
However, the frequent snags in these buses result in significant losses to the department.
Dinesh Mehta, a passenger travelling to New Delhi, said, "I usually board air-conditioned buses thinking it would provide respite from the scorching heat, but this does not seem to happen for now."
Ashok Kumar, preventive maintenance attendant at roadways depot-2, said, "We need to follow the state transport department's guidelines. If there is a major fault or we need spare parts costing more than Rs 3,000 we have to send a proposal to the state transport department in Chandigarh for approval, which takes time."
RS Grewal, general manager, Jalandhar depot-2, said due to extreme hot weather and long route schedules technical snags occur in buses and they were repaired by workshop engineers soon.