School buses and passenger buses shall be equipped with an active water mist fire protection system and a stand-alone fire alarm system.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has required all passenger and school buses to be fitted with a fire alarm system and a fire protection system. The ministry issued a notification that the fire alarm system and fire protection system have been made mandatory for long-distance passenger transport and school buses through an amendment to the standard of automotive industry (AIS).
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School buses and passenger buses shall be equipped with an active water mist fire protection system and a stand-alone fire alarm system. This will be applied to buses that have been designed to manage the temperature in the passenger compartment below 50 degrees centigrade.
Fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems have until now been intended for fires originating from the engine compartment. But the notification says the fires indicate passenger injuries are primarily due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment. The notification also states that these injuries can be avoided if heat and smoke in the passenger compartment are controlled by providing additional evacuation time for occupants through thermal management during fires.
The ministry said this amendment to the automotive industry standard was undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and experts from the Center for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), a branch of DRDO, working in the field of assessment of fire risks, fire extinguishing technologies, modeling and simulation, etc.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Tuesday announced strict lane rules for private buses, freight carriers. This rule will be effective from April 1, 2022.
“If a bus driver does not ride in the reserved bus lane, he will be penalized with ₹10,000 for a first offense,” Kailash Gahlot said. He also added that for the second offence, a dangerous driving case will be filed against the bus driver. The transport minister also announced that the bus driver will face penalties for the third and fourth attempts of reckless driving.
Date of first publication: March 29, 2022, 3:51 PM IST