Passenger and school buses to get fire alarm, fire protection system: MoRTH
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has mandated that all passenger and school buses will have to be equipped with a fire alarm system and fire protection system. The ministry has issued a notification that says the fire alarm system and fire protection system have been made mandatory for long-distance passenger transport and school buses through an amendment in the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS).
The school buses and passenger buses will have to be equipped with a water mist-based active fire protection system and a standalone fire alarm system. This will be applied to the buses that have been designed to manage the temperature in the passenger compartment within 50 degrees centigrade.
Fire detection, alarm and suppression systems were so far meant for fires originating from the engine compartment. But the notification said that fire incidents indicate injuries to passengers mainly happen due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment. The notification also said that these injuries can be prevented if the heat and smoke in the passenger compartment are controlled by providing an additional evacuation time to occupants by thermal management during fire incidents.
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The ministry said that this amendment to the automotive industry standard has been undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and experts from the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), a DRDO arm, working in the area of fire risk assessment, fire suppression technologies, modelling and simulation etc.
Meanwhile, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, on Tuesday, announced the implementation of strict lane rules for private buses, goods carriers. This rule will be effective from 1st April 2022.
"If a bus driver doesn't drive in the bus lane, he will be penalised with ₹10,000 for a first-time offence," said Kailash Gahlot. He also added that for the second time offence, a case for dangerous driving will be registered against the bus driver. The transport minister also announced that the bus driver will face punishments for the third and fourth attempts of rash driving.