The Central Surface Transport Ministry had issued notification which focuses on the security features and other aspects that can provide a comfortable ride to the passengers. Recently, a workshop was organised at the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) by the Central Institute of Road Transport (CRTI), which was attended by other States transport organisations and private bus body builders and fabricators.
A senior official in the corporation said until now every State had their own design of the bus and often some of them lacked proper security measures. To avoid the discrepancy and to have uniformity, the Centre issued special guidelines.
As per the Central Motor Vehicles (Accreditation for bus body builders) notification, all the bus body buildings will have to obtain accreditation certificate to demonstrate their capabilities to build buses as per the safety norms. The age-old practice of keeping luggage on roof top of the bus would be thing of past with the new norms, he added. He also said bus would have to pass rigorous tests including the crash test.
Further talking about the new bus body code, the official said the code talks about maintaining minimum one emergency door which should be located in the opposite side of the service door (dim 1250mm.x550mm) and in case of more than one service door, the same should be given in the front half of the vehicle.
Minimum dimension for a door should be 650 mm in width and 1,800 mm in height.
In case of the windows- the minimum window aperture should be 550 mm for standard bus and 450 mm for mini and midi bus.The step dimension- maximum height of first step from ground is 340 mm for type I and for type-II and III it would be 380 mm. Other steps would be 250 mm for type I and 350 for type II and III. The gangway should be minimum 450 mm for type I, 350 mm for type II and 300 mm for type III. Overall internal height should be minimum 1,900 mm. Gangway can also be provided with a slope, as per the new notification, the official added. TSRTC ED M Ravinder said the code requires the bus body builders to fulfil the parameter such as seats, floor levels, dimensions of foot-steps, emergency exits etc. He said the workshop was to familiarise the bus body builders about the new rules.
By K Chandrashekar
Sleeper buses are categorized as Type IV in terms of bus body code and application wise they are considered to be Type-III intercity buses. As per regulations, the buses can be fully air-conditioned or non AC buses. One of the unexpected results of the sleeper regulations were, the buses can be either a full sleeper of a sleeper and a seater. The berths are meant to be designed only on the longitudinal axis, so the coupe styled Andhra Pradesh based cross wise berths aren’t allowed as per the new regulations.
The 2X2 berths are not allowed anymore like the ones in Maharashtra buses and some of the buses in the east. The berth layouts are restricted to 1 X 1 or 2 X 1 according to the new regulations for sleeper coaches. As far as the head room is concerned, it is calculated to be around 800mm, whereas for the AC and non AC buses it is calculated at 600mm to accommodate the air-conditioners as well. The new regulations state that the buses should have a minimum of 4 emergency exits including two roof hatches. The sleeper coach can be up to 1800mm in length and 600 mm in width. Earlier the lower berth was placed very close to the floor, to put a check to such design flaws, the regulation has come up with metrics where the height of the lower berth should be 200 – 350 mm from the uncompressed cushion of the berth. The new regulations also cover details about providing a pillow for the birth. The pillows and the cushion material should be made out of a fire retardant type. Additional requirements include providing restraint facility in the upper berth that prevents passengers from falling down from the upper berth and provision for proper access to the upper berth should be given too. The lower berth needs to be reserved for differently abled and a call bell should be provided.
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