Passengers travelling in Volvo buses will soon get demo classes on safety measures. The state government was planning to introduce flight-like safety demonstration on all Volvo services to familiarise passengers on safety aspects, including emergency exits, in case of emergency.
The decision was taken following a series of accidents involving Volvo buses including the recent one at Palem village in Mahbubnagar district, in which 45 persons were killed.
“We are contemplating introduction of safety awareness classes to passengers of Volvo buses like in flights,” transport minister Botcha Satyanarayana told reporters on Wednesday.
As all the Volvo buses have window curtains, the passengers were unable to find emergency doors. Now, the curtains at emergency doors will have different colour to easily identify the emergency exit, the minister said.
In case of emergency, hammers will be made available in Volvo buses to break the window glasses.
Meanwhile 38 out of 45 persons killed in in Palem accident have been identified, the minister said.
‘’In the aftermath of the Mahbubnagar accident, we have registered 601 cases and seized 346 buses for different violations like lack of permit, overloading of passengers, operating as stage carriers, etc. The drive will continue even on RTC buses,” Botcha said.
The owner of the ill-fated bus JC Uma Reddy of JC Travels will be booked, he said.
Apart from the three probes ordered by the state government into the incident, the Central government has also ordered two more probes, the minister said.
RTC FARE: Justifying the hike in bus fares, Botcha said that the increased fares, which came to effect from Wednesday, would not burden the public much. The fares of Palle Velugu buses have been increased marginally with just Re 1 for 5-35 km and Rs 2 for 35- 50 km.
The minister said around 50 crore people would travel annually in Palle Velugu buses. The fare hike was just 15 paise for Garuda Plus buses, 12 paise for Indra, 11 paise for Super Luxury, nine paise for Delux and seven paise for Express buses.
LOSSES: The accumulated losses of the RTC was Rs 3,500 crore and the outstanding bank loans were Rs 4,200 crore. The market value of the RTC assets were Rs 30,000 crore. The fare hike would fetch the RTC an additional revenue of Rs 450 crore and it would help the RTC to recoup some of the losses.