BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is seeking to implement a major policy change in its operations by phased introduction of alcohol breathalysers for its drivers. In a function on Monday, Transport Minister R Ashok inaugurated the policy which is being implemented on a trial basis in one of the buses.
The technology is built into the bus system and will require the driver to undergo a breathalyser test which will check for alcohol levels in his breath. “The driver will blow into the machine and if there is alcohol in his system, the machine will not start,” said SK Paramesh, director (technical) for BMTC.
The safeguards will ensure that the engine will not turn on and the steering wheel will remain locked. “The depot manager will ensure that every driver takes the test before signing the log sheet which will release the bus to him,” Paramesh added.
BMTC has placed an order for 100 such buses and will look into the technical details of implementing this technology in the rest of its fleet. This however might pose a problem for the corporation since the technology comes built into the newer Bharat Stage IV buses and separate technology is not yet commercially available for sale. Apart from BMTC city buses, such technology could also be useful for long haul intercity buses run by the KSRTC especially for its
night time services.
R Ashok also flagged off 25 Non A/C Tata buses which have reduced smoke emissions and feature more spacious entry and exit doors. These buses have engines by Cummins ISBe and are BS-IV compliant. They come at a cost of `26 Lakh each and will ply from Monday onwards on routes between Domlur to Srinagar, Majestic to Chandra Layout, Uttarahalli, Kengeri Satellite Town and Anajanapura amongst others.
The BMTC has also put into operation its 2nd Corona Bus which has an automatic gear system without a clutch which provides for a easy drive. The Corona service was first started on the BIAL to ITPL route in July and has been received well by commuters. The new bus will ply between Majestic to HSR layout and the fares will be 30 per cent lesser than those currently in place in the Volvo services. The cost for the Corona bus service will be approximately Rs 1.40 per km and the bus comes at a cost of Rs`53.55 Lakh each. Twenty four more buses will be put into service by the end of next month, claims a press release by the BMTC.
The corporation is also considering buying low floor buses from Ashok Leyland which will seat 36 passengers and will be air conditioned with separate air suspension for all four sides. The bus is being looked into via trial for two months and will then be considered. Permits for the bus service have to be filed with the transport commissioner before the
service can be started.