Monday, November 09, 2009

Volvo buses proving white elephants

Volvo buses proving white elephants

Raghavendra RFirst Published : 09 Nov 2009 03:41:23 AM ISTLast Updated : 09 Nov 2009 07:57:28 AM IST
BANGALORE: The Volvo buses inducted into the fleets of the state’s transport corporations seem to be proving costly as far as maintenance is concerned. The operational damages are putting a heavy burden on the corporations.
Despite special training imparted to the drivers of transport corporations to drive the Volvo buses, road-users frequently complain about the Volvo bus driver’s rash driving, overtaking from left and effecting sharp lane changes, to right from left, that result in minor collisions.
Frequent minor operational damages have become a cause for concern as the spare parts of the Volvo buses are costly compared to those of other buses.
A source in the technical department of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) told Express that on an average 40 to 50 BMTC Volvo buses suffer minor operational damages every month, such as damages to the front and rear windscreen glasses, side window glasses and rear view mirrors.
The official said that these glass spare parts were very expensive. “Every month, front windscreen glasses of five to six BMTC Volvo buses get damaged and more often rear view mirrors get damaged,” the official said.
It may be recalled here that the Volvo buses were first inducted by the BMTC into its fleet during February 2006. At present, BMTC has 352 Volvo buses with around 500 trained drivers.
The driver of a BMTC Volvo bus lost control over the vehicle and ran over pedestrians on October 17, 2006, killing two persons and injuring about 30 people on HAL Airport Road.
An official in the BMTC traffic department (accident section) said that even though no fatalities had occurred since then, involving BMTC Volvo buses, vehicles get damaged more often and the burgeoning vehicular population in the city adds to the misery of the drivers.
Despite Volvo buses being covered under comprehensive insurance, the insurance company covers only around 70 to 75 per cent of the expenses. The remaining amount is spent by the corporation, the official said.
Front windscreen glass
Rs 30,000
Side window glass
Rs 10,000
A pair of rear view mirrors
Rs 5,000
Front windscreen glass
Rs 2,000
Side window glass
Rs 400
A pair of rear view mirrors
Rs 300


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