Glass-breakers go missing in buses


BMTC and KSRTC buses plying through the city lack glass-breaking hammers; newly deployed fleet of Volvo buses will have passenger safety at their prime.

Sanchari Ghatak

First the first aid kits have had their contents missing, now glass-breaking hammers are nowhere to be found. Would you travel in such a bus? Well, most people in Bangalore do, because this is how most BMTC Volvo buses are plying through the city. Aditi Yadav, who travels from Whitefield daily, said, “What’s the use of having emergency exits if there’s nothing available to break them with? Also, I think the hammer should ideally be kept in a visible place so that it can be accessed easily, if at all present.”

In case of a frontal impact, doors get jammed and cannot be opened, thereby trapping passengers inside the bus. The only way out of the bus is by using the hammers and breaking the emergency window open that can be found on either side of the bus.

Ramaappa, a KSRTC Volvo bus conductor, said, “We had a glass-breaking hammer previously. Unfortunately it has either been stolen or is somehow lost. We have forgotten to replace it.”

“Having a glass-breaker in all Volvo buses is mandatory. A fire incident in itself creates a sense of panic among people, now imagine them being trapped inside a bus with no exits and nothing handy to break out of it,” K Shivkumar, Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Service Department Director, told the SoftCopy.

This month, Volvo Buses has delivered a new batch of 55 coaches to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). “With the fulfillment of this prestigious order, Volvo has the proud distinction of having deployed around 600 buses with the KSRTC,” read the press release circulated by Volvo Buses on January 8, this year. 

Here’s what the new volvo buses will be bringing to the table, as far as passenger safety is concerned.

An official from BMTC said, “We have been trying to make our buses safer. Other buses have 1,000 mm floor-height, while our buses are 400 mm floor-height. They also have two exit doors, apart from three emergency window exits on both side, and an emergency rear window. We will look into this matter and ensure that the hammers are restored.”

As per the press release, the new fleet of Volvo buses has advanced engine management system that is ably complemented by the Volvo I-Shift gearbox. They are also fully compliant with Indian Automotive Industry Standards when it comes to areas like multiplexing, fire detection and suppression system, braking, acceleration, lighting, vehicle location and tracking and panic buttons.