Navi Mumbai: Concerns Rise Over Electric Bus Safety After 2 Incidents of Fire In NMMT Buses

Navi Mumbai: Concerns Rise Over Electric Bus Safety After 2 Incidents of Fire In NMMT Buses

On Monday evening, route number 144 of NMMT caught fire in sector 8 in Airoli.

Amit SrivastavaUpdated: Wednesday, October 04, 2023, 09:03 PM IST
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Navi Mumbai: Concerns Rise Over Electric Bus Safety After 2 Incidents of Fire In NMMT Buses | representative pic/ File

In the last month, two electric buses operated by Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) caught fire. Fortunately, no one was injured in both incidents. However, these events have raised concerns about passenger safety.

On Monday evening, route number 144 of NMMT caught fire in sector 8 in Airoli. It is believed that there was a short circuit which caused the fire. Since there were only the driver and conductor on board, no injuries were reported. The bus was en route to Ghansoli depot.

The driver of route number 144 noticed smoke and immediately evacuated the bus. However, this incident has instilled fear among bus drivers regarding bus safety.

Another incident occurred on September 6 in Kharghar. Passengers had a narrow escape after an electric bus of NMMT caught fire in Kharghar on September 6 morning. The bus was traveling from Taloja Gao to Kharghar station. An NMMT official stated that route number 53, which was coming from Taloja, caught fire. The exact reason is not known, but it is believed that a short circuit might have caused the fire.

NMMT writes to the company the buses were procured from

Since the doors of electric buses are closed while in motion, there is a risk that they might not open in case of fire. Many questions are arising in the minds of bus drivers and co-drivers.

Following the incidents, NMMT has written to the company from which the buses were procured. A team from the company will investigate and submit a report. Based on the findings, NMMT will take necessary actions.

Surprisingly, the Airoli incident has exposed a major loophole in the training of bus drivers and conductors for electric buses. When the fire was noticed on route number 144, the driver and conductor were unsure about the appropriate response.

Speaking to the media, Sameer Bagwan, a former member of the transport committee, emphasized the importance of determining the cause of the fires. He stated, “This happened due to poor maintenance. Any technical issues in the bus should be promptly repaired. The lackadaisical attitude needs to change. Passenger safety is paramount.”

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