1,092 buses were taken off the road after 3 instances of fire in 3 months.
After three days of maintenance checks, the Transport department on Monday cleared at least 500 of the 1,092 Ashok Leyland buses for active service.
While the remaining buses are yet to be inspected for technical flaws, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) officials stated that the manufacturer had been warned of penalties and even blacklisting if problems with the buses persisted.
Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami told Newsline that the inspection would be complete by Tuesday.
“Of the entire fleet of 1,092 Ashok Leyland buses, we have checked around 500, all of which passed quality standards and have been put back into service. We hope to have all the buses on the road by tomorrow,” Goswami said. He added that the checks were ordered on Friday after an Ashok Leyland bus was gutted in a fire caused by a short circuit.
According to senior Transport department officials, three buses of the same make caught fire in as many months, forcing the government to pull buses off the roads.
“This is not the first time such incidents have been reported. We have written to the manufacturer on several occasions over safety issues,” the official said.
He added that one bus was destroyed due to a short circuit, while another was damaged after leakages in the fuel line. Goswami said Ashok Leyland has been warned of tough action if such problems persisted.
“If such problems keep cropping up, we will be forced to consider either penalties or even blacklisting. The safety of the passengers is paramount,” Goswami said.
He said that officials from the manufacturer’s factory in Alwar, Rajasthan, had come to the capital to conduct joint inspections of the Ashok Leyland buses, along with the DTC.