Public transport going green- Scania Commercial Vehicles India Ltd (SCVI), Bangalore, sent a letter addressed to the Automotive Research Association Of India (ARAI), to complete the official check and certification process of the proposed Ethanol-run bus, according to the Central Motor Rules, 1989. The Ethanol-run bus is set to ply on Nagpur roads, as the Purti Power and Sugar Ltd (PPSL) also produce ethanol and have agreed to provide the ethanol fuel to run the bus in Nagpur.
According to the rules, such kind of certification processes usually take place at the ARAI workshop in Pune, where a comprehensive check is carried out over a couple of days and then a report is prepared. However, this time around ARAI representatives completed the inspection of the Ethanol-run bus at the Khapri octroi post within half an hour, without even driving the parked bus.
The extremely fast decision-making ARAI representatives gave the green-signal to move ahead with the project, even though there were a few glitches- but as discussed production would start only when the faults are rectified.
Some of the faults that caught the eyes of the ARAI representatives are:
1. The emergency door dimensions are wrong and has to be re-built to the correct 1.25m instead of the 1,14m.
2. A handle to be provided on the exterior of the Emergency door- so in times of emergency one can access it from the outside.
3. A seat block access to the emergency door- that has to be removed.
4. Sensors to be fitted to the power operated front service door- preventing objects and people being squeezed between the door flaps.
5. The gangway near the last seat was small in size measuring 570mm, in accordance to the standard 600mm requirement.
6. The step provided for the mother and child seat measured 290mm, while the requirement is only 250mm.
7. Rear destination board size measured 250mm against the required 900mm.
8. IS certified fire extinguishers (4kg each) to be fitted at the front and the midsection of the bus.
9. Calculations for the number of standing passengers is yet to be submitted.
On the whole the concept of Ethanol-run buses for public transport is a wonderful step to help control the pollution quotient in the air. We hope that SCVI will incorporate the changes and move to the implementation of this project. This project will be tested in states such as Maharashtra, Punjab, UP and Punjab, where the sugar-producing industries are located, this is because it is easier to obtain ethanol from these factories.