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800 Ashok Leyland buses taken off road after 3 go up in flames in 3 months

A day after an Ashok Leyland model bus caught fire in Mehrauli,the Delhi government on Saturday decided to take off the roads at least 800 Ashok Leyland buses for a three-day inspection.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 14, 2013 12:51:05 am

A day after an Ashok Leyland model bus caught fire in Mehrauli,the Delhi government on Saturday decided to take off the roads at least 800 Ashok Leyland buses for a three-day inspection.

The Transport department said the decision was taken after three buses of the same make caught fire in as many months – all due to short-circuits.

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has pressed older buses into service to make up for shortfall during the three-day inspection of the Ashok Leyland buses.

On Friday,an empty bus was gutted in a fire reportedly triggered by a short-circuit. The Transport department stated that they would also consider taking “stringent” action against the manufacturers,if buses continued to go up in flames.

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Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said,“The buses have been grounded in their respective depots. For the next three days,a team of mechanics from the DTC and Ashok Leyland will jointly inspect the buses to determine any flaws.”

He said fires aboard all three buses were caused by short-circuits,which he said was “worrying”.

According to the transport department,the company operates around 1,000 buses in Delhi.

While 200 buses are still in service,the government believes the grounding of buses will have no immediate effect on commuters as the inspection has been scheduled over the weekend.

“Extra buses have been pressed into service on every route to ensure commuters are not affected,” Goswami said.

Senior government officials said the Delhi government was taking the malfunctions “seriously”.

A senior transport department official said,“This is not the first time such an incident has occurred and it is very serious. If such occurrences increase,we will have to consider serious action against the manufacturer.”

He said the same company had been warned several times in the past in connection with malfunctions,but no action had been taken to rectify them.

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