Spate Of Fires Engulfs Moving Buses In Kolkata Streets, Safety Concerns Mount In Sweltering Heat

In the bustling streets of Kolkata, incidents of moving buses catching fire seem to be on the rise, leaving commuters in distress and raising questions about the root causes behind these alarming events.

Many speculate that the intense heatwave gripping the city may be a contributing factor, but is that the whole truth?

Just a week ago, chaos ensued in the Chadni Chowk area when a bus suddenly burst into flames with passengers on board. Similar scenes unfolded again as another bus caught fire while navigating through the city on Thursday. Passengers were left shaken, questioning their safety on public transportation.

Recently, a bus operated by the Kolkata Tram Company experienced an engine fire while travelling its route from Harimohan Ghose College to Howrah. According to the conductor, Jitendrakumar Singh, the fire erupted suddenly near Hastings Mode, prompting the immediate evacuation of over 30 passengers, including children. Prompt action from the authorities helped avert any casualties.

Experts suggest that the scorching temperatures may be exacerbating the situation, emphasising the importance of proper vehicle maintenance. It's crucial, they say, to avoid overfilling fuel tanks in petrol-powered vehicles during hot weather to prevent vapour buildup and potential ignition. Additionally, regular engine inspections are essential to detect any anomalies that could lead to fires.

Sourav Guha, an official responsible for vehicle inspections at the Kolkata Transport Corporation, stresses the urgency of regular servicing. Checking coolant levels, engine oil, and ensuring the integrity of the vehicle's tyres are paramount to preventing mishaps like engine overheating or tyre bursts, which could escalate into fires.

However, despite these precautions, concerns linger among commuters. Some criticise the lack of oversight by app-based cab services, highlighting instances where drivers push their vehicles to the limit without adequate rest or maintenance. This, coupled with a disregard for safety protocols, poses significant risks to both passengers and drivers alike.

The recurring incidents of bus fires on Kolkata's streets underscore the need for heightened vigilance and proactive measures to ensure commuter safety. As the city grapples with soaring temperatures, authorities and commuters must work together to implement stringent safety protocols and preventative measures, mitigating the risks posed by the relentless heatwave. Only through collective effort can Kolkata's streets become safer for all who traverse them.

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