Lucknow, Jul 29: Only new or A-category passenger buses with drivers having five years of good professional track record will now be allowed to ply on the two existing expressways of Uttar Pradesh, a top transport officials said on Wednesday.

The buses will also have to mandatorily stop for ten minutes at roadside amenities after covering each stretch of 200 km on the expressways, Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation Raj Shekhar told reporters. The two provisions are the part of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) devised by the UPSRTC for running buses on UP expressways and would be effective from now onwards , said Raj Shekhar.

The SOP has been devised after studying accident data and mishap patterns for the last three years and is aimed at reducing fatal accidents on expressways, he said. The state presently has two expressways — a six-lane, 165-km-long, access controlled Yamuna or Taj Expressway, connecting Greater Noida with Agra and a 302-km, six-lane high speed, access controlled Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The other expressways in the state are at various stages of development.

“With an objective to reduce accidents and deaths on the expressways (Agra & Yamuna Expressways), the UPSRTC, after studying the accident data and its pattern during the last three years, has brought out the new SOP bus operations on expressways, said the UPSRTC MD. The SOP includes use of new or category A buses on the route, deployment of healthy drivers and conductors with five years of good track record, said Raj Shekhar.

Asked what would constitute A-category buses, he said it would be the best of buses in the UPSRTC fleet . A ten minute of halt at roadside amenities after covering each 200 km of the expressway would be mandatory, he added. The UPSRTC will also collect monthly over-speeding data from the UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority and take corrective measures over them, he said.

He said the SOP also provides for a round-the-clock deployment of flying squads on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, both on up and down lanes, to ensure effective implementation of the SOP, he said.

Raj Shekar said an accident prevention cell has also been constituted at the UPSRTC headquarters under a general manager-rank officer to supervise the arrangements and to ensure safety of operations of UPSRTC buses on expressways by conducting study of accidents, on-site inspections, studying the information of the causes of accidents, consulting field officials and after getting expert opinion.

The UPSRTC has devised the SOP for operation of buses on expressways in the wake of recurrent fatal accidents on them.

Source: PTI