Do the dark glasses and curtains in luxury buses ensure privacy to passengers or pose as security threat to the women travellers? As the nation remembers the horrific Delhi gang-rape case, it is worth noting that despite an apex court ruling banning tinted glasses except for VIPs coaches, both government and private buses continue to have them.
Those in the know-how say that there are practical reasons why buses have tinted glasses.
However, cops argue that tinted films are banned as per law, but many buses still retain the panes manufactured by the vehicle manufacturer, which makes it difficult to get them replaced.
Additional commissioner of police, traffic, HG Patel said that as per the ruling tinted glasses, tinted films on glasses and ever curtains are not allowed. “It doesn’t matter whether it is a car or a bus, you can’t have it,” said Patel. He said that even the sleeper coaches that the buses flaunt, are a violation of the RTO rules.
“Earlier we had a carried out a drive to remove the dark sunfilm from all vehicles including buses and it was a success. But in some buses the window glass itself is tinted. This is a violation of rules and we are working on how to solve this issue. Replacing the windows is expensive and most of it are manufactured that way,” Patel explained.
“We are working on this problem. As per the rules the windows have to be transparent and the buses can’t have curtains on them too,” said Patel.
The public relations officer of GSRTC, PD Patel said that its buses plying on roads have all the relevant RTO approvals. “Even if some of the glasses are tinted, they still remain transparent allowing visibility. Moreover, these buses are approved by the RTO,” said Patel.
Another official said that even the GSRTC was working towards ensuring that the glasses are tint-free.
“The agency is working on it. But there are practical problems, particularly in the air-conditioned coaches. When the window is 100% transparent with no curtains, it becomes very difficult to cool the interiors even if the air-conditioning is on. Moreover, transparent windows affect the working of the air-conditioning too,” said the official. The official further added that earlier there was no ban on tinted glasses in buses. “When the rule came into force, there were already too many buses with tinted glasses running and it would not have been economical to remove all of them,” said the official.
However, the secretary of Gujarat State Committee of all-India DSO, Bhavik Raja said that bus owners usually give the argument that tinted glasses are used to maintain the temperature. “But it remains a concern as far as safety of women in considered. As per the rules, no tinted glass is allowed on any vehicle whatever be the argument for using it,” Raja asserted.