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India's MSRTC bus staff design cleaning machine
Employees of India's Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, stationed at the city of Nashik's depot, are working with a team of engineers to build a bus cleaning machine along the lines of the one used by their counterparts at Panchavati since 2008. They are building the machine from scrap.
The buses are currently being washed traditionally at Nashik-I depot, by manually spraying them with water. Fewer than 25 buses are cleaned like this each day whereas the new process is expected to be able to clean at least 50 buses a day during day and night shifts.
The MSRTC has already floated tenders for 50 mechanised cleaning machines across 50 depots in the state.
"Our divisional workshop at Nashik has replicated the machine at Panchavati depot, where city buses are being cleaned from outside," A R Mundiwale, divisional controller, Nashik, told the Times of India. "We will be able to see first of the buses being washed from December 20th."
The Panchavati depot commissioned its first automatic cleaning machine in 2001. The cleaning process involves a bus being parked in the cleaning bay where it is sprayed with water over its roof and sides by a moving frame. This is followed by agitation by brushes.
However, the system was not sufficiently sturdy and after two years, the MSRTC started washing the buses manually once more. Pramod Patil, mechanical engineering officer, told Times of India:
"We designed this drive-through mechanised cleaning equipment in 2009-10. As part of the cleaning process, the water sprays and brushes were mounted on a steady frame and the bus would pass through it. The system was designed completely using scrap material, except for the nylon brushes. The buses in Panchavati depot are washed on alternate days and a record is maintained.
"We manufactured a similar cleaning machine, this time for Nashik-I depot, which handles outstation buses to Mumbai, Pune and intra-district and inter-district operations along with city transport," said Pramod Patil. "Buses arrive at Nashik-I depot and there are several departures as well. Hence, the buses have to be cleaned and maintained.
"After a bus goes through a mechanical check-up, it is directed to the cleaning bay. The mechanised system will ensure faster return of buses to parking bays and allow more local buses to be taken up for washing."
The Panchavati depot has 240 buses, while 250 buses operate daily from Nashik-I depot.
12th December 2013