The Union government has approved the draft notification to mandate the installation of air-conditioning systems in the cabins of trucks.
“Approved the draft notification to mandate the installation of air-conditioning systems in the cabins of trucks belonging to categories N2 and N3,” the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari tweeted on Thursday (6 June).
“Truck drivers play a crucial role in ensuring road safety. This decision marks a significant milestone in providing comfortable working conditions for truck drivers, thereby improving their efficiency and addressing the problem of driver fatigue,” said Gadkari.
Category N vehicles are motor vehicles having at least four wheels used for carrying goods which may also carry persons in addition to the goods subject to conditions.
Earlier last month, Gadkari had first announced that he has approved a proposal to make it mandatory for truck manufacturers to provide AC cabins for drivers.
Speaking at an event, Gadkari said, “In our country, some drivers are behind wheels for 12 or 14 hours whereas in other countries, there is a restriction on the number of hours for bus and truck drivers to be on duty. Our drivers operate vehicles in temperatures of 43-47 degree temperature and we must imagine the condition of drivers.
“I was keen to introduce the AC cabin after I became minister. But some people opposed it saying the cost will go up. Today (Monday), I have signed the file that all truck cabins will be AC cabins,” he said then.
The new feature will be mandatory from 2025, officials said, citing that the industry needs around one-and-a-half years for introducing this provision. Currently, high-end trucks manufactured by companies have AC cabins for drivers.
While high-end trucks manufactured by global players such as Volvo and Scania already come with air conditioned cabins, almost all Indian players are yet to graduate despite a debate on the issue for several years.