The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) plans to paint 10,000 buses with an antimicrobial coating at the cost of Rs 9,500 per vehicle.
“It is a process in which chemical agents are sprayed on surfaces to prevent the growth of microbes like viruses, bacteria and fungus, with many offices and airlines deploying the technique routinely,” a senior official said.
As part of this initiative, chemical agents would be sprayed on the seats, hand rest, windows, guard rails, driver’s cabin, flooring, rubber glazing, doors and luggage compartments.
Two firms have been finalised to start the process.
“While one firm will have to apply the coat two times a year, the other will have to do it six times annually and a third party will check the efficacy by taking surface swabs to tabulate viral load,” MSRTC officials said.
“After the coronavirus outbreak, people are reluctant to use public transport. This antimicrobial coating will help remove this fear from the minds of our passengers,” said MSRTC vice-chairperson Shekhar Channe, reports Free Press Journal.
The ridership count of MSRTC has fallen from 65 lakh people every day before the COVID-19 pandemic to 18 lakh people now. Thus the management prioritised the removal of fear among passengers.