Truck manufacturers in India are not ready to introduce air conditioned cabins in India from mid-2017, as mandated by the government early this month. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) has written to the government to keep the decision on hold.
A Siam official said, "The industry has worked for the past two years to bring BS-IV emission norm in trucks from April 2017. All these vehicles are in advanced stages of approvals and many have already been approved.
"Making the cabin air-conditioned will require structural changes and (will necessitate) taking approvals afresh. They (truck makers) will have to go to the drawing board again. It is simply not possible in the next four months."
Indian major truck makers like Tata Motors, AMW, etc have been making cabins with air conditioning during the past few years. But, the demand for these trucks is low.
An industry official said, "What will the driver do with an AC if the fleet owner does not let him run it, as mileage goes down."
He added, "It is a comfort issue. The government should bring rules that prevent fleet owners from making a truck driver work for more than eight hours without a proper break."
In March, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told that the Centre had made air-conditioning mandatory, as it will decrease the number of road accidents.
He said, "Making truck drivers' cabins air-conditioned will be made mandatory as they drive up to 12 hours at a stretch at times."