Owners of about 450 buses and vans have not taken their vehicles for fitness tests, though the inspection was expected to be completed by July .Transporters are left with a few days before Diwali to comply with mandatory checks else they will not be able to transport children to schools once the suspension orders are handed out.
RTO statistics say there are about 2,800 registered buses and vans ferrying children to schools and back home. The vehicles are either owned by schools or private contractors.It is mandatory for every transporter to make safety provisions in vehicles and take it to the RTO for inspection before the start of the academic year.
An official from RTO said, “It was expected that the process of inspection would get over by June. However, trans porters failed to meet the deadline which was then extended by a month. Even that deadline was not met by transporters.“
The RTO had issued notices to transporters last month seeking an explanation.
“Even after repeated follow-ups, about 450 vehicles are still to approach RTO for inspections. We will be harsh and suspend their permits which will not allow them to use the vehicles for transport of children to schools,“ an RTO official said. While the RTO is in the process to identify errant transporters, officials said that about 350 vans and 100 buses were still to obtain the certificates.
Sources said lists about safety provisions to be made in vehicles have been prepared for buses and vans. The transporters are also expected to sign a contract with schools.
Parents want the RTO and traffic police to conduct regular checks of school transport vehicles. Vivek Kulkarni, a resident of Shivajinagar, said many school transport vehicles were in a bad shape. Vehicles plying on city roads run without safety norms. Regular checks by authorities would compel drivers to conform to safety norms, he added.
Enough extensions and leeway have been given to transporters to secure fitness certificates after getting their vehicles inspected. Even so, 450 vehicles operated without the mandatory checks and certificates during the first term of the current academic year. It is clear that the Regional Transport Office has to act tough and set an example to make the vehicle operators follow deadlines.Schools and parents must also ensure that vehicles engaged by them have fulfilled all requirements at the start of the academic year. Unfit vehicles and the absence of safety provisions can endanger the lives of students they ferry.
Source : TOI