SCHOOL BUS INSPECTIONS – RTO gives final warning to 350 owners

Despite two extensions in the deadline, vehicles have not undergone the mandatory checks; now, their licences will be suspended if they do not fall in line
Despite a month’s extension by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) for school buses to get the mandatory in spection done, 350 vehicles have still not done so. Now, the RTO has issued a final notice to bus owners, warning them that their permits will be suspended unless the evaluation is carried out.According to orders by the state transport department before schools opened in June, inspections of all school buses and vans across the state were to be completed by May 31, 2016. However, the response was weak and RTOs demanded for an extension twice -once till July 31 and again till the end of August.

“According to our records, there are 350 buses which have not yet undergone the inspection. We had created 12 squads with two RTO inspectors in each to inspect window bars, steps, seating arrangements, first-aid boxes and other necessary safety measures. Also, the vehicle’s documents, fitness certificate and mutual agreement done with the school were checked by our inspectors,“ said deputy regional transport officer Sanjay Raut. “Now, we will send a final warning notice to all 350 defaulters. A deadline will be given if they fail to abide by it; their permits will be suspended for two or three months,“ Raut added.

Currently, there are 2,858 registered school transportation vehicles under the Pune RTO divi sion of which around 2,500 are being checked and given fitness certificates after inspection. During the RTO drive in July, 30 school buses were seized for illegally transporting students.

A school bus owner, requesting anonymity, told Mirror, “The rules are very stringent for school buses and vans in this state. Even after completing all the procedures, the RTO people continue to harass us. They just want to find faults in our buses and charge heavy fines. I have five school buses and almost all the safety measures have been done according to the school bus committee norms.“

Rajan Junavane, vice-president of Pune Bus Owners’ Association, said, “The main aspect in this school bus committee project is coordination between the bus owners and school administration. In many schools, the administration is not ready to do the agreement with the bus owner, which is important for the RTO inspection. Also, our objection is that RTO inspectors are always after our buses, but take no action against other illegal vehicle, including many private buses. We have asked all our school bus owners and members of our association to complete the inspection process and avoid any action in future.“

Source : Mirror