Schools work out temporary solution with bus operators

While 8,000 school buses across the state kept off the roads on Monday,transport departments of schools in the city requested bus owners to ferry students in luxury buses as a temporary solution.

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Published: April 10, 2012 4:19 am

While 8,000 school buses across the state kept off the roads on Monday,transport departments of schools in the city requested bus owners to ferry students in luxury buses as a temporary solution. The association on Sunday announced that the buses can’t ply for lack of fitness certificates and insurance.

Of the 8,000 buses without mandatory certificates,300 are in Mumbai. Worried about the inconvenience faced by students during exams,school transport departments on Monday asked operators to make temporary arrangements.

“As decided,we did not ply the buses in the morning. However,school authorities have requested us to make temporary arrangements to ferry students of primary sections. This is not a pressure tactic or a strike,we had decided not to ply the buses that don’t have fitness certificates and insurance. The safety of students is important to us,” said Anil Garg,president of School Bus Owners’ Association (SBOA).

The Bombay High Court had on March 30 directed the state transport department to extend the permits of school buses till April 30 and asked the authorities not to take action against buses not following the new proposed regulations. SBOA,however,alleged that RTO officials have stopped issuing fitness certificates to them after the new school bus policy was proposed.

But parents and schools have to bear the brunt of this tussle. “The RTOs should have followed the court’s directive to extend the permits till April 30. Now,students will have to suffer during exams. The bus operator of our school agreed to help us today,but he won’t be able to provide luxury buses every day,” said a principal of a school in Andheri.

“The bus owners have come up with new tactics to put pressure on the state government but they are not going to work. We have been trying to resolve their issues; if they are facing problems they can send their representation to me or the transport commissioner. If any of our officials is violating court’s directive,operators can file contempt petitions,” said Transport Secretary Shailesh Kumar Sharma.

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