A two-day drive conducted by the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Pune, found as many as 75 of the 350 school transport vehicles flouting the norms. During the drive, which started on November 2, as many as 52 school buses were impounded, said officials.
Deputy RTO Sanjay Raut said, “The RTO had conducted a two-day special drive to check school vehicles. A total of six squads, each consisting of three RTO inspectors, was formed. At least 350 school transportation vehicles, of all kinds, were checked. Of these, 75 were found flouting some or the other regulation.”
“At present, 52 have been impounded and they are stationed at the RTO office and PMPML’s bus depots at Swargate and Kothrud,” he added. RTO officials, meanwhile, said parents have to be extra cautious while hiring such vehicles.
“…Parents must make sure that their children are being ferried in proper vehicles, which follow the norms and the regulations laid out,” the official added. Between Thursday and Friday, the RTO collected Rs 1.23 lakh as fines from the school bus transporters and recovered Rs 6,579 as tax.
An officer said, “…It’s also the responsibility of the various school transport committees , which are headed by principals, and have teachers, parents and transporters as members. If they do their job properly, we would not have to undertake such drivers to ensure that the school transport is safe.”
The official added that a total of six squads were constituted for the exercise, each containing three vehicle inspectors. Impounded vehicles have been kept at RTO office, PMPML’s Swargate and Kothrud Depots.
“Such drives will continue in the future. It’s for the parents and schools to be vigilant… Parents and school bodies should keep a close watch on the transporters and if they find a flaw, the transporter must be immediately informed,” he said.
“Parents can also ask the transporters to show documents of their vehicle and check if it has proper seats, arrangements for firefighting and the other necessary safety measures. If the transporter is not making changes, they should immediately report the matter to the committee or the RTO officials and an immediate action will be initiated,” he added.