Following the alleged rape of a four-year-old girl inside the school bus of a Badlapur based school, the Kalyan deputy regional transport office (RTO) decided to take stern measures against bus operators who are not abiding by the government’s school bus policy.
RTO authorities said the registration of private vehicles will be cancelled if it is found to be illegally plying school students.
Around 20 private vehicles such as mini buses, small vans and sports utility vehicles that were illegally taking students to and from school, were detained by the deputy RTO.
“We have asked the owners of these detained vehicles to submit an affidavit stating that their registration is liable for cancellation if they are found plying students without a permit again,” said VR Gujrathi, deputy RTO, Kalyan.
Apart from cracking down on school buses, the deputy RTO will also conduct a seminar for school authorities, bus operators and drivers, to inform them about the school bus policy.
“We will instruct them to strictly adhere to the school bus policy and compulsorily appoint a lady attendant in all school buses,” Gujrathi said.
He added that the process of improving school bus safety will be conducted in two stages.
“The first stage of improving safety on school buses will be informing those responsible about the policy. The second stage will consist of surprise checks being conducting on bus operators. These will commence from Thursday,” Gujrathi said.
More than 266 school buses have been checked in the region since April 2013, of which around 56 were faulty, 40 were released and 20 are still in detention.
The Kalyan deputy RTO has also issued a show cause notice to the school and the operator of the bus in which the rape allegedly took place and demanded an explanation within seven days.
The RTO said that failure to do so will lead to cancellation of the operator’s permit.
Other RTO shave also instructed their flying squads to conduct more rigid drives on school buses.
“We instructed our officers to be more vigilant about school buses. Surprise checks on school buses should be conducted more rigorously,” said KT Golani, regional transport officer (RTO) Tardeo.