Last week, the transport department conducted checks on 320 school buses and found 92 to be defective, whereas 25 were seized for major lapses, such as grill-less windows, non-payment of taxes, or absence of fitness permits.
"Small bus operators are hesitant to operate because of the ongoing checks, said Anil Garg, president, School Bus Owners' Association. He added, "If a bus is detained, the operator has to pay Rs. 10,000 penalty and the vehicle has to stay off the road for at least 10 days. The operators are trying to avoid this."