Owners of white buses have decided to approach the high court against the regional transport authority (RTA) directions asking schools to use only yellow buses.
They argue that if their buses are painted yellow, these cannot be used elsewhere but for school trips only. However, schools do not have the capacity to absorb all buses, owners said.
The Gurgaon Road transport Authority (RTA) has ordered the ban on white buses and private buses from April 1, after the recent incident in which a white private school bus caught fire near Huda City Centre.
Transporters said painting the buses yellow will be a huge loss for them as the white buses can be used for other commercial purposes too.
Ved Yadav, a city based transporter, said, “We have a contract with the school. But if the schools terminate the agreement (after painting the buses yellow), where will we go? There is no point investing such a huge amount.”
The district administration has directed all city private schools to adhere to the ‘Surakshit School Vahan Policy’ of the state government and ensure that the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court for safer transportation of schoolchildren are followed.
Vinod Kumar, another transporter, said, “We have invested a lot in the transport business and are repaying loans taken for the vans plying on roads. Banning this will ruin the livelihood of thousands of people, including owners, drivers, mechanics, cleaners and helpers .”
In the wake of strict directions issued by the government, Yadav said they have decided to pool money and approach the court as this decision will kill their business. “There is no alternative but to seek remedy from the court,” he said.
The Gurgaon deputy commissioner has repeatedly asked the management representatives of private schools to fulfil the mandatory requirements mentioned in the policy by April 1 or face action.
The secretary of regional transport authority, Trilok Chand, said his team will conduct a drive to check schoolbuses to ensure they were complying with the policy. “The white buses will not be allowed to be used as schoolbuses as it is a violation of the policy. Private vans will also not be encouraged, and parents need to co-operate and ensure that the safety of their child is the priority. Some schools that have been using white buses are advised to not use them after March 31,” Chand said.