The regional transport authority(RTA) officials will audit buses of all private schools to check if they adhere to guidelines. No private bus will be allowed to ferry schoolchildren if the contract agreement (between the school and the carrier) is not submitted to the RTA.
The NCR contract carriage permit is a must for all school buses hired from private contractors. Officials said they will take strict action against schools using buses that do not adhere to norms.
Three school buses and seven private vehicles have been impounded and challaned by the RTA in January for flouting the state government’s Surakshit School Vahan Policy. Last year, 150 school buses were challaned, officials said. RTA has decided to conduct surprise inspections from Monday.
“I will visit two to three schools each week and will ensure that the safety guidelines are followed. Also, we will conduct surprise checks on route to check if the guidelines are being followed by the school staff. The safety of children is most important,” Trilok Chand, secretary of RTA, said.
Officials said they will check if a woman attendant is deployed on the buses with girl students, as this is also an important guideline.
“We will maintain a record of buses with registration numbers, mobile numbers of drivers and attendants, and the route of each bus. This will help us to conduct random checks of the routes,” Chand said.
Around 1,800 private school buses are registered with Gurgaon’s regional transport authority. Rules and guidelines for the operation of these buses are prescribed under the Surakshit School Vahan Policy and Motor Vehicle Act of 1988.
Under the Surakshit School Vahan Policy, it is compulsory for school buses to have CCTV cameras and maintain the recording for 15 days, have a speed cap mechanism, have the school’s contact numbers on the front and back of the bus, follow the colour scheme — yellow with dark blue stripe — and a woman attendant in the buses at all times.
Chand said that many schools hire buses from private contractors who often flout the rules.