Following the school bus mishap at Sion, in which 9-year-old Viraj Parmar lost his life, the regional transport office (RTO) at Wadala has increased the frequency of routine bus inspections.
This is evident from the rise in the number of private buses (including school buses) that were inspected and bus owners penalised in November.
Between April 1 and October 11, 34 buses were found faulty and their owners were penalised.
“On an average, 50 buses including big and mini ones are inspected every month, out of which around five are penalised. But in November, more than 60 buses were inspected and nine were charged for various deficiencies,” said Tanaji Chavan, assistant RTO officer, Wadala.
Although the RTO has not initiated a special drive for the inspection of buses so far, they have made the routine checks more stringent.
“We are waiting for the committee meeting among schools, the education department, transport authorities and state government on December 2. After that meeting, we will get clear instructions on how to conduct a special drive and the role of schools and bus operators in protecting children,” said an RTO official on condition of anonymity.
Despite repeated attempts, state transport commissioner VN More was not available for comment.
Parmar met with the fatal accident on November 23 when he stuck his head out of his school bus and hit a metal advertisement board attached to a lamp post.