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Deadline extended for inspection of school transport vehicles

As per the high court order, June 15 was the last day for report submission, however, the date has been extended by 10 more days on requests by the school bus representative body

pune Updated: Jun 28, 2017 23:32 IST
Ananya Barua
Autorickshaws usually overload the vehicle while transporting students to school in Pune.
Autorickshaws usually overload the vehicle while transporting students to school in Pune. (Rahul Raut/ HT)

Despite a high court directive declaring June 15 as the deadline for the inspection of school transport vehicles, almost 1,300 vehicles are yet to be inspected by the regional transport office.

As per the officials, almost 2,400 vehicles were reinspected from 3,680 school transport vehicles after the high court passed the order of reinspection of vehicles to ensure safety of students.

As per the high court order, June 15 was the last day for report submission, however, the date has been extended by 10 more days on requests by the school bus representative body,confirmed the officials. The recent records of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) now claims to have seized 38 vehicles were out of 66, in the drive to stop illegal transportation of students.

“We have confiscated the vehicles and charged penalties according to the directives. For private vehicles, which have been caught illegally carrying children, we have issued a 90-day suspension,” said Jayshree Dutonde, prosecution section of RTO.

In the drive, 66 vehicles have already been found guilty, out of which 38 have been seized. These seized vehicles range from seven major buses to 15 small buses and 16 private vans. A total of 277 vehicles were checked during this operation.

On June 27, the School Students Traffic Safety Committee, discussed measures to safeguard the transportation for students, and take strict action against the offenders. It was during this meeting that the statistics of the current report were released by the RTO.  

As per the meeting of the committee headed by the police commissioner, a total of 11 teams have been deployed by the committee to inspect school-run vehicles in all major streets of Pune city and the suburbs. Two motor vehicle inspectors and one office employee, have also been appointed in each division. 

This comes as another step by the RTO to eliminate illegally transporting students by either exceeding the vehicle capacity, or using illegal vehicles without eligibility certificates as per the school bus rules. The regional transport department has launched the check-ins on vehicles carrying students on June 22. 

Back in September 2011, the government of Maharashtra had issued a statement through the department of school education and sports, which was to keep a check on the contractual arrangements regarding the transportation, and not allow private vehicles to transport children illegally.

Campaigns and workshops were being organised by the RTO  to spread the awareness among students, parents and school authorities.

“It is of course our responsibility to enforce the laws and ensure that they are followed, but schools who have direct control over their transportation vehicles should also take up the initiative. Even parents need to be more aware and observant as all of this is to benefit their children. Only then, can we all together properly control the situation and eradicate this menace against school transportation,” said Dutonde.

Agreeing, Sanjay Raut, deputy regional transport officer, said, “To encourage teachers and parents to come up and take initiative for the safety of their children, we have organised a workshop, especially for school principals, on June 30. The workshop is to take place in Savitribai Phule Sabhagruha, in two sessions. While the first session will be for English medium schools, the second session will be for the Marathi medium schools. So we want to address and combat this issue through penalty and awareness.”