The district authorities impounded five vehicles and fined seven others on Saturday as they cracked down on school buses that put students at risk by violating safety norms.
Assistant district transport office Manjit Singh said the team conducted a surprise check at Green Land School, Dugri phase-2, and found buses and auto-rickshaws “stuffed” with children.
The vehicles fined were charged with “overloading, installing more seats than allowed” and their registration certificates and the licences of their drivers were forfeited.
Five other vehicles, including two autos, were impounded for not possessing either permits or not depositing taxes in time.
“The fines will be decided soon. These checks are carried out either on a periodical basis or after getting complaints,” Manjit Singh said.
The Punjab and Haryana high court has asked authorities in the state to ensure safe travel of students.
District transport officer Dalwinderjit Singh said his office was evaluating safety of school buses on 16 parameters such as speed governor, CCTVs, retracting steps, emergency doors, vertical seats (not horizontal), experienced drivers and fitness of vehicles.
“We have been carrying out checks at different schools in city. Earlier, we covered KVM (Kundan Vidya Mandir) and BVM (Bhartiya Vidya Mandir) schools, now it was Green Land School. Our emphasis is on ensuring safe travel for students,” he said.
Manjit said: “We have formed a team, and after getting instructions from the higher authorities, are conducting checks and identifying loopholes. Then we ask school authorities to rectify them within the stipulated time frame.”
Rajesh Rudra, chairman-cum-director of Green Land School management board welcomed the inspection. “Laxity on part of parents is partly to be blamed for this as they hire autorickshaws and private buses on their own,” he said. Rudra alleged some private buses were using the school’s name and promised action.
“We have impounded some buses and handed over to DTO about three months ago. We ensure that students travel in safely,” he added.