Pune: The Regional Transport Office (RTO), Pune has insisted that school committees must provide details of the vehicles which ferry schoolchildren. A meeting of the district school committee was held at the RTO on Friday headed by BI Ajri, Regional Transport Officer, Pune.
During the meeting, the RTO asked the Education Department to upload details about schools, parents and school committee meetings, school vehicles and drivers and conductors on the website www.schoolbussafetypune.org every 15 days. The website is run by the RTO.
The School Bus Transport Rules, which came into effect in March 2011, stipulate various regulations for school buses, operators, the Transport Department and school authorities. The rules apply to all vehicles with a seating capacity of over 12 but do not apply to autorickshaws engaged in ferrying schoolchildren.
Around 4,500 schools are registered in Pune while 4,421 vehicles ferrying children are registered with the RTO.
During the meeting, BI Ajri, Sanjay Raut, Deputy RTO, Pune, Anand Patil, Deputy RTO, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Sheshrao Suryavanshi, DCP Traffic, Minakshi Raut, Divisional Education Deputy Director and officials from traffic police, MSRTC and PMPML were present.
“It is mandatory for all vehicles transporting schoolchildren to have a valid permit and follow the norms. Without a permit, ferrying schoolchildren are not allowed. Thus, those who have no valid permit should apply for it soon. It is compulsory for the school administration and contractors to have an MoU between them. Parents should use valid school buses to send their children to school. They should not use private vehicles. Parents and vehicle owners must take precautions not to send children in overloaded vehicles. Action will be taken against errant vehicle owners. Parents and transporters will be responsible if students face any type of inconvenience,” said Ajri.
During the meeting, a report was tabled on action taken by the RTO on school vehicles not following the rules.
According to the report, 581 vehicles were inspected from April to June 2018. Of these, owners of 114 were found guilty for not following the rules. 39 vehicles, including buses and vans, were seized and a fine of Rs 10.66 lakh, including Rs 6.06 lakh tax, was collected.