Pune: As many as 3,700 school buses registered with the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) have to queue up again for the inspection after the fresh re-inspection orders by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court regarding the safety of children travelling in school buses, vans and autorickshaws. The re-inspection of school vehicles will be conducted at Alandi testing centre and it will be open on holidays also.
The Pune RTO has launched a re-inspection drive from Saturday which will go till June 18. The re-inspection is compulsory for all vehicles including those with valid fitness certificates. The only group of school transport vehicles that are exempt from re-inspection are those which had undergone fitness test or were bought on or after April 1, 2018.
According to officials of RTO, the vehicle owners will not be charged for the re-inspection. The re-inspection is mandatory for privately owned as well as school owned buses. In case there are more than 25 buses at one place, a motor inspector will be appointed to visit the spot to inspect the buses. This will save time and hassle for the bus owners and drivers, said the official.
Sanjay Raut, Deputy RTO, said that the directives have been passed by the High Court in 2012 case asking RTO officials to make sure that the vehicles involved in the transport of school children follow the rules and regulations issued from time to time.
“To ensure 100 per cent adherence to the rules such as an installation of speed governor, fire extinguisher, GPS system and driver license for the driver etc, we will inspect all school buses registered with us. Only new buses bought after April 1 and those who have obtained a fitness certificate post that date will be exempt,” said Sanjay Raut said.
The school bus transport rules which came into effect in March 2011, stipulate various regulations for school buses, operators, transport department and school authorities. The rules apply to all vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 12 but do not apply to autorickshaws engaged in ferrying school children.
“The inspection will be totally free. Those fulfilling the school transport rules and regulations will be provided a certificate,’’ said Raut.
Pune School Bus Association said that although the move is an unrequired hassle as the vehicles have to renew the fitness certificates every year, the association will not oppose the move as it involves the safety of children.
“The directives have come from the High Court, so let the RTO do it though we feel it is unnecessary,” said Rajan Junawane of Pune School Bus Association.