Most buses were inactive for nearly two years because of the pandemic and bus owners incurred heavy losses due to loss of work. They now have to pay heavily for the upkeep and maintenance of their vehicles.
All buses have to comply with the norms failing which fines will be levied on the erring drivers as it concerns the safety of students, regional transport officers said.
Atul Aade, deputy RTO at Pimpri Chinchwad Regional Transport Office, said there are 2,965 buses in the region and the process of issuing their fitness certificate is in progress.
“We will organize a special drive for school buses too. In the meantime, we appeal to all bus owners to get the fitness certificate so that they are not subjected to any fines. From testing the speed governance meter to the documents, we check everything during the fitness check before issuing the certificate which says it is ready to ferry children. We know that bus owners have incurred heavy losses during the Covid-19 period. However, getting the buses checked is important for students’ safety, “Aade added.
Sanjay Sasane, deputy RTO at Pune Regional Transport Office said, there are about 7,500 school buses and vans registered in Pune city. About 60% have completed all formalities and received their fitness certificates. They had facilitated easy processing of their applications on Saturdays and Sundays.
“While there was a good response in April, May has been a lull period. However, it will pick up now as schools will reopen and the buses need permits before they ferry students. The government has already waived annual taxes for two years which used to be Rs 100 per seat per annum. However, during the drive, we saw that many were yet to get their insurance renewed or had some small work pending, ”Sasane said.