KOCHI: The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) intensified inspection of school vehicles, including autorickshaws, that ply school children across the district. MVD officials told Express that one school vehicle was found to be overloaded while two other, plying on a contract basis, was booked for not putting ‘On School Duty’ board.
“Our Lady’s Convent GHSS of Thoppumpady has been found overloading children in their school vehicles. We have taken actions against the authorities,” said an official with the MVD. However, the school authorities denied the allegations. “Our children were only standing in their seats. The MVD officials mistakenly thought that they were overloaded,” school authorities said.
“Inspection, especially for plying without driving license, operating vehicles without placing of on school duty boards, overloading and absence of fitness certificates, have been conducted in Thoppumpady, Mattancherry, Tripunithura, Fort Kochi, Naval Base and Palluruthy from Tuesday morning. Schools have been found violating the guidelines of the department, especially those vehicles hired on contract,” said Kumar said.
The MVD has conducted the fitness check-up of school vehicles before the reopening of the schools in May.“Every year we conduct such checkups and it was the same this year too. Though we are yet to list the number of schools that took part in the drive, we will track those without the fitness certificates,” said Reji P Varghese, Ernakulam RTO.
He added the seating capacity of school buses and vans vary and it will be mentioned in the permit. “For those below the age of 12, two children can sit on one seat and for those above 12, only one is allowed to occupy a seat,” he added. Last month, of the 500 school vehicles that appeared for the fitness check-up, around 40 were found without proper certificates.
“We have come across around 40 vehicles without fitness and other required certificates. But from now on, we will be taking actions including suspension of driving licence and permit of the vehicles,” said the MVD official.