HYDERABAD: The drive launched by Road Transport Authority (RTA) to check the fitness of school buses has been delayed with the officials missing the March 31 deadline for submission of report to the state government. According to the RTA officials, staff shortage was one of the major reasons for the delay.
With the staff shortage in the department, it is very difficult to complete the exercise within deadline.
The officials have to do the special task along with their regular duties, they said. But, RTA joint commissioner B Venkateswarlu said that the exercise was going on at a brisk pace.
“About 60 percent of the school buses in the state have been checked so far.
As many as 5,500 school buses of the 15,000 checked have been found unfit so far,” he said.
Notices have been issued to the unfit buses and 600 cases have been booked. The checking of the remaining school buses will be completed in an week,” he said.
It may be noted that the state government directed the Road Transport Authority to take up a special drive to check the fitness of school buses, after a school bus fell into a stream in Khammam district on March 20 causing the death of eight students.
Notices have been served to the school managements whose buses were found unfit and action will be initiated against them soon, said Venkateswarlu. It was found that some buses did not have registration certificates and the drivers did not have driving licence, he said.
According to RTA officials, there are around 29,093 school buses belonging to 30,000 educational institutions operating in the state. The state government had amended the Motor Vehicle Act two years ago and as per the rules, the educational institutions will attract severe punishment for violating the norms.
There are allegations that some officials have issued fitness certificates without examining the buses by taking bribes from school managements.
When contacted, transport minister Botcha Satyanarayana said the fitness verifications would be completed in the next 10 days.