VIJAYAWADA: Even after over two months of reopening of schools in the State, only one-fourth of the buses owned by them have the necessary fitness certificate (FC) issued by the Regional Transport Office. Out of the 25,236 buses operated by various educational institutions in the State, only 6,444 were certified by the RTO till September-end, even as the deadline to obtain the FCs is October 31. For instance, private schools in East Godavari operate 3,482 buses to ferry students and teachers. However, only 382 of them have been issued FC by the department, which has now decided to carry out enforcement drives across the State from the first week of November.
The schools and colleges must obtain FC, insurance documents, permit tax and other clearances before the institutes reopen every academic year, Deputy Transport Commissioner (DTC) M Purendra said and added that the Centre had given exemptions to the private educational institutions over renewal of FCs this year due to the pandemic. “This academic year, several institutes adopted a wait and watch policy to restart their bus services as many parents are choosing to drop their kids own their own to schools and colleges.”
Stating that it is mandatory for the institutes to obtain new fitness certificate before October 31, the DTC added: “The certificates issued last year expires on October 31. The department inspects the buses every year on 32 aspects under rule 185 (G) of AP Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 — such as valid insurance, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and emergency doors — and issue the FC only if the vehicles pass them. Also, motor vehicle inspectors personally drive the buses to authenticate the condition of the buses.” The official said there has been no communication from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) regarding the extension of the deadline to apply for FC after October 31.
Oct 31 deadline to get fitness certificate
The schools and colleges must obtain FC, insurance documents, permit tax and other clearances before they reopen every academic year, said Deputy Transport Commissioner M Purendra. The deadline for private educational institutes to obtain the fitness certificate issued by the Regional Transport Office ends on October 31