PUDUCHERRY: As schools will open in a few days, the Transport Department officials are busy inspecting school buses to ensure they are safe for children to travel in. This inspection is undertaken after the High Court issued directions following an accident two years ago.
Transport Commissioner S D Sundaresan told Express on Thursday that the school buses of various private agencies are being examined at Mettupalayam truck terminal. He said out of the total 853 school buses in the Union Territory, 717 ply to different educational institutes in Puducherry region.
The total number of buses have been divided into seven different slots. Each motor vehicle inspecting official has been given the charge of checking 100 buses for its road worthiness, basic facilities like doors, fire exits, fire extinguishers, first aid boxes and to check if the flooring is firm and safe.
The officials are in touch with the educational institutions and have instructed them to bring in the buses for inspection before the schools reopen. When asked whether the educational institutions would be penalised if the buses are not up to the mark, Sundaresan said, the institutions would be asked to refurbish the inadequacies and they would be given time to present the buses again for re-inspection.
Only after the officials are satisfied that all safety measures are met, the buses will be allowed to ply, he said. The fitness certificate issued by the department is valid for only one year, he added.