They have completed 15 years of operation and must be discarded

Taking a bus to school is considered the safest mode of transport, believe most parents. Past experience has, however, shown some school buses involved in terrible accidents. When it comes to getting kids safely to and from school, there’s always room for improvement.

With the commencement of a new academic year, the Road Transport Authority, Krishna District, has embarked on a drive to ensure compliance to the rule book by operators of buses in use to ferry children by educational institutions.

As per a fresh amendment made to impose additional conditions for ‘educational buses’ (buses used by schools and colleges), buses that have completed 15 years of operation must be discarded.

“In Krishna district, of the total 2,097 buses operated by educational institutions, 160 have crossed 15 years of service. We have asked the managements of the respective institutions to banish these vehicles. They can either be sold out as scrap or converted into a vehicle of some other category,” Deputy Transport Commissioner, Krishna district, Ch. Sivalingaiah, told The Hindu on Saturday.

This is the season when operators of buses used by educational institutions make a beeline for the RTA office for renewal of fitness certificate. As many as 1,021 operators have got their fitness certificates renewed.

Of the 160 over-used vehicles which have been declared unfit to be used for an educational institution, 124 operate in Vijayawada city limits. “Twenty four of these vehicles have been sold out as scrap, 13 vehicles have been discarded by the respective managements and five of them have been converted into other category vehicle,” said Mr. Sivalingaiah.

The department personnel, said the DTC, had been asked to keep a vigil on the remaining 118 ‘unfit’ vehicles to prevent their operation. This leaves another 916 buses, the operators of which are yet to approach the department for renewal of the fitness certificate.

As part of its efforts to educate and enlighten managements of educational institutions, the department will conduct an awareness programme at the Lorry Owners Association hall near Benz Circle on June 11.

Managements of educational institutions in Vijayawada and surrounding 11 mandals will attend the meet. The programme has already been conducted in Nuzvid, Machilipatnam, Gudivada, Nandigama, and Jaggayyapet mandals.

“The objective is to throw light on the 32 norms prescribed in Rule 185G of the Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules for better compliance,” said the DTC.

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