Asked to provide fitness certificate only if vehicle is in excellent condition

After the horrific accident on Monday in which four students on a bus were killed, the State transport department has asked all its Regional Transport Officers (RTO) to intensify their inspections of all Metropolitan Transport Corporation(MTC) buses in the city.

As of Tuesday evening, MTC had not taken any action against the driver of the bus involved in the accident.

“A team will visit the site of the accident and find out how it happened. If it is the driver’s fault he will be suspended,” said the source. Meanwhile, the driver of lorry, Ramaniah, is still absconding. A team of police officers is in Nellore, on the look out for the driver and the vehicle’s owner.

The RTOs have been told that they can only provide fitness certificates, which are necessary for a bus to operate, if the vehicle is in excellent condition. “The inspection will include checking if all the nuts and bolts are in place. The RTOs have also been specifically instructed to check the condition of the automatic doors in the buses,” said a source at the transport department.

According to traffic police, footboard travel can be prevented easily if the automatic doors work. “But most of the time, these doors remain open, either because they are not working or because the driver and conductor keep them open to letpassengers in,” said a police official.

Though MTC introduced automatic doors in buses some years ago, most of them are in a bad shape due to poor maintenance. Many doors are secured with ropes. The rest of the buses too, are not maintained well. In many buses, nails jut out of seats, and the rods on the windows and doors are rickety. MTC sends its buses to the RTO for fitness tests once a year. Periodical checks are also conducted every three months at RTOs. “This apart, the department’s enforcement team has also been asked to inspect the buses regularly,” said the source.

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