Authorities of Pune’s Regional Transport Office (RTO) and the education department have said that they will issue notices to private schools that have failed to comply with the school bus safety policy. Many of these schools have not even formed a committee, which was suggested by transport authorities.
The decision to issue notices was taken in a joint meeting between the two departments and various school authorities from the city.
Officer from the RTO, Arun Yeola said that the education board will be asked to carry out a detailed review on private schools that have failed to comply with the guidelines and a report be submitted in a month.
There are about 2,187 private schools in the city, whereas the number of schools — including government and aided schools — that have formed committees comes to about only 653. This school bus safety policy also applies to vans and minibuses used by kindergarten students.
“The school bus safety policy has no clear provision for concrete action against erring school authorities.
“The RTO can’t take action against schools and hence the education board authorities should issue notices to private schools,” Yeola stated.
The next meeting will be conducted on July 15 to formulate a plan for review and discuss its outcome.
“Private schools are not responding to our requests to form committees. If these schools have any queries regarding the formation of the committee, they should approach us or the RTO,” said an education board member.
Many schools fear signing a contract with the bus operators as in case of an untoward incident, both the parties will be held responsible.
“If the school does not give letter to the operator then the operator faces problems in obtaining permits. We have briefed the school representatives about this issue and given them instructions on the same,” the official added.