The Molestation of a four-year-old by the male attendant in a school bus rocked the city yesterday and the Regional Transport Office taking cognisance of the incident, sent letters to all the schools in the city asking them to abide by the rules.
“Following the incident, we immediately sent letters to all the schools in the city to follow the school bus guidelines. In this specific case, we are seeking the necessary information from the police. We have also checked the details and have found that the bus was registered by the Sinhagad Technical Education Society in 2008 and will be up for renewal on May 28, 2014,” said Pune regional transport officer Jeetendra Patil.
He added, “We will take action against the owner and the organisation but till we get the police report, we will not be able to confirm the specific action that will be taken. They have clearly violated the norms and for this, action will be taken. We might eve cancel their permit.”
Additionally, each school is supposed to have formed a Transport Committee, comprising of the school principal, the local police inspector, RTO inspector, education officer, bus owner representative and parents’ representative. However, in many cases, schools are yet to form the committee and till date only 1,134 such committees have been formed.
The RTO inspectors regularly make rounds around the city to check the school buses and ensure that guidelines are being followed.
From April 2013 to March 2014, Pune RTO has checked more than 350 school buses out of which 61 were found guilty of flouting the rules. 10 bus permits were cancelled and a fine of R43,400 was collected. “We have flying squads checking if the school buses are fine. We check if they have a proper fitness certificate, we check the driver’s licence, if the speed governor is installed and if fire extinguishers are present,” he added.
When mid-day approached a bus owner, he said, on the condition of anonymity, “It is not possible to have a female attendant with every school bus, as we do not get women for this kind of work. In this case, it is sad that the attendant was involved but it is also the responsibility of school administration to issue an immediate warning to change the male attendant from the bus.”
Number of school-owned buses in the city
Number of contract-owned buses in the city
Amount collected in fines from school buses for flouting norms
Number of schools that have formed the mandatory Transport Committee