After the state government made it compulsory for all school buses and commercial vehicles to have speed governors installed, authorised distributors have raised the price of these devices to almost double.
This has prompted various school bus and commercial vehicle associations in the state to approach the transport commissioner with complaints, besides filing a petition in the High Court.
The state government also specified that vehicle owners could procure the devices from a few authorised dealers, failing which their vehicles would not be passed by the Regional Transportation Office (RTO).
“Earlier, the price of a speed governor was in the range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000. But after installation was made compulsory, dealers have hiked the price by Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000. We are prepared to install speed governors, but the cost should be reasonable,” said Baba Shinde, president of Rajya Mal Vahtuk Mahasangh.
He added that though the state government resolution (GR) clearly mentions that dealers should give valid explanation for raising prices, this has not happened yet.
According to the GR, new buses registered after July 1, 2012 should have speed governors installed by default and the device should be fitted on buses, which have been registered before June 30, no later than October 30, 2012.
The speed limit for school buses is 40 kmph and the limit for commercial vehicles is 50 kmph. According to RTO officials, there are a total of 1,663 school buses in the city and till date, the devices have been installed on 260 new school buses and 206 older school buses.
After the compulsion, demand for governors has been increasing, but dealers seem to be having a problem with stock.
Janardan Murkute, president Pune School Bus Owner’s Association said, “There is only one distributor for the city. Availability of stock is a major problem.
Before making it compulsory, the state government could have made additional provision for supply. We have complained many times to the RTO and finally approached the High Court. The court is expected to take its decision August 31.”
Deputy Regional Transport Officer Sanjay Dhaygude said, “We don’t have the right to interfere in the price or availability of stock. The RTO is only liable for implementation of the decision. The state government has named specific manufacturers and distributors to sell the devices.”