Mumbai: Illegal vehicles ferrying school students to face RTO heat
RTO has told city schools to provide information of all such vehicles to check their permits, safety measures
In a proactive step, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has started collecting information of all vehicles ferrying students to and from school. The move aims to identify those plying without a permit or lack safety measures. Those flouting the rules will face strict action, said an RTO official.
The RTO, this week, began writing to schools seeking details of all vehicles, including buses, vans, autorickshaws, ferrying their students.
Abhay Deshpande, RTO chief, Mumbai West Regions, said the drive is to ensure children's safety after it was learnt that several vehicles were plying in violation of rules and many others lack safety measures. "It is a continuous process. We keep conducting such drives from time to time. The new academic year has begun and also as it is the rainy season, this is one of the several steps to ensure children's safety," Deshpande said.
"There are three stakeholders when it comes to the safety of students's travel -- schools, parents and RTO. So, the schools have been asked to provide the data of all vehicles to RTO. Parents have also been advised to remain alert and aware about the vehicles ferrying their wards, and inform RTO if they notice anything suspicious," he added.
The schools, parents as well as the school bus contractors have welcomed the decision. School Bus Owners' Association (SBOA) President Anil Garg said, "Schools are anyway supposed to have a complete record of all vehicles ferrying their students. This drive will make it mandatory for school authorities to ensure they are not lagging behind. Several vans and autorickshaws run privately and do not have all the required documents."
A parent, Kaveer Bisht, welcomed the RTO's "proactive steps" and said, "There is an ambiguity over which vehicles are safe to run for schools. This move will ensure that all vehicles are safe."
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