Hyderabad: Schools across the State have reopened and school buses are once again out on the roads, but even now, nearly 50 per cent of school buses in Telangana have not obtained the mandatory Fitness Certificate (FC) from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA).
Of 26,133 educational institute buses, only 12,751 buses have obtained the certificates while 12,382 buses were yet to get the same.
Despite repeated instructions from the RTA to managements to go for vehicle fitness certificates before schools reopened, most of them neglected the rules and are now preparing to take children without knowing the condition of the vehicle.
The situation goes from bad to worse in some districts where 90 per cent of school buses have not undergone fitness tests. In Vikarabad district, against a total of 239 school buses, 223 buses are yet to obtain FCs while in Mahabubabad district, just five out of 214 school buses have procured the FCs.
In Hyderabad district, there are 2,324 school buses, out of which only 1,337 buses have FCs.
According to RTA officials, stringent action would be taken against the school managements for ignoring the guidelines of the department and raids would be carried out from Thursday with the vehicles to be seized if they did not have a FC.
Every educational institution needs to renew the FCs for their buses from the RTA every year after inspection of the physical condition of the bus and before they transport students.
RTA goes easy with road safety programme ‘SAFAR’
The RTA, which was slated to take up ‘Safety Always For All Roads’ (SAFAR), an awareness programme on road safety before the reopening of schools, appears to have shelved the programme for the time being.
The programme, which was supposed to include multiple initiatives to generate awareness and sensitise people about safe road usage apart from enforcing road safety laws, was to involve parents, school bus drivers, road safety experts, cab drivers, auto drivers, RTC drivers and transport unions and take suggestions and feedback from them. The inputs, if useful, were to be implemented as well.
“This programme has to be carried out in all 31 districts of the State on a large scale for at least three days to one week. This year, they have not done it,” said Telangana Auto and Motor Welfare Union, General Secretary, M Dayanand.