Pune: In the backdrop of the incident in which a four-year-old girl was molested by a school bus attendant few months back, the Pune Regional Transport Office, along with the traffic and education department, held a seminar wherein they educated principals about the need to set up a bus committee in their respective schools.
After two cases of molestation in March, schools have been given time till June 30 to establish a bus committee. However, with less then a month to go, not a single school has yet approached the Pune RTO for its formation. Out of 2,200 schools, only 1,134 have had a bus committee from before. This school bus safety policy also applies to vans and minibuses used by kindergarten students.
There are 733 school-owned buses and 1,691 contract buses plying in the city as School Buses. There is not a single school bus that has a female attendant. The Pune RTO claims that they will start their special drive and take action against schools that do not have a female attendant on their bus.
Pune Regional Transport Officer, Jitendra Patil, said, “Schools have been given time up to June 30 but not a single school has come to produce documents for formation of school transport committee. If we find any school vehicles not abiding by the law then their permits will be cancelled for a month.”
Patil added, “By mid-June we will be launching a website where all details regarding the school bus safety norms will be uploaded along with the details of schools that have formed the bus committee. It will be an open forum for citizens where they can file their complaint and we will ensure that there complaints are addressed at the earliest.”
In the past one year, Pune RTO had taken action against 350 school transport buses, out of which permits of only 10 school buses were suspended and notice were issued to 51 schools as they were not abiding by the school safety norms.