Nagpur: The issue of safety in school buses plying in Nagpur has been raised every now and then, only to take the things to ground zero everytime it is brought to the fore. However this time the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has adopted a rather tough stand. The court has issued directives to Regional Transport Office (RTO), Nagpur to make sure those school buses which have not complied with previous orders of safety of children, do not operate.
On Tuesday, the division bench comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Swapna Joshi also gave an ultimatum to 50 schools that had not yet submitted their affidavits in the matter, to do so before December 18.
Failing this, buses operating for these schools will be taken off roads. Regional transport Officer Sharad Jichkar was called before the court and was asked by the judges to take cognisance of the matter. The court provided Jichkar with a list of schools which did not respond to the court’s earlier orders to file affidavits regarding safety of schoolchildren on buses.
The schools who fail to adhere to court’s current orders will be required to pay Rs10,000, twice the earlier stipulated amount, to the court’s registry. Amicus curiae in the suo motu PIL, Firdos Mirza had earlier pointed out that buses operated by schools in the city failed to secure fitness certificates of the vehicles. Around 127 schools have been named as respondents in the matter. The next hearing will be held on December 20.