Fitness paper issue: Bus, auto owners cry foul
After the Regional Transport Office stopped issuing fitness certificates to school buses and vans a few days ago, as the matter is being heard in the Bombay High Court, the School Bus Owners Association ( SBOA) has expressed grave concerns.
The association members fear the bus owners won’t be able to claim insurance in case of any untoward incident now, as the insurance companies first check the fitness certificate. SBOA chairman Anil Garg said, “We are in a big trouble. While we are making rounds of the RTO offices to get fitness certificates, they are fining us. And all because of the ongoing case in HC.”
According to the SBOA, as many as 7,000 school buses and vans are waiting for their fitness certificates from the RTO.
Niyaz Ahmed, a bus owner, said, “What if anything happens to the bus tomorrow? How are we going to get claims from insurance companies? All the bus owners are in a dilemma now. We have been told that the court has asked the RTO to do a proper checking of the vehicles before issuing fitness certificates.”
Bit it’s not just the buses that are in trouble. The autorickshaw union is struggling as well.
Thampy Kurian, general secretary of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union, said, “School bus owners are affluent people. Their drivers and cleaners will get salaries even if the fitness certificates come late. But rickshaw drivers will not be able to afford this. Daily, 200- 250 rickshaws get fitness renewal or get registered at the RTO. On Friday, our union members met additional chief secretary of the transport department. We have now decided to be a party to this court matter, and our advocate will be present in the court, so that we can get relief as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, state joint transport commissioner SB Sahasrabuddhe said, “The RTO has stopped issuing fitness certificates to buses and vans since the last two to three days. The HC hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Monday. The further course of action will be decided upon after that.”
RTO stopped issuing fitness certificates two- three days ago