Fit­ness pa­per is­sue: Bus, auto own­ers cry foul

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Kranti Vib­hute kranti. vib­hute@ dnain­dia. net

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.”

For rep­re­sen­ta­tion pur­pose only

RTO stopped is­su­ing fit­ness cer­tifi­cates two- three days ago

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