School vehicles skip check-ups in Kozhikode

Only 25 vehicles have so far secured the mandatory fitness certificate ahead of school reopening

Despite frequent reminders from the authorities, only 25 educational institution vehicles have so far secured the mandatory fitness certificate from the Kozhikode Regional Transport Office (RTO) to conduct services in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol after school reopening.

On Saturday, no vehicle was brought to the Chevayur testing ground for checking, though officials were present at the spot with all arrangements in place.

According to Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) officials, there were over 300 educational institution vehicles, apart from contract carriages, which were in service in Kozhikode two years ago. However, the pandemic crisis affected the continuation of the services, they said.

An Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector said the school managements’ decision to seek the support of parents to personally manage pick and drop services was the main reason for laxity in presenting educational institution vehicles for fitness check-up. The stringent COVID-19 protocol, which insists on limited number of passengers in vehicles, is also cited as another reason for cold-shouldering fitness check-up, he added.

Similarly, owners of contract carriages are reluctant to present their vehicles for the annual fitness inspection ahead of school reopening. According to them, daily services in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol is hardly a viable option.

MVD officials said the usual pre-monsoon check-up of educational institution vehicles was also not done in 2021 owing to the closure of schools following the COVID-19 outbreak. The practice was to issue ‘Checked’ stickers to all screened vehicles, they pointed out.

Meanwhile, representatives of some school managements said the condition of their vehicles was unsatisfactory, as they were not in use for months. Repairing them is expensive, which is not a feasible option at present, they claimed.

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