Mumbai: Frustrated with fines, school bus operators to go on strike in January

Mumbai: Frustrated with fines, school bus operators to go on strike in January

This comes against the backdrop of 950 school buses being fined by traffic police in November in Mumbai.

Alok ParekhUpdated: Friday, December 23, 2022, 04:51 PM IST
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Mumbai: Frustrated with fines, school bus operators to go on strike |

Mumbai: School bus operators have threatened to go on strike in January if the police keeps sending e-challans for halting while picking up students from their homes or while dropping them back.

This comes against the backdrop of 950 school buses being fined by traffic police in November in Mumbai. Traffic police, however, said the pick-ups and drops are at ‘wrong’ places and cause traffic problems.

The e-challan attracts a fine of Rs1,500, said Shahid Shaikh, Joint Treasurer, Mumbai Bus Malak Sangathan (MBMS) and that is huge if the same bus or route is fined over and over again.

The ‘harassment’ has gone on for a while now and if this does not abate by next week, striking work may be the only option, MBMS said.
“If this practice of fining us for halting to drop and pick up students doesn’t stop, we’ll be forced to stop providing services in the city from January 1, 2023, and students will have a hard time in travelling,” said Anil Garg, President, School Bus Owners Association, Maharashtra.

“A school bus from Mumbai’s CNM School was fined in Andheri earlier this week when it stopped to drop students and a fine of Rs1,500 was levied. The bus owner received an e-challan which mentioned the offence as “causing danger/obstructions or undue inconvenience to other users of public place or to the passengers by allowing the vehicle to be abandoned or to remain at rest on any public place. (Sec 122/177 MVA),” Garg said.
Later that day, another school bus of CNM School was fined Rs1,500 for the same offence at Vile Parle’s Irla bridge.

“The only reason we don’t halt in the first lane is that either the roads are dug or the space is occupied by street hawkers,” Garg said, adding that the traffic authorities must understand the situation.

Kavita Sanghvi, Principal, CNM School, said that, because of heavy traffic, bus drivers often find it difficult to enter the school premises on time. “To ensure that students do not reach school late, the drivers halt as close to the school as they can and allow students to alight. This is something that the authorities must understand. Just fining school buses isn’t a solution,” said the principal.

Traffic authorities clarified that not a single fine imposed on the school buses was unnecessary.

The bus owners said that their previous communication to the authorities about the situation have not been responded to and thus they have sent another email two days ago, hoping for a resolution.

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