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Modern set to pull out old buses

Modern High School has decided to toe the green line drawn by Calcutta High Court and take five old buses off the road from August 1.

A notice circulated on Tuesday among girls taking the school bus stated: “... the school is required to implement the Calcutta High Court rule that commercial vehicles over 15 years should not be allowed to ply on the city roads, on and from August 1, 2009. Five of our buses will not be plying from this date.”

Metro has been highlighting the school’s attempt to seek exemption for its five old buses following a government notification to take them off the road from August 1.

The school had first approached the state environment department, which refused exemption stressing how old and polluting buses were affecting children the most. The school then moved high court, which said its old buses could ply only if they are converted to clean fuel (LPG) and all necessary clearances are obtained.

An official of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the central body approving transport vehicles, had then told Metro that Modern High’s fleet of diesel-driven buses cannot switch to LPG because such a conversion is not permitted under the Central Motor Vehicles Act.

So, converting an old bus from diesel to LPG and plying on the Calcutta roads from August 1 would be illegal.

Tuesday’s notice to the girls means that the school will not be pursing its plan to keep its old buses on the road.

“In response to requests from... parents, we have made alternative arrangements,” said the notice.

Modern High officials refused comment on Tuesday.

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