Lalbazar orders crackdown
Lalbazar has had to tell its officers to implement the law.
A day after a bus that did not have a fitness certificate crashed with schoolchildren having travelled recklessly for sometime on Monday, Lalbazar decided to crack down on such vehicles.
Sources in the police headquarters said senior officers had asked officers-in-charge of police stations to coordinate with the traffic police department to carry out the crackdown on school buses without fitness certificates.
Late on Monday, sources said, transport department had requested Lalbazar to step up the crackdown on errant school buses.
Preliminary investigations have revealed the tyres of the bus carrying children of Holy Child Institute, which met with an accident in Chitpore on Monday, were not fit to carry the load. There were cracks all over suggesting that the rubber was giving away.
The bus didn’t have a fitness certificate and the road tax was not up to date. A mechanical report of the vehicle would throw up more details, including whether the brakes were fully functional or not, officers said.
Sonu Halder, who was at the wheels of the bus on Monday, didn’t have a driving licence on him, investigators said. Sonu has been admitted to RG Kar Medical College following Monday’s accident and continued to remain under observation on Tuesday. Officers said they would question him only after doctors certified Sonu fit for interrogation.
If Tuesday’s order has to be implemented, police officers would have to physically stop school buses and run a check on the documents. Such an exercise, officers had told Metro earlier, often gets difficult because parents would often complain that their children were being made to wait unnecessarily.
“The instruction is aimed at reminding officers a task that they tend to overlook,” said a senior officer of Calcutta police.
Officers said if a vehicle was found plying without a fitness certificate, the vehicle would be impounded. The owner would be additionally slapped with a case under section 56 of the Motor Vehicles Act and the relevant penal provision would invite a fine up to Rs 5,000.
This is not the first time that Lalbazar has asked officers on the roads to check certificates of fitness of school buses. Some officers across traffic guards in south and eastern Calcutta said such instructions usually follow whenever there is an accident involving either a pool car or a school bus.
Primarily, police have learnt that Sonu hails from Gouribari in Ultadanga and had pitched in for the last two days in place of the original bus driver. Sources said the owner has refused to turn up so far despite several calls.
While records available with the transport department shows that Chandrani Rakshit owns the bus, a section of parents told police that Gautam Rakshit used to operate it.
Metro tried contacting Gautam throughout Tuesday but the calls didn’t reach.