With just a few days left for the new academic year to begin, school managements are rushing buses to the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) for fitness certification, which is mandatory to transport schoolchildren. Telangana has 23,829 school buses. The highest number of buses — 5,733 — is in Rangareddy district, followed by Medchal-Malkajgiri district with 5,610. Hyderabad district has 1,290 school buses.

According to sources, several buses lacked fire extinguishers, specifically dry powder extinguishers near the engine compartment. Several buses have jammed emergency exits, poorly maintained first aid boxes, and malfunctioning hand brakes. The Motor Vehicle Act Rule No. 186 states that

buses belonging to educational institution must comply with the required safety norms for transporting children. 

Joint transport commissioner and secretary C. Ramesh said, “In Hyderabad, 600 buses have completed their fitness checks. Before the beginning of the school year, we expect all the buses to get their fitness certification. Along with a driver, an attendant is mandatory on these buses.” He explained, “There is around a five per cent increase in school buses each year. Moreover, most of these buses are well-maintained, especially those from a few international schools that have cameras and GPS systems installed.”

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