Educational institution vehicle fitness tests pending in the district
Even as schools resumed full-fledged operations on Monday, physical fitness tests of hundreds of vehicles carrying students are still pending with the Kozhikode District Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). Only 25 vehicles have to date completed the mandatory screening measures for the resumption of school service by complying with the COVID-19 protocol.
Although there were several rounds of announcements by the MVD to present the vehicles for inspection, there was a cold response from the majority of private vehicle owners. Only a few educational institutions sent vehicles for the annual inspection to comply with safety guidelines.
Although all vehicles used for the student pick-and-drop service are expected to undergo the physical fitness test and secure clearance, COVID-19 related regulations in operating the service have discouraged operators from responding. positively to the call of the MVD. Many said they had stopped organizing school trips.
The impending renewal of the vehicle tax and the expense for periodic service would discourage many people from returning to service as usual after undergoing the strict health check. Many school vehicles that had been off the road for several months also have expensive maintenance needs to return to service, which will not be a viable option for many institutions.
“It will be difficult to comply with the MVD guidelines now, as many vehicles have been off-road for about two years. Even minor fitness issues will lead to unwanted complications and no operator will want to deal with them during this lean time,” said an elderly rickshaw driver from Elathur. He said many of his friends avoided school trips and focused only on local passengers.
As a temporary solution to the crisis, many schools have already asked parents to manage the transport of children themselves. The system is likely to be maintained as is throughout this academic year following non-cooperation from private vehicle owners.
According to sources from the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD), there were more than 300 school vehicles apart from contract cars that were in service in Kozhikode two years ago. However, the pandemic-induced crisis proved to affect the continuation of the service, they said.