School bus operators in Telangana halt services
Deccan Chronicle.| Sanjay Samuel Paul
Hit hard by Covid, school bus operators sell off their fleet
Apart from a few elite schools, those who were in the school bus transport business bore the brunt of the Covid-19 lockdown. (Representational image/DC)
Hyderabad: Though the Coronavirus has been lying low for quite some time now, the impact it created during its two vicious waves is still haunting several sectors, including school transport.
Hundreds of private buses attached to schools to transport their students are now unavailable for service as most of the bus operators either sold their vehicles due to financial crunch caused by the pandemic, or unwilling to resume services because of the huge fuel and maintenance cost.
Even the schools which have their own buses are said to be in two minds over resuming bus services.
Apart from a few elite schools, those who were in the school bus transport business bore the brunt of the Covid-19 lockdown. Most of the travel agents went bankrupt in the two years of lockdown. Most of them sold their buses operated for schools.
"More than 20 buses, which were attached to schools and colleges, were lying still in the parking lots. Paying the maintenance cost as well as the salaries of drivers and cleaners, I waited for a year, but there was no hope, so I sold all of them," said Akbar Ali Khan of Metro Travels.
"Bad times started for school bus services even before the lockdown, when the prices of the diesel started rising as well the taxes on the vehicles increased," he added.
M.S. Prasad, correspondent of Bright High School, Srinagar Colony, said, "The school used to have our own buses, but during the Covid-19 lockdown, we sold several buses. Now we are not sure whether to buy new buses to start this facility again or not. As of now, there are no enquires related to transport from the parents. If there is good demand, we will resume the bus services for
R. Satyanandam, special officer for St George's Grammar School, said, "The institutions’ eight buses are functioning. These buses are incurring Losses as diesel prices have gone up and taxes are high. Even then, the management is firm in providing the bus facility to the students."