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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Implementing school bus policy not so simple, say principals

Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 29, 2013
First Published: 02:26 IST(29/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:27 IST(29/1/2013)

Implementing the school bus policy is not as simple as it seems on paper, especially coordinating the transport committee needed to monitor it, according to city principals who have been struggling to put it in place since it came into effect last year.

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Principals were speaking at a forum organised by the Tardeo regional transport office (RTO) on Monday to discuss the school bus safety policy. The workshop comes in the wake of an alleged molestation of a nursery student on a bus of a Juhu school 10 days ago.

Very few schools have, so far, set up transport committee required to implement the bus safety policy. The committee with representatives from the school, transport and education department and local police has to meet once in three months. It is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the safety policy is followed. Tardeo RTO authorities asked schools, on Monday, to set up transport committees immediately and hold their first meeting before the second week of February.

"We are ready to set up a committee, but we are unable to do so because not all officials are available at the same time and coordination is a problem," said Namrata Kulkarni, principal of VBM Modern High School near Grant Road.

Schools also discussed other issues at the meeting, which they have been trying to address but have not received any support. "Tomorrow if some incident happens everyone will pounce on the school," said Charu Nautiyal, principal, Dunne's Institute School in Colaba, that has been asking the civic body for a speed breaker and temporary parking spot for the school bus outside the campus for more than two years. "It is a minor issue but it has not been followed up. When there is an incident there is a hue and cry but when the school repeatedly asks for action, the government drags its feet."


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