Unsafe drivers on road unworthy auto-rickshaws ferry schoolchildren through crowded streets of this city.
For money, they'll pack even 30 children in vehicles meant for three or six. To adjust more seats, they take liberty with rules and the original design of the vehicle.
Auto-rickshaws with extended chassis are common on Faridkot roads. Wooden planks are fitted inside to make extra seats. "If I ferry only the permitted number of passengers, how will I earn?" said an auto-rickshaw driver. Asked what about the safety of children, he just frowned.
Deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat has issued clear instructions to the operators about the safe transport of schoolchildren. In spite of this, children are put on board auto-rickshaws, vans, and small trucks meant to carry only goods.
Only a few good schools have roadworthy fleet and trained drivers who respect traffic rules. Most institutions don't even have parking space, and the municipal authorities have failed to create any.