Even as the Chandigarh education department has made it mandatory to have woman attendants on school buses in which girl students travel, the private transporters find the move ‘impractical’ and are contemplating to move court against the guideline.
The education department on Tuesday directed the school managements to not let girl students travel in buses that didn’t comply with the guidelines. Holding the school managements and transporters jointly responsible for the safety of students, the education secretary, UT, Saravjit Singh, has framed new guidelines, which would come into force from July 1. These guidelines will be applicable for call centres and coaching centres as well.
The guidelines have been framed, following a case, in which a five-year-old girl was allegedly molested by the conductor of a bus of Stepping Stones School, Sector 38.
Reinstating the directions of the apex court, the administration has emphasised on deputing a woman attendant in each bus ferrying students of schools, coaching centres, and workers of call centres. “Lady attendants in uniform, who are at least matriculate, physically fit and are carefully selected by the management of school, coaching centre or call centre and are paid minimum wage through account payee cheque or direct account transfer, will travel en-route on all school buses till the last girl has gotten off the bus,” the circular says.
The bus operators will also have to get the antecedent of bus staff, including the drivers and the conductors verified from police within two months.
Moreover, global positioning system (GPS) system will be installed in the buses. The transporters have also been directed to get CCTV cameras installed in the buses. “The system s hould have memory to record video clips of 30 days,” said Saravjit.
TRANSPORTERS MAY MOVE COURT
School transporters are reluctant to depute the woman attendants in buses. Talking to HT, Manjit Singh, president of the Chandigarh School Bus Operators’ Association, said they might file an appeal in the court against the said guideline.
“The demand is not practical. In case the lady attendant gets into an argument with the bus staff, she may level serious charges against them. We are ready to adhere to all other guidelines, but this demand is impractical,” said Manjit.
Manjit Singh said that the buses would ply on Wednesday. The police had booked Stepping Stones School principal Sanjiv Kumar and transporter Amrik Singh under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, on Monday.