The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Chandigarh administration to explore the possibility of making changes in the “Safe School Vahan Policy” by deploying woman attendants on school buses.
The UT administration has also been directed to explore the possibility to have mandatory provisions of hydraulic doors in these buses to ensure safety of schoolchildren.
During the resumed hearing of traffic-related issues of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the high court was concerned over the violations of safety norms by the schools. When apprised about the molestation of a five-year-old girl by a school bus conductor, the high court expressed concern over such incidents and observed that it was duty of the institutions to ensure safe transportation of schoolchildren and schools could not shirk their responsibility.
On May 12, a complaint was lodged at the Sector 39 police station alleging that a five-year-old girl student of Stepping Stones School, Sector 38, was molested by the school bus conductor.
The high court also indicated that it could appoint an intervenor to check compliance of safety norms by schools as had been done in the case of Punjab.
The HC stated that the provisions of appointing woman attendants should be looked into by the authorities as it would improve safety of schoolchildren. But at the same time, issues of their dues and safety should be taken into consideration by authorities before taking a final decision. The UT’s response has been sought by next week.
A team of the education department on Friday visited Stepping Stones Senior Secondary School to record statements of the principal besides six children who were travelling on the bus on which a five-year-old girl student was sexually assaulted by the conductor. The statements of the bus driver, the contractor and family members of the victim were also recorded. An official said they would submit the report to the director public instructions (school) by Saturday.
STA challans bus
State transport authority (STA) officials conducted a surprise check on Stepping Stones school buses. The bus in which the five-year-old girl was allegedly molested was challaned for not having the school bus sign on the front.