The Punjab government has told the Punjab and Haryana high court that as many as 446 buses were found violating provisions of the ‘safe school Vahan scheme’ in July alone.
The drive was conducted on high court orders. Additional state transport commissioner Harmail Singh, in an affidavit, told the court that 113 buses were found violating speed governor provisions, 133 buses failed fitness norms and 22 were challaned for speeding.
The worrisome figure is of challans issued for not having valid driving licences. The court was told that in 137 cases drivers were without a valid driving licence. As many as 19 such challans were issued in Amritsar, 24 in Ferozepur and 18 in Gurdaspur.
The state has 15,306 buses with valid permits. During the drive, 208 buses were found without valid permits. Major violations were reported in Amritsar, Bathinda, Barnala and Patiala districts. The state government’s affidavit reveals that 141 buses were challaned for first-aid box violations, nine for not having hydraulic brakes and seven for not having CCTVs. As many as 70 buses were impounded during the drive.
Punjab’s counsel Rajinder Goyal also told the court that the government had issued directions to officers in districts to make provisions for giving basic life support training to school bus attendants through designated hospitals.
Transgenders as school bus attendants?
Transgenders in Punjab and Haryana and Chandigarh could soon get job as school bus attendants. During a hearing on Friday, the bench of justice Rajive Bhalla recorded a suggestion from one of the advocates that schools and transporters could consider engaging eunuchs as bus attendants.
The court, however, did not issue any specific directions in this regard. The court verbally told various counsels that authorities could consider incorporating the provisions in this regard in their policies. “We have stigmatised them and made them sub-humans,” the high court observed while referring to the condition of transgenders in the society.