The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to file a report on the next date of hearing, April 24, about the nature of violation of school safety norms in different districts and the action taken by the authorities in this regard. The directions came during a resumed hearing on the issue of traffic violations in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, by the bench of justice Rajive Bhalla.
The court also issued notices to four Ludhiana schools for allegedly violating the ‘Safe school van policy’ of the state government.
In February, the HC had given six weeks to Punjab and Haryana to ensure that children were not transported in buses that do not have a school bus permit and fail to comply with the norms framed by the states under the “Safe School Vahan Policy”.
Both the states had been directed to file reports of nature of violations reported during checking of such vehicles and action taken by authorities. Both the states filed reports during the hearing. However, as Punjab could not file reports pertaining to all its districts, the HC asked it to get a report from all remaining districts by April 24, the next date of hearing.
Reports pertaining to Amritsar, Bathinda and some other districts were filed on Friday. However, the court was not satisfied with the reports and observed that these were incomplete and details about the number of buses plying in these districts had been underreported.
Five court commissioners to examine illegal hoardings
The high court also appointed five court commissioners to examine the violation of law in the installation of illegal hoardings in various cities and along the state and national highways in urban local bodies of Patiala, Phagwara, Bhatinda, Moga and Hoshiarpur. The reports would be submitted by the next date of hearing on April 24.
The HC has also sought replies from Amritsar, Pathankot, Ludhiana and Jalandhar urban local bodies on reports of installations of illegal hoardings in their areas of jurisdiction, going by the reports submitted by court-appointed commissioners in February.