Parents have no hope to get rid of the mafia of private school van operators as neither the police nor the school managements seem concerned about the safety of the children travelling in these vehicles.
Schools do not buy adequate number of buses because of high capital cost. A 40-seater bus costs nearly Rs 14 lakh. Besides, the school authorities will have to take care of the maintenance of the vehicle, appointment of trained driver, conductor, payment of tax, and many other expenses.
According to some school managements, they want all their students to opt for school buses as the mode of transport but they cannot compel parents. But many parents feel that the schools are compelling them because they get some share of profit in transportation. However, those parents who want pick and drop facility from their home prefer private vans.
According to school authorities, buses cannot go into narrow lanes. Children are generally picked up from designated points.
“Providing transport facility to children is a non-profitable proposition for any school. We have two schools. At the Sector 10 campus, we have seven buses, while in Sector 45, we have ten. But when I ask the parents to use school transport, they feel that I have some hidden motive. So, I cannot compel them. It is certainly their choice,” Satyavir Yadav, director of Euro International School, said.
He said most of the schools are ready to procure more number of vehicles “but it is the parents who prefer private vans, which are certainly threats to school going children”.
Yadav added, “Moreover these van operators exploit the parents too but the school does not have any role to play in this.”
According to police, the department’s role is over once the vans carrying more than nine children are fined.