Nearly 1,000 school van operators went on a flash strike on Monday protesting against the new traffic norm that they should not ferry more than nine students at a time.
Chaos was witnessed outside various schools, as parents made a beeline to drop their wards on the first day after the winter vacation.
The Traffic Police directive states that carrying children more than the permissible limit not only amounts to gross violation of rules, but also puts their lives in danger.
At present, nearly 1,000 vans are run by private players in Gurgaon. This is in addition to the buses that schools arrange to transport students.
Though a van can usually accommodate eight children, operators ferry up to 20, making a mockery of the law.
Irked at the move, scores of van drivers gathered outside the office of DCP (traffic) Bharti Arora and asked the administration to make people-friendly laws. They said the authorities should allow them to run vehicles with more than 12 children till the new session commences.
“Only a few van owners ferry 15-20 children at one time. The administration should be considerate and allow us to carry on with the practice till the commencement of the next session,” said a union member.
“At this time of the session, it will be bad on our part if we stop picking up children. The authorities should allow us to do this for the time being. We won’t ferry more than 10 students from the next session,” said Dimple Singh Nagra, a van driver.
The striking transporters also demanded that directives like commercial vehicle permit and driving licence should not be implemented with immediate effect. However, following assurance by the DCP (traffic), the van operators agreed to resume their services from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Bharti Arora, DCP (traffic) told HT, “We cannot put the lives of children at risk. They cannot ferry more students than the seating capacity of the van. These things have to be checked without delay. Still, we will give them time to complete the documents.”