Seven students of Gokuldham High School, Goregaon, were injured, after a private mini-bus ferrying them to school overturned after colliding with another vehicle near Bangur Nagar on the Malad Link road on Thursday morning.
The incident took place around 6.30am, when the bus was dropping the secondary section students to the school. One of the students suffered a head injury and was admitted to the hospital, while the other six students suffered minor injuries, said the school authorities. “Children suffered bumps and bruises on their hands and legs,” said a school trustee. “Our staff rushed to the spot, but many parents had also reached the spot, so they took their children home.”
The trustee said the child who suffered a head injury was taken to the hospital by his parents. “We have not heard from his parents after that,” said the trustee. “None of the other students were seriously hurt.”
However, officials at the Bangur Nagar police station said the bus collided with a Qualis. “No one in the bus or the other vehicle got injured. The police have made a traffic accidental diary (TAD). No case has been registered,” said a police officer.
The school staff also brought back three students to the school to take tests. “Tests were going on, so the students were brought to the school,” said the trustee.
According to the school authorities, the mini-bus had not signed a contract with the school. “Parents had hired the bus on their own. It was not a school bus,” said the trustee.
Experts said incidents of private illegal vans or mini-buses plying students are on the rise, as the police are not enforcing school bus safety norms strictly. “Private van operators are given permits to ferry schoolchildren by the RTO, but they do not follow the safety norms,” said Anil Garg, president, school bus owners’ association. “According to the norms, only those vehicles that have entered into a safety contract with the school should ferry schoolchildren.”
The new bus safety norms, with norms for vans, have also not yet been released by the transport authorities. “We had demanded stricter norms for vans in the new rules,” said Garg.