CD Barfiwala High School, where a Class 6 student died after being run over by his school bus on Wednesday, had written to the traffic police authorities at Andheri (West) in November last year to deploy a traffic constable to monitor traffic outside the school. The request had been turned down.
“The school runs morning and afternoon shifts and we have more than 3,500 students coming into the school and leaving the premises at the same time. The school is located in a heavy traffic area and to manage the chaotic situation, we requested the RTO to deploy a traffic constable,” said Bharat Valia, trustee of the school. The Andheri school had written the letter (a copy of which is with HT) to the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
On January 31, the traffic police replied to the school saying DN Nagar, the area where the school is located, had around 150 schools and it was not possible to deploy a constable outside every school. The letter stated that the school should deploy a traffic warden or a PT teacher outside the school during heavy traffic.
Principals want traffic authorities to be a little more empathetic to their needs to ensure the safety of the children using school buses.
A few other city schools, too, have written to the traffic police but have not got a positive response. In April, Podar International School at Santacruz, wrote to the traffic police at Bandra requesting them to deploy five police constables at four junctions near the school. “The constables do not need to be at the school all day, only when children leave or enter the school. It is a matter of just an hour. We have got one constable near our school, but that is not enough,” said Vandana Lulla, principal of the school.
Principal Abha Dharam Pal of Utpal Sanghvi School at Juhu has written to the traffic department several times, but has not received any reply. “We are even prepared to pay the traffic constables,” Pal said.
Schools are worried about the rise in the number of school bus accidents. “This has become a serious issue. We will hold a meeting with parents and the traffic department,” said Deepshikha Shrivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.