Parents and students can heave a sigh of relief as the School Bus Operators Association called off the strike they had earlier scheduled to begin on Monday, after meeting transport officials on Saturday.
Unhappy with certain safety clauses mentioned in the new school bus safety policy, the association, whose members operate around 3,000 school buses in the city, had announced a strike in April.
The association had objected to various changes they would have had to make to old buses, including placing a new staircase and poles within the body of the bus. They had also wanted the fire extinguisher to be moved to the front of the bus.
On Saturday, at the meeting with with bus operators, the state transport department promised to accept their demands.
“The commissioner was very kind and accepted some of our points,” said Anil Garg, president of the association.
“The new policy will be very good for everyone – bus operators, parents and schools,” he added.
While bus operators will have to follow the safety guidelines that have come in force, the education department is yet to inform schools of how they will have to participate in implementing the policy.
“The education department has to send out the circular informing schools about the policy, how to implement it, till it happens schools will not be able to implement it from their point of view,” said Indrani Malkani, member of the government committee that drew up the school bus safety policy.
The school’s responsibility will include acting as facilitators between operators and students, and drawing up the bus routes and bus fees, among other things.