Even after a horrific bus accident in Etah district that left several children dead and stern guidelines issued by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) over safety norms in school buses in the wake of the incident, district schools are still flouting norms when it comes to ferrying schoolchildren to and from school.
Greater Noida Police on Friday seized a white private bus that was being used by Cambridge School for transportation of schoolchildren.
“No school can run a bus that doesn’t have yellow colour, as it marks a violation of the rules laid down for school buses. We impounded this white private bus while checking vehicles in the morning at Pari Chowk. We have seized the bus and registered a case under Section 207 of the Indian Penal Code section 207,” Manish Sharma, station house officer, Knowledge Park police station, said.
On January 19, a school bus in Etah district of Aligarh met with a horrific accident. As many as 12 children and the driver were killed.The bus had collided head-on with a sand-laden truck on a foggy morning.
Post the incident, the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) issued a set of guidelines to schools across India for ensuring safety of children in school buses. In a circular issued by deputy secretary of CBSE, K Srinivasan, all schools were asked to install Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, CCTV cameras, first-aid boxes and speed governors in their buses. They also asked for the buses to be painted in yellow with provision of horizontal grills in windows and displaying all details regarding the driver and conductor.
However, schools in Noida and Greater Noida refused to pay heed to the guidelines issued by CBSE and the district administration, as private vans and unauthorised minibuses were hired to ferry schoolchildren. Crammed with students, these vehicles continue to ply with abandon.
Even Noida and Greater Noida police launched a crackdown on the school buses that did not comply with the norms. In February alone, the police fined at least six private vehicles that were found to be flouting the safety norms.
“Post the accident in Etah, we had stepped up checking to ensure the school buses adhere to the safety regulations. Many buses were found to boarding students beyond capacity and many did not ave necessary papers and documents to operate. We will continue our crackdown,” said SHO Sharma.
The city magistrate Ramanuj Singh said that he will soon arrange a meeting with the police officers to ensure such incidents are not repeated in future.
“Flouting safety norms in school buses is a serious matter and we will soon hold talks with the police to find a solution to this problem,” Singh said.
Despite repeated attempts, the authorities at Cambridge School couldn’t be reached for comments.