To ensure the safety of children while in transport, deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha has ordered all schools in the district to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on school buses within a month. The DC has also ordered schools to deploy lady attendant for the safety of school girls.
"Buses bearing the registration number of states other than Punjab must take a Punjab state permit from the transport department and get their numbers transferred to Punjab," the order says.
He added that it was the duty of the school to regularly maintain school buses and all of them should be painted yellow. Other facilities that the order lists as must for the vehicles are hydraulic doors, a first-aid kit, speed governor and fire extinguishers.
"CCTC cameras and women attendant must be aboard all school buses within a month. No laxity would be tolerated," the DC added. Schools, however, remain cautious while commenting on the order.
Khattra Modren Senior Secondary School chairman Amarjit Singh Khattra said, "The initiative is good. However, before making such provisions the government should also consider the economical condition of school. Installing CCTVs will prove to be an unaffordable task as we already a lot of money as taxes on school buses in the form of insurance, permits and other taxes. If government authorities want schools to install CCTVs, we need financial assistance."
Helpline against drugs
The DC claimed that in addition to the directive on CCTVs for schools, the administration has also asked college authorities to constitute anti-ragging committees in their respective colleges, so that freshers are not harassed.
"We have launched helpline numbers where people can lodge complaints in case they are aware of drugs being available in an educational institute. Villages have been assigned their unique helpline numbers. The identity of the informer would be kept a secret."
Anti-drug helpline numbers
Fatehgarh Sahib: 8558818185
Mandi Gobindgarh: 8558818192
Bassi Pathana: 8558818189
Badali Ala Singh: 8558818188
Kheri Naudh Singh: 8558818191