A day after hundreds of parents of kids studying at various private schools blocked 4S Chowk for seven hours; they blocked Bhandari Bridge, the life line of the city, accusing the state government of failing to address their demands.
The protest started at around 7am and continued till 3pm despite scorching heat and led to traffic jams and congestion in the city.
The protesters, including men, women and children, came forward in a large number.
The protesters, who took to streets a month back, held banners stating ‘no fee till low fee’ and ‘schools should stop annual, re-admission fee and transportation hikes’.
“The agitation will not end till the state government does not implement the 11-member panel, which comprises parents and was constituted by the district administration to resolve the fee row.
“Regulating fee is need of the hour. It is surprising the schools do not even respect administration’s orders. They are questioning how the deputy commissioner (DC) and district education officer (DEO) (secondary) could release orders,” said Sonia Sharma, a protester.
The officials from the district administration visited the site and pacified the parents. They said in a few days the regulatory committee would be formed and matter would be resolved.
Police on toes as city witnesses traffic jam
The city police were on their toes as the protest, which lasted for more than six hours at Bhandari bridge that is the life line of the city, resulting in congestion.
“Though it was a pre-planned and a peaceful protest, the police were ready to tackle any situation. The police also requested the parents to sit on roadside not in the centre of the road, but Bhandari Bridge being the life line of the city and protest lasting for nearly six hours, affected the traffic movement. The agitation caused congestion in the city and police had to work hard to get the jams cleared. Even the commutes had to face inconvenience. The police department is trying its best to take charge of the situation. We do not know the solution to the problem, but for the department it is getting difficult day-by-day as we have to make sure there is law and order in the city,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) City II Gaurav Garg.
Traffic police officials on duty, on condition of anonymity, said, “Even we are parents and we understand the parents’ demand is justified. The solution should come out soon as it is getting difficult for the local administration to handle the issue.”
Regulatory panel is the only solution: DC
The 11-member committee, which comprises parents and was constituted by the district administration to resolve the fee row, was formed by Amritsar DC Varun Roojam, who said, “There are a few that have not abided by the orders, but there are schools that have. The schools should look into the issue and make sure
there is law and order in the district as for maintaining it (law and order) we have to take strict steps.”
He added, “The fee hike issue can be resolved only when the regulatory committee is formed and implemented and hopefully it will happen soon. I am well aware about the parents protesting on the roads, but it completely depends on the regulatory body, which is the need of the hour.”