A major harassment is in store for hundreds of students studying in private schools across the city on Thursday as a majority of the private buses deployed to ferry them to school have been diverted to pick party supporters for the chief minister’s ‘Pani Bachao, Punjab Bachao’ rally to be held at Killi Chahal village in Moga.
A number of students who are appearing in exams are thus left stranded and will have to look for an alternate transport arrangement. Sources confirmed that around 800 private buses from the district are deployed for the rally. As a result, a number of private schools have asked the parents to pick and drop their children.
A parent requesting anonymity said, “The school bus driver informed us that following school orders we have to pick and drop our wards as the private buses are off road on Thursday. This is sheer harassment as only last week, a holiday was declared due to a state-level function to be held in Amritsar for which 500 buses from here were sent. Some private schools still remained open but the buses did not pick any students on that day.” Jaswinder Kaur, principal of DAV Public School said that as per the message received from deputy commissioner and district transport officer and an email from education department, the private buses of the schools are deployed on duty for chief minister’s rally. “A holiday has been declared for the kindergarten classes, but the schools will remain open for students from class 1”, she said. Kaur added, “I understand it is difficult for the parents but we have asked them to pick and drop their children on Thursday.”
When confronted district transport officer, Lovjeet Kalsi, said that she has not sent any notification to the schools. She stated, “I don’t know the exact number of buses deployed from the district for the rally, neither I am aware that whether school buses are involved in it or not. No orders have been issued to schools from my side.”
“In this rally many political leaders from the district are themselves arranging the buses and many of them run private transport companies. Maybe they have arranged the private buses of the schools for the rally”, she added.
On December 1 around 500 private school buses and vans were deployed for a state-level function at Amritsar and students of classes 1 to 12 were asked to arrange their conveyance.