Despite special drives to control traffic and impounding of vehicles from outside schools in Ludhiana, there is no relief to city residents from traffic problem. Constant traffic jams near schools have become a menace and have been driving the residents up the wall. The problem is increasing over the time but the authorities have not been able to address the issue.
School vans, auto rickshaws and vehicles of parents, who come to pick and drop their children to school, cause a mess on the road. But, the major cause of traffic is mainly the vehicles parked by the students outside the school campuses.
Students park their vehicles outside the schools, often by encroaching upon the roads or the green belts around the school premises.
School students are allowed to park only their bicycles on the school premises and not any other two-wheelers or four-wheelers as students below the age of 18 do not possess driving licence.
However, the question remains that if the schools do not allow students to park their vehicles within the school campus, then why don't they keep a check on the vehicles of students parked around the school campus, encroaching roads and creating problems for others.
Principal of Guru Nanak Public School Mona Singh said, "My school has strength of over 5,000. As some students come from faraway places, where public transport facility is not so good, parents allow children to go to school on their vehicles."
She said, "Traffic is a problem across the city and not just outside the schools. The biggest reason for traffic issues in the city is the inefficient public transport system. If the government can set up a well-connected and efficient transportation system, I think, half of the traffic problems will be solved."
However, a resident of Shastri Nagar, said, "The schools should make it mandatory for the students to commute only via school buses. Their responsibility towards the students does not end even if the student steps out of the school."
"Just because the schools don't allow students to park their scooters and cars in the school, it does not mean that they can park them in front of the houses of the residents, who live nearby," another resident said.
Talking to Hindustan Times, MC enforcement wing superintendent Jasdev Sekhon said, "Parents of children begin to approach them if they impound vehicles of children instead of stopping their children from driving before they obtain a licence.
He said, "The traffic authorities or MC cannot do anything without the cooperation of parents and school authorities. The first responsibility lies with the parents and next with the schools to teach students follow the rules."
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP, traffic) Dr Richa Agnihotri said, "We have clearly directed the schools in a meeting as well as in writing to manage the traffic outside their schools on their own either by deputing the staff for this purpose. In fact principals of BCM, Sahstri Nagar and DAV, BRS Nagar came to discuss their plans with me. However, the principal of Sacred Heart Convent who was also asked to come with a plan did not turn up.
So, we are challaning the violators outside their school. We are also keeping a check on underage driving."