Even as deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat banned the overloading of school vans and auto-rickshaws ferrying students in a fresh order issued on Wednesday, the problem of overloading continues with schools paying scant regard to the problem.
Though DC's order will remain in force till October 31, vehicle operators hardly seemed to be concerned about the order, as many overloaded school buses could be seen plying on various roads right under the nose of traffic police on Wednesday.
Students in various schools across the city commute by mini vans, buses and auto-rickshaws, - a majority of which do not belong to the schools.
Though the authorities at various schools claimed that all possible efforts were being made to deal with the problem of overloading, parents of the children commuting by school vans rued that their wards were still packed like sardines.
Schools having own buses claim that the number of buses have been increased in view of increasing number of students commuting by school vans, but the problem of overloading persists as more and more students want to take up school bus.
As per the DM's orders, no school van or auto-rickshaw driver be allowed to ferry students beyond the actual capacity of the vehicle, as overloading causes traffic problems and is detrimental to the safety of the students.
The traffic police and the district transport officer have been directed to take steps to deal with the problem.
However, all that traffic police officials had to say in this regard was they had been issuing 'challans' to van drivers found guilty of overloading, even as the officials at the DTO office claimed to be too overburdened by work to deal with the problem.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-traffic) Shailendra Singh Shally said traffic police regularly issued challans to drivers of school buses found lacking the required documents and indulging in rash driving.
"We are doing our best to deal with the problem by sensitising drivers as well as students and parents about the ravages of overloading, speeding and breaking other traffic rules,"he said.
Not only are these school buses are overloaded, but outdated too. The buses lack fire-fighting and first-aid kits. The drivers in most cases also lack the requisite documents such as registration certificates and licence, with a majority of them being inexperienced and totally ignorant of the traffic rules.