Out of 86 private schools in city, only 23 had submitted details of vehicles used by kids for travel, to the district transport department till Thursday. The last date to submit the information is December 5.
Distruct transport officer Anil Kumar Garg said, "To ensure safety of school kids travelling via school buses and vans, we held a review meeting to discuss the Safe School Vahan Scheme on November 25 at Bachat Bhawa in which various private school principals were invited. They were directed to provide data of the number of students who travel by school-owned vehicles as well as privately-owned vehicles. The authorities were also guided about how school bus drivers must have a driving license and registration certificate (RC)."
Further, schools were guided to inform the respective bus and van drivers to abide the Supreme Court guidelines and Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. "We need cooperation from all the institutes to make the Safe School Vahan Scheme successful," Garg added.
He said having received the required information from less than 25 schools, the transport office sent repetitive reminders to remaining schools to send the details by Friday.
It is pertinent to mention here that most of the private schools in Ludhiana did not provide transport facility to their students. This , in turn, forced them to travel by private-owned buses and vans.
Several school buses and vans continue to violate the Supreme Court guidelines as buses are not painted yellow, lack of fire safety extinguishers, overloading, etc.
A worried parent, Subhash Gulati, said, "When schools can provide education than why not basic transport facility to their students as well! My son studies in a private school and travels by a private van daily. Most of the buses and vans are overloaded, which can prove to be dangerous for the children. I think the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education(ICSE)must make it mandatory for every school to provide transport facility otherwise they will not get affiliation."
Supreme Court Guidelines
School buses must be painted yellow, 'School Bus' must be written on the back and in front of the bus. If it is a hired bus, "On School Duty" should be clearly indicated on it. Buses must have a first-aid box. They should be fitted with speed governor and the windows should be fitted with horizontal grills.
They must also have a fire extinguisher. In addition to that, the name of the school and the telephone number must be written on the bus. Doors of the bus should be fitted with reliable locks. There must be a qualified attendant in the bus to attend to the children.A parent, guardian or teacher may travel along with students to ensure these safety norms.
Bus driver should have at least five years of experience of driving heavy vehicles. A driver who has been challaned more than twice in a year for offences like red light jumping, violation of lane discipline or allowing unauthorised person to driver cannot be employed and a driver who has been challaned even once for the offence of speeding, drunken driving cannot be employed.