If you think that your children are safe while travelling in the school buses in Ludhiana, think again. Despite issuing 274 challans to the school buses till now it turns out to be a futile exercise as they keep flouting the safety norms. Out of 274 challans, District Transport Officer (DTO) issued 167 and traffic police issued 107 challans till October 31 but the operators of school buses, vans and auto-rickshaws continue to throw every word of caution to the wind by indulging in reckless driving, speeding and overtaking from the wrong side.
The district transport officer had carried out an extensive drive in last two years wherein the school van operators and the bus drivers were repeatedly asked to abide by the Supreme Court guidelines so as to ensure safety of schoolchildren. However, some drivers complied with the norms whereas a large number of drivers continue to violate the same.
The then DTO Anil Kumar Garg had initiated the drive with the help of traffic wing of the police commissionerate wherein the van/bus operators who had failed to complete their paperwork followed by other guidelines including the colour code, name of the school, the telephone numbers and qualified attendants were slapped with challans. Also, the buses and vans were impounded which had caused furour to an extent that the operators went on an indefinite strike.
Also, a large number of obsolete autos are operating for various schools which further endangers the lives of the children but the district transport office or the traffic police has failed to check the menace.
As many as three students were injured when an autorickshaw ferrying students of the government school, PAU, met with an accident in August 2014. The auto-rickshaw had collided with the bus belonged to the Bhaddal Institute. A total of six students were inside the vehicle. The rickshaw collided with a bus near Kitchlu nagar and three students suffered injuries including a fracture.
A close look outside the schools in the morning and afternoon when the schools get over gives an insight into the ‘casual attitude’ of the school authorities.
Ritika Sharma, a parent, said, “We have given numerous complaints of the school bus driver, who doesn’t drive carefully, to the school authorities but everytime we get the reply that he has been warned. It will be best for the district transport authorities to conduct surprise checks during the morning school hours,”she added.