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From Monday, auto-rickshaws won’t ferry school kids in Doon

Complying with the high court’s orders, auto rickshaws ferrying school children in the state capital will stop doing so from Monday

dehradun Updated: Jul 29, 2018 22:05 IST
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Around 1,500 auto-rickshaws were transporting almost 12,000 children to schools in Dehradun.(HT File Photo)

Complying with the high court’s orders, auto rickshaws ferrying school children in the state capital will stop doing so from Monday. The decision was taken on Sunday at a union meeting of auto rickshaw drivers.

The high court, in its judgment on July 6 regarding safety measures of vehicles transporting school children in the state, said autos can no longer ferry students.

Following the ruling, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) started cracking down on autos carrying school children.

“Around 1,500 auto rickshaws transport almost 12,000 children to schools in Dehradun. But many auto drivers have been issued challans in the past week and their vehicles have also been seized. Not just that, RTO officials registered police complaints against three auto drivers,” president of auto rickshaw union Pankaj Arora said.

“We cannot function this way. We do not have the resources to keep paying challans or submitting bail money. We have no other option but to stop transporting school children altogether. We will inform their parents so that they can make alternate arrangements,” Arora said.

He said representatives of the union will meet additional transport commissioner Sunita Singh this week to find out if there is a way out.

In a separate meeting on Sunday, Uttarakhand school van association agreed to follow the norms laid out by the high court.

Sachin Gupta, president of Uttarakhand school van association, said, “Around 250-300 school van drivers attended the meeting and we all have agreed to follow the norms laid out by the high court. We have also drafted a compliance letter listing all the requirements that the school vans must follow in order to be registered member of the association.”

Gupta said the van owners will need time to implement some of the conditions listed by the RTO.

“We have been asked to install speed governors and grills on the windows. These things cannot happen overnight. Speed governors are not even available in the market right now. So we will meet RTO officials on Monday and ask them to give us some time to implement these things. If they start checking the vans from August 1, almost all the vehicles will get challans,” he said.

However, some members of the association are not happy with this.

“There are disagreements between members on the number of children to be transported per van and some other issues as well. But since the union is not paying attention to these factors, there is discontent among van owners. As a result, some of us will stop ferrying school children,” a member present at the meeting told HT on condition of anonymity.

There are over 400 school vans operating in the city.

First Published: Jul 29, 2018 22:05 IST