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Chokepoint ahead

The MCD might think asking schools to allow parents to park their vehicles inside the school premises is the best solution to end congestion and accidents. Swaha Sahoo reports.
By Swaha Sahoo | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2008 02:56 AM IST

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) might think asking schools to allow parents to park their vehicles inside the school premises is the best solution to end congestion and accidents. But schools across the city have vehemently opposed this move calling it impractical and unfeasible. Rather, they suggest car pools, more use of public and school transport and better traffic management as solutions.

“Allowing parents to park their cars inside the school premises is impossible because most schools do not have the luxury of so much space,” said Usha Ram, principal of Laxman Public School.

“For instance in my school, 26 school buses come inside the campus to drop children. Where will we have the space to allow parents to park?” asked Ram. “Moreover, we will not be able to regulate who comes in and this will hamper the security of the school,” she said.

In schools situated on major junctions the problem is escalated. “The road turnings and traffic movement is such school buses cannot go inside the campus. Moreover, we do our bit to manage the traffic since our employees help with traffic regulations daily,” said LV Sehgal, principal of Bal Bharti Public School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg.

Schools were for public utility and benefited the residents of the area, he said. “We follow a neighbourhood policy and its children from nearby areas come here. So residents need to cooperate with schools. Moreover, parents want that children should be picked and dropped at the doorstep. This is impossible,” said Sehgal.

At Pusa Road, which houses seven big schools, the problem is worsened with bad civic situation. “The road is constantly dug up and there is no footpath for children to walk on,” said Amita Wattal, principal of Springdales, Pusa Road. “We park all our staff cars and school buses inside the school premises. But the roadside is constantly full of private vans who park themselves or kabadis who set up illegal structures,” said Wattal.

She added schools have expanded with increasing population. “There are more cars on the road and more people but the school space remains the same. For an area where so many schools are located, the MCD can construct an underground parking,” she suggested.

Educationist and former principal of Mata Jai Kaur Public School, Ashok Vihar, Subhash Arora felt a single solution cannot be applied to all schools. “The space available to schools differs. While some have parking space inside, others have some space available on the outside,” said Arora.

He suggested varying the timing of schools in the same area. “A constable should also be kept on duty to manage traffic during these hours and parents should be educated on how to park cars,” Arora said.

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