Delhi govt to come up with fresh school cab policy by January
The move comes after an eight-year-old was killed in a school van accident in north Delhi earlier this week. The cab was plying without a permit as well as was ferrying above capacity, which are major violations.Updated: Dec 01, 2018 15:00 IST
The Delhi government plans to come up with a fresh policy to regulate the school transport system plying in the national capital by January 2019.
Transport officials said they have written to the education department asking them to collect data of students enrolled in all city schools including public-private and details of the transport used by them. They have requested for the data by December end.
“We have written to the education department to collect data of schools, students, owned buses, and hired cabs to assess the total demand and supply of such vehicles in the city. Similar data will also be asked from municipal corporation-run schools. Once the data is collated and studied, a fresh scheme will be formulated to grant permits for school cabs with additional incentives,” said, a senior Delhi government official.
The government’s transport department has already sent a proposal in this regard to transport minister Kailash Gahlot. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting on Thursday.
Sanjay Goel, director, Directorate of Education (DoE), said, “We are yet to receive an official communication in this regard. We will be ready to provide the data, as it will help regulate illegal vehicles ferrying school children.”
The move comes after an eight-year-old was killed in a school van accident in north Delhi earlier this week. The cab was plying without a permit as well as was ferrying above capacity, which are major violations.
Earlier this year, a seven-year-old was crushed to death while 17 others were injured in a similar accident. After this the government had announced it will bring changes to the existing School Cab Policy 2007, as it was “outdated”.
Following the incident, the transport department has formed 20 teams of five members each for a month-long drive to crackdown on illegally plying school vans. The drive will begin from Saturday.
According to data available with the department, at least 25,000 such illegal cabs are plying as school vans in the city putting the lives of thousands of children at risk. Most of these vehicles have only private licenses and are required to get school van permits to ferry school children, under which they will have to follow guidelines mandated for children safety.
Besides, the official said, the department will also invite applications from cab operators to apply for valid permits.
“The applications for this purpose may be called in next fortnight. It is expected that illegal operators may seek permit during this window to avoid impounding of their vehicles,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi traffic police have already started a crackdown on these vans. At least 1,511 school vans have been prosecuted over the last three days by the traffic police.
“We have roped in the education department to help get the basic data to formulate a fresh policy and bring all school cabs under the legal ambit. Once the data is received, it will take around a month to prepare the new policy,” said K K Dahiya, special commissioner (transport).
In 2017, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a meeting with Delhi Cabs Association, which was protesting against a crackdown on these vans, had given them time till January 2018 to get registered.