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Need committees to check school buses: PTA forum after high court order

By Ankita Bhatkhande, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON NOV 29, 2019 01:04 AM IST

Days after the Bombay high court asked parent teacher associations (PTA) to conduct independent drives to ensure that school buses adhere to norms and illegal vans and auto-rickshaws do not ply schoolchildren, the PTAs have said that collective action by all stakeholders, including schools and police, will be required.

The high court had, while hearing a petition filed by PTA United Forum raising concerns about the violation of safety rules under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules, said that PTAs should conduct independent exercises to ensure vehicles that transport schoolchildren do not violate the rules.

Arundhati Chavan, president of the PTA United Forum, said the forum will now write to authorities requesting them to form a committee with stakeholders, including parents and the government.

“While parents can create awareness and alert authorities, they have no enforcement powers. If authorities including the regional transport office (RTO) and traffic police work hand in hand with parents, it would act as a good deterrent to these illegal vehicles,” added Chavan.

As part of their oral observation, the bench comprising justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and justice Riyaz Chagla had stated that while the state government would have a continuous drive for this purpose, PTAs must also conduct their own drives.

The forum also said that social media should be used to create awareness over the issue.

Anil Garg, president of School Bus Owners’ Association, said while they flag numerous cases, strong action is the need of the hour.

“Hundreds of illegal vans are plying students to school every day. Whenever we see such vans and auto-rickshaws, we immediately alert the authorities,” added Garg.

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