DESPITE THE directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to implement the policy formulated to monitor the functioning of school buses, the UT administration and Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) has failed to ensure the implementation of Safe Transportation Policy for Students (STRAPS). However, the issue is being taken up seriously after a school bus rammed into a stationary truck and injured two children recently.
Education secretary K K Jindal chaired a meeting Thursday to take up the issue of school buses but it is yet to devise measures for implementation of the STRAPS policy. Education secretary KK Jindal said, “In the recent accident, the bus did not have speed governor (mandatory under the STRAPS policy) and the driver was driving rashly.”
He further added, “We plan to devise a policy to registered the transport agencies which are running the school buses with the administration. I will have to go through the rule book and then we will finalise the policy.
The CCPCR has also decided to hold a meeting with principals of all schools and the state transport authority (STA) on the implementation of STRAPS on July 12.
In a decision passed by the CCPCR Thursday it has directed Mount Carmel School to give a compensation of Rs 25,000 to victims Satvik and Arjun Singh Brar. The child rights panel has also directed the school management to pay the cost for treatment of the two children along with a compensation of Rs 50,000.
The CCPCR has also decided to hold a meeting with education department and state transport authority to take report from them regarding passive attitude of the schools towards transportation policy.
On the implementation of the STRAPS policy, additional secretary STA Rajiv Tewari says, “We have been conducting inspections of different school buses since January this year. We conducted the inspection of schools buses of 30 schools, including Delhi Public School, Vivek High School, Ryan School, Bhavan Vidyalaya, Auribindo School. We challaned the buses which did not have speed governor, fire extinguisher and emergency door.”
It was also revealed in the meeting that the UT police had chalalned 162 buses from January to March this year and 25 buses were impounded. The meeting was attended by DSP Traffic, Director School Education as well.
President of the Parents Association, Nitin Goyal, said, “In the wake of recent school bus accidents, my suggestion is that besides strictly implementing the policy, the schools should also have transport committees to negotiate and deal with transport contractors and bus staff. These committees must also have parent representatives on board. this will ensure greater transparency and better safety of the children besides more economical transport.”
On Thursday, the STA challaned 16 school buses and autorickshaws (which were overloaded) plying schoolchildren.