TWO DAYS after taking up the matter of safety of school students with school authorities following the murder of a student in Gurgaon, the State Transport Authority (STA) has challaned four buses of a Chandigarh school after speed governors installed in the vehicles were found to be out of order on Wednesday. Of the four vehicles, three buses were impounded by the STA.
On Monday, STA conveyed to all the school managements in Chandigarh to follow the guidelines of Safe Transportation Policy for Students (STRAPS), which include the installation of speed governors in buses, providing information about bus drivers, conductors to the police.
Additional Secretary Rajiv Tewari told Chandigarh Newsline that they have been conducting surprise checks at one school daily. “We checked the buses of St Xavier’s School, Sector 44, today and speed governors were found disconnected. We will continue our checking,” he said. The additional scretary personally took a ride on the buses and asked the students about the conduct of the school driver and the conductor. “I also asked if there was a lady attendant on the bus everytime and about the conduct of the driver or conductor. The students did not have any complaints,” Tewari added.
Alarmed by the incident in Gurgaon where seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was murdered in the washroom of his school, the STA has also asked a list of drivers and conductors from the respective school authorities of which they would maintain an online data.
The list from all the schools would be submitted by Thursday in the STA. The authority has directed the schools to get all the drivers, conductors and attendants verified.
The STA team also challaned five autorickshaws and Tata Magic vehicles in which school students were found packed like sardines. In one autorickshaw, nine students were sitting while in a Tata Magic vehicle, over 12 students were found. “These Tata Magic vehicles are not authorised to pick up schoolchildren as there are certain guidelines for transporting students,” a senior officer told Chandigarh Newsline.