The School Bus Owners Association on Monday assured the Bombay High Court that it will not strike work to press its demands in its ongoing dispute with the state government over implementation of safety norms.
Accepting the statement,the court directed the state transport department to give the association a hearing before arriving at any decision pertaining to the norms.
Last week,NGO Forum for Fairness in Education had moved the court demanding that the state government should strictly implement safety norms as stipulated in its notification issued in March last year. The petition had also demanded that the association should withdraw its indefinite strike on Friday morning. The strike was later withdrawn pursuant to a notice from the court and a state government warning to the effect that it will not consider their demands unless they call off their strike.
In its petition,filed through lawyer Aniket Nikam,the NGO stated,Unfortunately,the rules (mentioned in the notification) have not been implemented in spirit and hence many incidents involving students travelling in the school buses have taken place.
During the hearing,the state government told the court that it had formed a technical committee after the association expressed its opposition and that the committee had recently submitted its report. Appearing for the SBOA,lawyer V P Patil said they have objections to certain points in the report,citing a provision making it compulsory for poles to be set up at the entrance of the buses.
He claimed that their opinion was not sought while drafting the report,a suggestion which was denied by assistant government pleader G W Mattos.
The court,while disposing of the petition,has directed the state government to consider their concerns before arriving at a decision.