The tragic death of 13 schoolchildren in Nakodar seems to have finally woken up the Punjab government to road safety issues in the state. The government on Wednesday promised to pass a Bill to provide road safety and prevent accidents. Attending the Bhog ceremony of the children at Mudhan and Talwandi Bhairon villages,PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Cabinet Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur on Wednesday gave an assurance that a Bill will be passed to check road accidents. They added that speed governors would be made mandatory while there will be routine checking of school vehicles.
An inquiry report into the incident on March 4,meanwhile,has held school authorities and the transport department responsible for the tragedy. Prepared by the Jalandhar SDM,the report states that the tempo,which was ferrying the schoolchildren,had only a tourist permit while Akal Academy,where the children had been studying,is not a recognised school.
The SDM notes that despite the bus having violated all Supreme Court norms for school buses,the transport department had not challaned it even once. The report adds that such accidents could be avoided if school buses are routinely checked. It also recommends action against the school management for ignoring all such guidelines and not producing the drivers licence. Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shruti Singh has sent the report to the education,transport and home departments in Chandigarh for further action.
On the other hand,Akal Takht Jathhedar Giani Gurbachan Singh also attended the bhog ceremony and said that an Akhand Path will be organised for the children at the Takht on March 18.