In the last one year, 189 private school vans were prosecuted for the violation of permit conditions.
New Delhi: The deadly crash of a school bus on Thursday morning in Etah, UP, is a grim reminder of the pathetic conditions in which the school going children are ferried in the national capital. According to the data by the Delhi traffic police, the private school vans have been involved in around 3,000 cases of traffic violations, while the school buses have been prosecuted in 1,700 cases last year.
Officials said that most of these vehicles indulge in the violation of permit conditions including overcrowding, overspeeding and dangerous driving, not having necessary equipment (first aid box or fire extinguisher), and driving in drunken state. In the last one year, 189 private school vans were prosecuted for the violation of permit conditions, while 370 school buses were booked for the offence. “In case of permit violation, the minimum challan issued by the court is Rs 2,000,” a traffic police official said.
Such is the state of recklessness that a major crash of a school bus carrying 50 children was averted in the nick of time in the Burari area. Parents alleged that the bus was being driven by the conductor, who did not possess a valid licence to drive the heavy vehicle, as the driver was in an inebriated state. The parents said that the police only challaned the vehicle and the school was not held accountable.
According to the official figures, there are 32,153 maxi cabs out of which around 20,000 are not registered as school vans, clearly flouting the school cab guidelines. Apart from these, there are 17,821 buses (including 4,000 DTC buses) for ferrying school children in the national capital. Approximately 10 lakh children commute to schools in these cabs and buses.
Senior advocate and All-India Parents Association national president Ashok Aggarwal blamed the insensitivity of the police, administration, and also of the parents for the pitiable state in which the school going children are transported daily. “The city lacks a thorough mechanism to crackdown on the offenders and act strictly against them. As a result, thousands of school going children are at the mercy of the reckless drivers who indulge in rampant violations including rash driving, overspeeding, jumping traffic signals, driving in inebriated condition and driving in wrong lanes,” he said.
He asserted that the parents will have to be much more careful in choosing their wards’ mode of transport and that they should also immediately complain to the authorities if any violation by bus drivers come to their notice. “They should not act like mere spectators. The guilty should be immediately brought to book to prevent any untoward incident,” he added.