Transportation of school children fraught with dangers in Srinagar

Wahid Bhat

Srinagar, May 17: The transportation ferry children to and fro from their respective top private schools in Srinagar district are fraught with great dangers but the authorities seem unmoved.
Though there is a clear direction from the education ministry that a particular ‘type’ and model buses only, painted yellow and supporting all measures as per the guidelines should be used for ferrying children, however contrarily it is opposite in some top most private schools in Srinagar.
Magic Tempo, Ecco and Tata 407 vehicles are hired by the private institutions to pick and drop the school children, which is an open violation of the norms and exposed the children to all traffic perils.
Talking to a news agency a group of parents said, “We cannot list grievance with the school authorities as they will either take our wards to task or find excuse asking us to take the discharge certificate. Government schools are not that well equipped to disseminate quality education and hence we have to remain contended only”.
They alleged that despite Supreme Court guidelines regarding the safety of children in school buses adding that top most private schools in Srinagar fail to follow the standard. They said that children in preparatory schools face travel in similar conditions.
They said that many vehicles carrying school children are in excess of its permitted seating capacity. “There is no enough space to keep school bags.
“Children have to retain their bags in their laps or the drivers put the bags on top of the vans to accommodate more children. The seating arrangement of the children is so haphazard and overloaded which can invite any eventuality any time”, they said.
They added that a van having the seating capacity of 8 persons generally ferry 15-18 children, most of whom are seen hanging on the foot rest of the vehicle or are superimposed upon one another.
When contact Chief Education Officer Srinagar he said, “RTO department is monitoring transportation system of education”. (PTK)