Sangrur incident spurs administration to implement High Court order

Sangrur incident spurs administration to implement High Court order

A large number of vans are in a bad condition and do not comply with the court’s guidelines. File

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, February 16

After four children were burnt alive in a school van in Sangrur, the Transport Department, the traffic police and the state government seem to have swung into action to ensure that school buses older than 15 years do not ferry schoolchildren and the Safe School Vahan Scheme (SSVS), which was issued by the High Court in November 2013, is implemented in the state.

Over six years after the High Court ordered the implementation of the SSVS scheme to ensure the safety of schoolchildren, the administration has failed to implement it due to the influence of private schools and the apathetic attitude of the Transport and Police Departments.

A large number of vans are in a bad condition and do not comply with the safety guidelines under the SSVS. Under the scheme, vehicles should be fitted with approved speed governors with a maximum speed limit of 40 km per hour. The vehicle owners should also possess a contract carriage permit and a valid licence to drive a transport vehicle for a period of at least four years.

However, in the absence of any speed governor in school vans, there is no control on their speed limit. One can often school vans being driven rashly on the city roads. Drivers sometimes engage in competition with the private buses on the potholed roads.

Though Transport Department officials claimed to have been following the High Court orders, the gorund situation says something else. Many van operators convert old vehicles into school vans by squeezing in extra seats inside the vehicles to cram as many children as possible.

“Every time there is an incident like the one that took place in Sangrur, the state government and people become extra cautious and go in for campaigns and talks about preventive methods but as the days pass, we are back to square one and wake up when another tragedy occurs,” said Sadhu Ram Deora, the president of the Lok Manch, a voluntary organisation in Kotkapura.

What the court order says

According to the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, all school buses, vans and auto rickshaws should be painted in yellow with a green stripe all round. The vehicles ferrying schoolchildren should not be older than 15 years. They should not carry children beyond the permitted capacity. But most school vans ferrying the children are not obeying the rules.

Top Stories

MHA blacklists 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists, cancels their visas

MHA blacklists 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists, cancels their visas

Authorities asked to initiate action under relevant provisio...

Coronavirus: Punjab CM prohibits all gatherings in state

Coronavirus: Punjab CM prohibits all gatherings in state

Orders aggressive tracking, testing and 21-day quarantine fo...

Public spirit drives R&D on Covid-19 vaccine

Public spirit drives R&D on Covid-19 vaccine

Hopes rest on state-funded institutions such as Pasteur Inst...

Cities

View All

10 hurt as residents clash with cops at Mani Majra

High drama as woman collapses on street, kin ‘misinformed’ a...

Chandigarh's first case hale & hearty

23-year-old woman completes 14 days in isolation, her sample...

Doctors who treated ‘super spreader’ test negative

Heave a sigh of relief, say got away, can’t thank stars enou...

Punjab’s first Covid positive person shares his victory against deadly virus

Says strong willpower, adherence to doctors’ instructions he...

Divyang Jaswinder — Real warrior on field

Health worker covers 30 houses door-to-door in nine villages