Haryana Government cracks down on school buses flouting norms; committee to probe Mahendragarh bus crash that claimed 6 lives : The Tribune India

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Haryana Government cracks down on school buses flouting norms; committee to probe Mahendragarh bus crash that claimed 6 lives

All departments concerned, including the traffic police, carry out special drive across state against unfit buses

Haryana Government cracks down on school buses flouting norms; committee to probe Mahendragarh bus crash that claimed 6 lives

The mangled school bus after accident near Mahendragarh in Narnaul district, Haryana, on April 11, 2024. PTI


Chandigarh, April 12

A special drive was conducted across Haryana on Friday to crack down on school buses plying without necessary documents and valid permits, a day after six children were killed and 20 sustained injuries in an accident in Mahendragarh district.

Haryana Chief Secretary T V S N Prasad issued stringent directives to the civil and police administration to check within the next 10 days, the fitness of all school buses in their districts even as a committee was set up to probe the factors leading to the accident.

According to officials, all departments concerned, including the traffic police, on Friday carried out special drives across the state to check whether school buses plying on the roads were following all norms and had necessary documents like roadworthiness, pollution under check, and valid permits.

Meanwhile, Prasad chaired an emergency meeting and was informed by Additional Chief Secretary, School Education, G Anupama that the Mahendragarh district municipal commissioner has assumed control over the management of the school whose bus was involved in the accident.

The meeting, conducted via video conference and convened to reinforce safety measures in schools, saw participation from divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, range additional DGPs, commissioners of police, and district SPs, an official statement said.

It is very important that unfit buses be promptly replaced with new ones and trained drivers be engaged by schools to ensure safe transportation. If any school fails to comply with the instructions, strict and exemplary action be taken against those responsible, the chief secretary directed.

As public servants, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that school children receive the highest standard of safe transportation facilities, the senior official said.

He told the officials that he wanted strict action against all those responsible for the accident asserting that those who play with the lives of innocent children must face severe consequences.

Strict action must be taken so that fear is instilled among those who engage in such callous actions, he added.

Prasad said that numerous policies and guidelines have already been issued by the relevant departments for safety purposes. However, the effective implementation of these measures lies with the field officers, he said.

He also cautioned officers that in the event of a recurrence of such an incident, decisive and unprecedented action will be taken at the senior level too.

Prasad emphasised that all officers must ensure the replacement of unfit school buses with new ones by the school management. Additionally, they should screen and ensure that trained drivers are employed, he said.

He instructed them to send a clear message to all the schools to ensure strict adherence to safety instructions and guidelines issued by the relevant authorities for the protection of children.

“I will personally monitor the situation closely and review it after 10 days. We demand perceptible improvement, and we will not settle for anything less,” he added.

Police arrested three people, including the principal of the private school as well as the driver of the bus who was allegedly drunk and driving rashly.

According to an official statement, the committee has been set up by Mahendragarh Deputy Commissioner Monika Gupta for a thorough investigation to ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the accident.

“In the light of the tragic incident where a school bus of G L Public School, Kanina carrying students met with an accident near Unhani resulting in the loss of lives of six students and injuries to several students, it is imperative that a thorough investigation be conducted to ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to this unfortunate event,” according to an order issued by Gupta on Thursday.

In this regard, a committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of additional deputy commissioner, Mahendragarh to inquire into the matter and asked to submit its findings at the earliest so that further necessary action can be taken accordingly, said the order.

The committee will also comprise sub-divisional magistrate, Kanina; deputy superintendent of police, Kanina and district education officer, Narnaul, it said. The accident occurred near Unhani village in Kanina in Mahendragarh when the bus was carrying around 40 children to the G L Public School.

Police had said the driver was caught at the accident site and his medical examination confirmed he was under the influence of alcohol. They also said that the bus did not have a fitness certificate and other documents.


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