A month on, still no afternoon bus service for govt school children; authorities pass buck

A month after the common school bus service was started by Administration for government school children, authorities are yet to start the return service in the afternoon. As part of the scheme, Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses are converted into school buses to ferry students.

On August 1, the morning service began with ten buses and the afternoon service was to commence within the next few days. That, however, is yet to start.

Education department officials, though, say their responsibility ends with submitting the names of interested students to the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, from where CTU is responsible for charting out routes and deciding stoppages.

"Apart from the earlier 6,000 students whose names were forwarded to CTU, we figured that students of double shift schools whose classes end around 5.30 pm had been left out. Their names will be collected in the coming days," said an education department official.

Despite stating in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that measures have been taken to ensure the effective implementation of government school buses, the first communication regarding the introduction of these buses was only sent recently.

"Letters were sent to all schools on August 28 regarding the introduction of special school buses and the morning routes were attached along with them," said an education department official.

Not all students,however, seem to be aware of the special service. "Though I had given my name for these special buses, I have not come across any such bus so far, let alone travel in them. We still have to wait for an hour and a half usually and if these buses are plying, shouldn't they at least turn up sometime?" asks Ranjit Singh, a humanities student at GMSSS 16.

On the question of ensuring proper running of the buses at proper timings, Director Public Instructions (schools) Upkar Singh has maintained complete silence on the steps the department is planning to take. "We will look into the shortcomings," he said.

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