Many managements yet to form transport committees, says More

Even as the state administration is set to review the implementation of the school bus safety policy in the wake of molestation of a Jamnabai Narsee School student on a school bus, the transport commissioner has alleged that school managements have failed to implement all the rules under the policy. Many schools across the state have still not formed the school transport committee as stipulated by the policy, claimed transport commissioner V N More. He added that schools that have formed such committees do not conduct meetings as per prescribed rules.

The state administration has decided to take stringent measures to ensure that the school bus safety policy is implemented across the state.

Chief Secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia said, "We cannot allow the state to remain a silent spectator. We are taking stock of the issue and implementation of the norms. We will seek inputs on the same from the parent-teacher associations, school managements and the transport commissioner."

As per the policy, there should be two committees in place — a school transport committee at school level and a special district school bus safety committee at district level. The regional transport office (RTO) is the nodal authority to monitor the setting up of these committees at the school level. Forming the committee is mandatory under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles' (School Bus Regulation) Act, 2011. The law came into force in June 2011. Many schools have, however, failed to form a transport committee.

"We have 34 district level committees in place. These committees are supposed to meet every six months. The school transport committees are supposed to meet every three months. However, I am not sure if any such meetings are conducted," said More.

Meanwhile, the principal of a reputed school in south Mumbai said that one cannot allow civic and police officials to interfere in matters of school administration. "Making them part of the school transport committee means letting them interfere. We are concerned about the safety of our students," said the principal.

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