Parents hired pvt bus against rules: School

Following the death of Gautam, authorities at SVP School are blaming parents for hiring private vehicles to ferry children in spite of the school telling them not to. The school claims they had told parents that anyone found hiring private vehicles to ferry children would face strict action but parents protested against the move.

"The bus that hit Gautam was not hired by the school, but parents. We have been opposing this. We had warned parents from hiring private vehicles but they staged a dharna. We even tried hiring BEST buses, but parents found it expensive and refused the service citing BEST will not provide door-to-door service," said Sangeeta Srivastava, SVP principal.

Despite the request from RTOs and state transport department, parents choose to send wards in crowded and unsafe auto-rickshaws, private buses and vans. They opt for private vehicles as school buses do not enter narrow lanes, which means children have to walk some distance.

"The government should come out with stringent rules prohibiting private vehicles from plying students to schools," added Srivasatava.

Arundhati Chavan, president of Parents' Teachers' Association (PTA) United Forum said, "Private buses, vans, cars and autorickshaws do not come under the school management or even the education department and hence do not follow prescribed safety norms. The government should not allow such vehicles to transport students. Only school buses, BEST services, or private buses hired by schools should be allowed."

Anil Garg, President of School Bus Owners Association (SBOA), said, "Private vans and cars openly flout safety rules and get away with it." SBOA had moved the Bombay HC against private vehicles in August 2012. The matter is pending.

Rules make it mandatory for vehicle owners to possess permits to ply schoolchildren and only six students can travel in a van at a time.

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