Walia flays Transport Dept for defying SC norms
New Delhi: Delhi Education Minister Kiran Walia Thursday took potshot at the Transport Department for failing to enforce guidelines on plying of school buses in the city.
Walia's criticism on functioning of Transport Department came a day after a five-year-old girl of Air Force School, Subroto Park, was killed when a speeding van of the school turned turtle after colliding with a car.
Officials said the van, a private vehicle, was plying without having the required permit.
"The Transport Department should act in a responsible manner. It is really surprising how the vehicle was running on Delhi streets without having permit," Walia said.
The minister said that she would hold a meeting with principals of private schools on improving safety of students using school transport.
Meanwhile, a senior official in Transport Department said it would ask the schools to strictly follow the Supreme Court guidelines on plying of school buses and follow prescribed norms to ensure safety of students using school transport.
Last year, the government had asked each school to appoint a school bus in-charge for overseeing the bus operation and ensure that children on board the vehicles reach their destinations safely.
The Government had asked the schools to appoint a conductor with a valid license by September 30 last year for all the buses in addition to the attendant. But the order was hardly implemented by the schools.
The Supreme Court had set specific guidelines for plying of school buses which included fitting of horizontal grills on windows of the vehicles.
As per the guidelines, all such vehicles must have a first-aid box and the doors of the bus should be fitted with reliable locks. There must be an attendant from the school in the bus.
The speed of the vehicles has already been fixed at 40 km per hour and a driver in violation of the speed limit will first be issued notices while a second time offence would attract cancellation of the driving licence.