Overcrowded vehicles put lives of students at risk

Divya Sharma

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 11

With educational institutes reopening after winter break, the sight of overcrowded auto-rickshaws and buses has, once again, become a common sight in the city.

The overloaded auto-rickshaws and buses are risking the lives of young children. It has brought back the focus on implementation of the ‘Safe School Vahan Policy’.

Jagmohan Singh Gill, member of the Punjab State Commission for Protection of Children, said, “The Safe School Vahan Policy does not see auto-rickshaw as a mode of transport for kids. Buses are included in the policy. The number of children should be according to the seating capacity of the vehicle. Though autorickshaws for schoolchildren are not allowed, rules are being flouted with impunity.”

Normally, a district-level committee consisting of officials from district administration, education, child protection department, traffic departments is formed that all school, educational institutes are following the guidelines of the policy.

“Reminders are also sent to school managements to ensure safe transport for students. We are going to take an action in this regard, said DEO Secondary Education Salwinder Singh Samra.

Rajneesh Arora, Regional Transport Authority, said, “We will be conducting a proper check. I would like to make request to parents that they should always send their wards in a school authorised vehicle. Life of a child is more precious than anything else.”

Recently, nine children were injured as an auto-rickshaw they were travelling in collided with a recovery van near Manawala. The auto was overcrowded as ideally the number should not cross six.

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