The horrific accident involving a school bus in Ambala which killed 14 children has finally shaken authorities out of their complacency. The District Transport Authority has issued a notice to all schools in and around Panchkula seeking details of the number of registered buses, drivers and conductors employed along with details of their driving license.
The Ambala accident laid bare unpalatable realities about the education industry and the business it has become. Every rule was violated, as usual. Only this time, the end was different. So different that snug officials just could not remain indifferent. Authorities are now trying to make sure no child dies on the road again. District Transport officials in Panchkula want relevant details from every school that provides transport facilities to students. The information sought includes details of the number of registered buses, staff details, number of children using the vehicle and licenses of the driver. Schools are supposed to furnish the information by January 16. This will be followed by departmental verification after which schools found to be violating safety norms will be penalised.
Teachers are happy with the tough stand of the transport authority.
Although the move is appropriate and in fact commendable, one wonders why such action is generally prompted by disaster. Area residents are not convinced by the increased vigilance. They feel authorities remain on their toes for some time after tragedy strikes but the enthusiasm eventually fizzles off.
Meanwhile, schools will reopen after winter vacations on January 16, which is also the deadline for schools to file their reply before the District Transport Authority. Will the vigilance continue? It won’t take long for anyone to find out.
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