Copies of Guidelines For Safe School Transport Sent To 700 Schools, Institutions
Fail To Keep August 2 Deadline
Only four schools of the 700 within the Pune Municipal Corporation
(PMC) limits have formed the school transport committee which is mandatory under
the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles (School Bus Regulation) Act, 2011. The law came into
force on June 1, this year.
According to the PMC education board officials, schools have consistently ignored
the school bus policy guidelines, despite two reminders from the board. The first
reminder was sent in June, followed by a meeting with school principals on June
30. Another reminder was sent on July 29.
Deputy education officer of the PMC board Sambhaji Jadhav told TOI on Friday that
the board has been assigned the responsibility to inform every school in the city
limits about the act. We have sent the rules and regulations to 700 schools in the
civic limits. A notification on forming the school transport committee was also
sent in June along with the guidelines. However, the response from the schools is
very poor. Only four schools have formed the committee.
These are Madarassa-E-Islamiya Urdu Primary School, Mubarak Girls High School, both
in Kasba Peth, Vidya Niketan in Ganesh Peth and Madhavrao Sonba Tupe Primary School
The deadline to form the transport committee and inform the PMC Board was set for
August 2. We will send another reminder to the schools next week, said Jadhav.
The law governs both buses owned and run by the school and those run by private
owners. A school bus, according to the guidelines, is a contract carriage vehicle
which is designed and constructed specially for schools, college and other educational
institutions and includes four-wheeler, light-motor vehicle.
One of the norms to ensure safety of school children travelling in buses states
that in an emergency, the school bus driver and the attendant should inform the
school authorities about the incident and make necessary arrangements for the safe
travel of the students.
On Monday, as many as 35 students of Rosary School in Vimannagar did not reach home
well after the school had closed at 3 pm. The school bus ferrying them ran out of
diesel and the driver went off to sleep after parking the vehicle in a housing society.
Worried parents who called up the school seeking the bus drivers telephone number
did not get a response from the management. They launched a search and found the
bus in a society. The school authorities maintained that the bus did not belong
to the school. Since it was a private bus ferrying their school children, they did
not have the drivers contact number.
However, the guidelines stipulate that the school transport committee should maintain
a list of the drivers numbers.
The Regional Transport Office is the nodal authority which will monitor the setting
up these committees. Arun Yeola, regional transport officer, has clarified that
every school that has the state government approval to function within the state
has to follow all the rules. As per the guidelines of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles
(School Bus Regulation) Act 2011, it is mandatory for every school to form a transport
committee chaired by the principal.
Balan, senior administrator of Rosary School, Vimannagar, on Thursday, had said
that the school had not felt the need to form the school transport committee as
it has not contracted the buses. Parents have arranged the buses on their own to
ferry children to the school. So there was no need for the committee, he had added.
Yeola, however, said that In Rosarys case, even if they do not run the school bus
contract system, having a committee in place is mandatory as per the guidelines.
Indrani Malkani, member of the committee formed by the state government to form
the school bus regulation. Said, I’m deeply upset that schools are showing such
a lackadaisical attitude towards the safety of school children. It is the responsibility
of the education board to pursue the matter with the schools and get the committees
formed. Also, the schools are expected to have a contract bus system under the policy.
Parents are not supposed to deploy buses.
MUST-HAVES FOR BUSES
The school transport committee should look into matters pertaining to safe transportation,
transportation fees, identification of bus stops and verification of documents of
the vehicle like registration certificate, certificate of fitness, insurance, permit,
pollution under control certificate, driving licence, fire extinguisher and first-aid
Each committee, to be headed by the school principal, will have a parents representative,
local traffic and education inspector, bus operator and a member of the local civic
The school transport vehicle shall carry a complete list of the school children
showing the name, class, residential address, contact phone number or cell phone
number, blood group and the bus stops for his or her embarkation and disembarkation
near his or her residence against his or her name. The list shall also indicate
the route plan duly attested by the head of the educational institution showing
the place of origin, termination and detailed route it has to follow
The delay in forming transport committees in schools is surprising, especially
when these panels were intended to make the daily commute of students safer. The
governments guidelines came into effect on June 1 and are mandatory. But only four
of the 700 schools in PMC limits have complied so far, and the deadline ended over
three weeks ago. The regional transport office and the civic body’s education board
must ensure that the norms are implemented. While schools should take the initiative
to form the committees, Parent-Teacher Associations also have to be proactive. This
is too important an issue to brook tardiness.
Courtesy: Times of India