Wake up call?
It appears as if the people of Uttarakhand especially those residing in the mountainous areas have accepted road accidents as part of their fate but the recent accident in which ten school children died and many others were injured when the vehicle ferrying them plunged in a gorge has shocked and agitated the people of the state. It is apparent that no one in the ill-fated Kangsali village had any knowledge that the private school – Angel's International School located at Madan Negi town- they are sending their kids is not recognised and the vehicle transporting them to their schools was not authorised as school children carrier. It is learnt that the school enjoyed political patronage due to which its owners had not even cared to apply for the necessary recognition. In recent years, private schools like ‘Angels International school’ have mushroomed in all parts of rural landscape of Uttarakhand and gullible highlanders attracted by fancy names and generous usage of terms like ‘International ’ send their wards to these schools who employ untrained teachers and have pathetic infrastructure. A thorough review of existing rules and implementation machinery with immediate corrective measures is the need of the hour failing which such unfortunate accidents would continue to happen.
Clash of Egos
Recent transfer of a high profile police officer to head the force in the provisional state capital has created a piquant situation for those managing the traffic in the Doon valley. The reason for their predicament is understandable as the officer who is lording over the traffic department is known to be antagonistic to the new boss of the district police. Stories about open hostilities between these two officers keep on circulating in the inner circles of department from time to time. The bad blood between the two is said to have started when penalty was imposed on a relative of one of them for having tinted windows of the car she was driving. In another incident, a road cut leading to a restaurant said to be owned by close relative of one officer was closed by the other to traffic. The sceptics are confident that the ego clash of two senior police officers would have its bearing on the management of traffic in the state capital. One sincerely hopes that in the interests of Doonites, both these officers would adopt a high degree of professionalism to keep their differences at bay.
Doomed Dress code
A lady officer entrusted with the task of leading the education department in state capital stirred a hornet’s nest recently when during one of her inspections she rebuked a lady teacher wearing an outfit which according to her was not good for a teacher. Her warning elicited a strong response from the teachers who made it clear that they are responsible enough to judge what a sober costume is for them. They point out that by adopting a stringent posture on dress code for teachers the lady officer is trying to please the minister. This lady officer went out of favour with the minister when despite clear instructions from him; she managed to cancel her transfer. Interestingly, the minister had burned his fingers in the past when he tried to enforce a dress code for teachers in the state.