Additional Transport Commissioner Enforcement (ATCE) of Madhya Pradesh Arvind Saxena has said that school' managements to ensure safety measures in buses by 18 August otherwise be ready to face stringent actions. Negligence of the students' safety would not be tolerated, he asserted.
Speaking to The Pioneer in Gwalior where the state's headquarters of the Transport Department is situated, the 2006 batch IPS officer of MP cadre Saxena said that a forty-day-long special school bus checking drive was being run by the department across the state, which would continue till 15 August.
"It has been ensured that the buses cannot be checked while students are onboarding to and from school and home", Saxena said. "Negligence related to students' safety will not be tolerated at any cost. If the schools' management does not fulfil the guidelines by 20 August, stringent actions will be taken as cancelling the vehicle registrations and imposing heavy penalties even FIRs will be made registered against the violators in the related sections", Saxena also said.
Apart from checking the school vehicles, the enforcement teams along with the related district transport officers were also conducting counselling sessions at the school campuses with the school directors, transportation managers and owners of hired buses for ensuring the safety measures in school vehicles, he said.
The ATCE said that checking teams had been instructed to mandatorily make complied of the fifteen-point guideline of the Supreme Court in the school transportation. It was also directed the officials to ensure a GPS (global positioning system) and CCTV (close circuit television) cameras would be installed by the school management in every bus, he also said.
Saxena appreciated the work done during the drive by the teams of divisional flying squads and the transport officers in their respective districts, mentioning the names of Jitendra Raghuwansi (Indore), Sanjay Tiwari, and Ashwani Khare (both from Bhopal), Manoj Tehanguria (Narmadapuram), Nisha Chouhan (Chhindwara), Ranjana Bhadouria (Betul) and some other officers.
Concerning the school students' safety, the Apex Court directed the government in a civil write petition in 1997 to get ensured a-15-point guidelines in the school vehicles. In compliance with the SC order, the CBSE also released a circular to the schools in 2017 making it mandatory to follow the guidelines in the school buses.
In the circular, the CBSE made mandatory an addition of the installation of GPS and CCTV cameras in the school buses. The NCPCR has also written a concerning note in this regard to the government of India and the state governments. "The transport department has taken action against a huge number of school vehicles so far during the special checking campaign started on 5 July", Saxena further added.
During the drive, the transport officers are providing guidance about following the guidelines of the SC, State government, NCPCR and CBSE to the school management.
The CBSE has extensively explained the guidelines for transport facilities in its circular, such as the exterior and interior of the bus, manpower in the bus, facilities in the bus, permits, arrangements to be made by the school authority and advisory to parents.