Mumbai: Crack down on illegal private vans, demand schools

Several city school principals slammed the government yesterday for failing to rein in illegal private vans that ferry students.

They contended at a panel discussion organised by city schools and the School and Company Bus Owners’ Association that since a child’s safety becomes the responsibility of the school once s/he enters school premises, private vans must seek permission to ferry them.

“Schools are grappling with an increase in the number of illegal vans taking students without their permission,” said Vanadana Lulla, principal of Podar International School, Santacruz.

Swati Popat, principal of Podar Jumbo Kids, Andheri East, said parents fail to gauge the risk they take by approaching private vans since these vehicles may not follow safety procedures.

Radhika Shrinivasan, principal of Shree Chandulal Nanavati Vidyamandir, Vile Parle, recommended that parents opt for school buses over private vans.

Prowell D’souza, a parent of a Bandra school student, however, pointed out that parents are forced to settle for the less safe private vans owing to fewer school buses catering to different localities.

Suggestions by panel
>> Implement uniform school transport safety norms across country
>> RTOs test skills of school bus driver and train them
>> Tax rebates to parents when opting for school buses

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