School buses parked on the road at Mulund. Pic/ Sameer Markande
The Mumbai traffic police's latest parking restrictions on large vehicles along the city's sidewalks in a bid to decongest it for pedestrians is going to burn a hole in the pockets of parents. The School Bus Owners' Association has declared that it will pass on the burden of parking charges to parents by increasing bus fees. Also, all private buses, including school buses, will be off the roads for two days next week, to protest what they call ridiculous restrictions.
The Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana held a meeting yesterday, where they discussed the notification restricting private passenger buses in Mumbai and not allowing them to park on roads since September 13.
"At the meeting, all members decided to go on strike from 6am on September 19 to September 20 midnight. All travel offices will also be shut. All segments of buses such as daily bus service, school buses and company buses will be off the roads," reads the statement issued by Sanghatana yesterday.
Explaining its implications further, Anil Garg, president of the School Bus Owners' Association, said, "The traffic police's parking regulations are absurd and not possible to adhere to. They are asking school buses to drop children and go to a parking spot which could be nowhere near the school. Within a few hours, in some cases within an hour, the school buses have to get back to school to pick up the children. In such a situation, it is impossible for school buses to go away from school and park at different parking spots. Moreover, these parking spaces will come with additional charges. We will have no option but to hike school bus fees to bear this additional cost."
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