'Pune autos lack hard tops, unfit for transporting schoolchildren'

In a startling revelation made by Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Arun Yeola, not a single auto rickshaw in the city can comply with the norms for ferrying school children due to absence of hard tops.  

Yeola was speaking at the traffic police branch yesterday where he expressed disappointment over the fact that several schools in the city were yet to constitute transport committees to safeguard transportation of children studying at their respective institutions.

“There are only 250 school in the city that have registered themselves with the traffic branch and the RTO after forming committees. And then there are over 200 schools that are yet to comply with the court order,” said Yeola.

Specific guidelines were laid in the Government Resolution (GR) of 2011, about the kind of buses and other vehicles used for transporting schoolkids aged between 3 and 11.

The GR categorically points out responsibilities of the school management, transport vendors and even the parents to look after safety of the children.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said several schools have exhibited gross negligence and now they have decided to sensitise parents and transport vendors on not to compromise on children’s safety.

“It has been observed that auto rickshaws ply schoolchildren beyond the permissible limit, which is four. At times they even transport eight to nine children, which is dangerous,” said Pandhare.

Yeola said that RTO officials would be notifying the education department about the schools that are yet to form transport committees and approach them. 

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