mid-day campaign: Traffic jams, narrow roads plague three schools in MMR
The schools in Thane, Kalyan and Vashi find themselves in the midst of traffic jams due to their locations near markets or in one case, a hospital; no traffic police are deputed at any of these schools, despite the demand for this, reports
Vasant Vihar High School
Residents of Pokhran Road avoid stepping out when the Vasant Vihar High School begins and gets over for the day, due to the traffic chaos caused by its buses and private vehicles.
The issue here is not just the school buses, but the several rickshaws and vehicles on the narrow road which leave only one lane free, as it is a commercial area. The honking and traffic jams start as soon as the school buses begin after students board them. Private cars coming for children have to be parked in lanes farther away from the school, as there is no space left near it.
Major problems faced by all schools
- Narrow roads and road repairs
- Cars picking up children
- Absence of traffic police
The traffic congestion outside St Mary's Multipurpose School is cause for concern for parents, residents and patients from a nearby hospital. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
St Mary's Multipurpose High School
This school is located on one of the busiest roads in Vashi with two other schools well as the NMMC hospital where everyday more than 500 patients visit. Despite slotting different school hours for primary and secondary classes, traffic congestion continues to be a cause for concern for parents, local residents and patients. Many times an ambulance is stuck in traffic.
The school has three gates. As soon as the bell rings, some of the students race to the gates. There are school buses, some private vans and auto-rickshaws to drop the children home. Drivers of the auto rickshaws wait in front of the gate until all the students who will be crammed into the vehicle arrive. Parents who come to drop or pick up children in their own vehicle park it opposite the school. As there are no traffic police at the junction outside the school, students who learn the management of traffic and the school bus conductors handle the traffic.
DCP, Traffic police (Kalyan and Thane)
'Our officers are always present there during school timings. But I will check and look into the issue for a solution'
Superintendent of police (Traffic), Vashi
'We asked the schools to create gates behind their buildings to resolve the traffic issue'
A super market and a petrol pump near the KCG English School means there is always a traffic issue on the road
Kantaben Chandulal Gandhi English School
Kantaben Chandulal Gandhi English School is situated near Gandhi Nagar on RP Road. On the same road just in front of school is a super market and a petrol pump. Hence, there is always a traffic issue on the road and it is crowded. Parents who come to pick up their children face problems due to this. Residents said almost every day they have altercations with rash drivers. Though there are different school timings for the primary and secondary classes, traffic congestion continues to be cause for concern for parents and local residents. There is no traffic police deputed here.
Vasant Vihar school management
'We have made proper lanes for children to enter the school as well as for parents. We always tell parents not to park their cars or vehicles on the other side of the road. We often hold meetings with traffic police to solve issues.'
Principal, KCG English secondary school
'To resolve the chaos we allowed two-wheelers and school buses to be parked in our school ground. We have also deputed two security guards for traffic management
during school timings. We also opened our second back gate to pick up small kids during the afternoon time.'
Management of St Mary's School, Vashi
'We created another gate behind the school where we allowed some people to pick up the children because of which 20% of the traffic congestion is sorted. During every parents-teachers meeting we tell parents not to park their vehicles in front of the school. We have also requested traffic police to make this road one way just for one hour a day to control this problem.'
A local resident, Pokhran Road
'Between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm as also in the evening there is complete chaos with many vehicles blocking the road. I always avoid coming out to the market at these times. Drivers don't even bother when they see a senior citizen on the road. They drive rashly.'
Parent of a student of KCG English School
'Just beside the school is a petrol pump. Every day, drivers who come to fill petrol, drive on the wrong side. A month ago, when I was going back home with my son, a biker came from the wrong side. The broken stand of his bike scratched me so badly, that I had to get four stitches. The bike rider was rude and started arguing with me instead of apologising. It's a daily issue that traffic police don't pay any attention to.'
A resident of Vashi
'As there is a hospital nearby, many patients come here. When the students leave there is more traffic congestion than usual. If a traffic cop is deputed at the signal, traffic management will improve, and it will be safer for children to cross the road. We usually avoid stepping out during school timings because we get stuck in traffic for at least an hour on this road.'
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