PANAJI: Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed the Transport Department to initiate necessary action against the erring management of educational institutions for compromising the safety of students.
The fitness report of Bal Rath Buses provided by the Directorate of Transport highlights 60 of the 419 Bal Rath Buses that are plying without proper mandatory fitness certificates, compromising on the safety of so many children and risking their lives.
“As per Section 2(47) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a school bus is a transport vehicle and therefore requires a permit to ply on the road. Being a transport vehicle, it also needs to undergo mandatory fitness tests periodically, without which the permit cannot be renewed,” the letter states.
The GSCPCR has also recommended that every school shall constitute a Children Transport Committee to look into the matters pertaining to the safe transportation of school children, transportation fees, identification of bus stops, etc.
“The Transport Committee shall verify documents of the motor vehicles transporting children, viz Registration Certificate, Certificate of Fitness. Certificate of Insurance, Contract Carriage Permit, Pollution Control Certificate. Driving License, Fire Extinguisher. First Aid Kit, etc.,” the GSCPCR added.
The GSCPCR said that Transport Committee shall be headed by the Principal or Headmaster of the school and shall have one Parent Teacher Association representative, Traffic or Police Inspector of the respective area, Inspector of Motor Vehicles or Assistant Inspector of Motor Vehicles of that area. Education Inspector, representative of school bus owners. Representative of attendants and representative of local authorities of that area, as its other members.
“The Transport Committee shall meet at least once in the three months prior to the commencement of each semester. The fact that around 60 buses have not renewed their fitness certificate, some of them for more than a decade, shows the callousness of all involved in monitoring the same,” it said.
Meanwhile, GSCPCR has requested the transport department to take action against the erring management of the educational institutions, which are compromising the safety of students as per the law.