Four students wounded after van turns turtle
Srinagar, May 16: At least four school children were wounded when a school van of a private school turned turtle at Konjbal Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Witnesses said that a school van (JK13C-7255) skidded off the road and fell into a canal in Konjbal area, resulting in minor injuries to four students. Locals shifted the wounded children to hospital where they were discharged after administering first aid.
Parents alleged that private schools in the town flout all the government norms to maximize profits. “Under law vans are not allowed to ferry children. More than two dozen children are ferried in a school van that has a capacity for only 7 children,” a group of parents told CNS.
Meanwhile, ARTO Board Of Instructions has dispatched a letter to Chief Education Officer Srinagar, Transport Commissioner Jammu and Kashmir and Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir asking them to immediately suspend the registration of school vans running on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
“During my surprise inspection regarding plying of school buses, I have seen a lot of vans ferrying school kids which can prove fatal mostly they run on LPG. Our checking squad is on toes to book these culprits but a concrete step is needed to actually eliminate them or guide them for replacing their fleet as envisaged under Automobile Industry Standards-063-Requirements for School bus and Honorable Supreme Court Guidelines,” the order copy reads.
“I have clicked some snaps at Burn Hall School and Convent School and I have recommended for suspension of their Registration Certificates. Sensing the gravity of the issue, I have issued guidelines for safe plying of school buses but on ground it has been observed that the rules are being flouted which can prove fatal.”
“I am hopeful that your goodself will issue directions in this regard so that the guidelines are scrupulously followed and compiled by all affiliated schools,” the ARTO in his order copy writes.
“Not speaking of school vehicles running on LPG, even school vans are not allowed to ferry children. Under law only school buses with 13 to 36 seats can ferry children. We have prepared a list and in coming days registration of over 50 vans will be suspended,” Regional Transport Officer Farooq Ahmed told CNS.