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Schools flout transport norms: Traffic cops

The crackdown was prompted by the rape of a minor girl in outer Delhi's Najafgarh, allegedly by the school van driver.

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Schools flout transport norms: Traffic cops
Ryan International School
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Despite a number of drives against unverified drivers and conductors working for schools, several institutions in Delhi-NCR continue to flout the guidelines. The murder of a seven-year-old student at Gurugram's Ryan International School, allegedly by a school bus conductor, has once again brought to the fore the apathy of schools and the government in this regard.

Recently, the Delhi traffic police had written to the Transport Department regarding the fact that most drivers in the city did not have valid permits. Also, till July this year, the transport department had seized around 800 school vans and over 25 buses plying without 'commercial permits' while the drivers' 'antecedents, too, had not been verified'. Also, drivers were not wearing the mandatory public service vehicle (PSV) badges.

The crackdown was prompted by the rape of a minor girl in outer Delhi's Najafgarh, allegedly by the school van driver.

"The drive against illegal school vans was launched to ensure that there was no compromise with the safety of children. Incidents such as Ryan and Najafgarh could have been avoided, if these rules were well enforced. The school cab owners had also met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to protest against the drive. They were, however, directed to fall in line and were given a window to convert private vehicles into legal school vans by following the guidelines and getting an approval from the Transport Department," a senior Delhi government official said.

Earlier in 2008 as well, these cab owners were given time to convert their vehicles into formal school vans but all in vain, the official said.

According to officials, over 70,000 such private vans ply in the city without following any guidelines, such as commercial licenses, fixed cap on the number of children ferried, safety precautions, seating space, PSV badges, and verification of drivers' antecedents.

Legal school vehicles

Buses 
4,275 

Maxi cabs 
7,583 

Vans
6,737

Motor cabs
1,522

Illegal school vehicles 
70,000-80,000

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