Jamshedpur : For a change school van operators to keep tab on overloading A group of autorickshaw and van drivers who carry school children have taken the responsibility to monitor overloading in vehicles.
They have formed Jamshedpur School Vahan Chalan Sangh with about 200 members have initiated a project to co-operate with the district administration and to organise the system that would benefit students, parents and themselves. The organisation recently conducted a meeting in front of the Sacred Heart Convent School.
” We want to coordinate with the administration. We are trying to do something for the first time in so many years.
The idea is to reduce the risk of the children are being ferried totally on risk and the administration has been trying to crackdown but nothing quite yielded result. Therefore, we took this as our responsibility to monitor and also make the drivers counsel against overloading,” said, a member of the School Vahan Chalan Sangh.
The members have distributed about 1000 forms since yesterday. The drivers will have to fill up their details and later all the forms will be submitted to the district administration. The form requires the drivers name, the registration number of the vehicle, the school which they cater to, the pick-up and drop point and the total distance covered in one trip.
The traffic DSP, Jamshedpur, Vivekanand Thakur said that it would be great if auto drivers have come forward to assist the district administration.
Ram Mohan Mahato, a van operator of Sacred Heart Convent says, “We are forced to take more children because of the rising fuel prices and road tax. We have even asked the parents to hike our charges, but they are not willing.
In such a scenario, we have no choice but to go for overloading. It’s becoming difficult to run our businesses.”
Mahato, said that if the parents are so concerned they should also instruct their child how to crossing the road or they should ensure that they are around to keep an eye on their wards getting in or getting down from the vans.
“Parents must ensure that the auto drivers they hire follow the rules. They must see that the private autos have a side door and other safety measures.
Though it may be fun for the children and may seem cheaper for parents, overcrowding children in autos is dangerous,” said Dr Umesh Kumar, president of Jamshedpur Parent’s Association.
“It is an open secret that more and more auto operators are hiring children in maximum numbers. The administration too has failed to stop it. Children boarding these vans are at a risk. It is high time that serious steps are taken to end this menace,” Akileshwar Prasad, a member of Shikshit Berojgar Tempo Chalak Sangh.
Prasad further said that due to the ‘popularity’ of vans the demand of auto operators has been hit hardly. Van operators on average charge Rs 1500 per child while the tempo owners are charging Rs.700 on average. Despite the difference parents prefer vans.