Jamshedpur : In view of safety of school children, district transport department and traffic police jointly launched a drive against unruly school van operators and auto-rickshaws in the city today.
Led by motor vehicle inspector (MVI), Awadhesh Kumar Singh, the joint team of administrative officials had arrived at the Beldih Church School at about 1.30 pm, the time when school got over.
As the team started making inquiries against the van drivers, they fled the spot leaving their vehicles, several of which were occupied by the school children.
The joint team had seized in all seven school vans after waiting for over an hour for the drivers in front of the Beldih Church school.
The administration launched drive against the unruly school vans and auto-rickshaw after a 4-year-old girl, who was a nursery student was fatally injured on sleeping out of a running auto-rickshaw in Kadma on September 14.
The girl, Pooja Kumari who had sustained head injury succumbed to her injury at the Tata Main Hospital on September 15.
But the administration launched the drive only after two KG students had fallen down from a van at Bistupur on Monday. Fortunately, the two children, Jai Kumar (five-year-old) and Tuhin Bose (four and half-year-old) escaped with minor bruises.
“We have constituted 12 teams in different traffic police stations and these teams will be deputed at approach roads to different schools. We will continue the drive irrespective of the threats of the school van drivers,” said traffic DSP Vivekanand Thakur. Simultaneous crackdowns were conducted on roads in Bistupur, Sakchi, Mango, Jugsalai and Golmuri.
The traffic DSP further said that as per permit they will allow only three students in small auto rickshaws, five in diesel make auto-rickshaws and eight in vans. Overloading invites a minimum fine of Rs 2,000 under the Motor Vehicles Act.
Meanwhile the van operators are also not happy with the drive launched by the traffic police. Concerned with surprise checks, some van operators have even started carrying few children these days and are asking the parents to drop their children from their own vehicles for the time being.
The joint team had seized in all seven school vans after waiting for over an hour for the drivers in front of the Beldih Church school. But by the time parents of several children had come to the school as their wards had not reached home.
The MVI said that they had earlier in July asked the van and auto-rickshaw operators to fix iron net in the window as well as rear opening of the vans and also the auto-rickshaw.
” We will continue to launch drive against them. The drivers might have fled due to evading our suggestion to fix iron net, but none of them had followed it.
Moreover, most of the van operators were without permit and insurance. But as we have already seized vans, we expect that the remaining van operators will follow the directive soon,” said Singh.