Vijayawada: Unfit school buses plying on the roads have long been a matter of immense worry for parents. When reports of vigilance and transport department seizing such buses reach parents, their worries increase exponentially and demands of a clampdown not only on buses, but also school managements are heard.
Parents say that while educational institutions collect huge money in the form of school bus fee but don’t bother about students’ safety.
On Wednesday, the transport and vigilance departments conducted checks on schools buses in Vijayawada and found 18 school buses violating the norms.
There are 2,760 buses belonging to various educational institutions plying in Krishna district.
The parents allege that children were forced to travel standing in these school buses due to poor amenities.
G. Ramakrishna and S. Yedukondalu, both parents, said that a majority of the children studying Classes I to X go to school in school buses that are unfit.
They said that there have been several instances that these buses stall midway and they have to pick up their kids. They said that nearly 50-60 students travel in school buses that have a capacity of 26 or 36 seats, which means that about half of the students will travel standing.
They said that schools collect `5,000 to `24,000 per students, according to the distance, as bus fare but don’t bother about following the norms. They said that officials should implement safety norms strictly when it comes to school buses.
Social activist Yandakurthi Ravi said that invariably, all first aid boxes in school buses are empty. He said that first aid can save people in emergency situations and also does not cost much but the schools are unwilling to ensure that the first aid box is stocked.
A. Venkat, a student, said that drinking water is also not available in school buses and they have to wait till they reach home to quench their thirst.
Vigilance and transport department officials said that school buses were found carrying more than official capacity, poor seating facility, no medicines in first aid box or other violations....