school bus

Even though the transport department has set the ball rolling for the implementation of the long-delayed school bus policy, private operators, who own almost 90% of school buses in the city, have complained that several changes mandated by the policy will unduly add to their financial burden.

Some of them, claims the association of bus operators, are needless, and even risky for the school children.

Talking to DNA on Friday after the first meeting of stakeholders — school principals and bus operators — organised by the transport department, Anil Garg, president of school bus operators’ association, said, “About 70% of recommendations in the policy are acceptable to us. The government should revise the rest as they are needless, impractical and add to our burden.” This resistance could mean a further delay in the implementation of the policy.

According to Garg, 3,340 vehicles like Maruti Omnis, Tata Sumos, Qualis etc, illegally ferry students, while 2,200 dedicated buses are run by school managements and private operators. Another 4,500 operate as both company and school buses.

Outlining his argument, Garg said, “Our expenses will double in implementing the policy recommendations. Until now, we needed only a driver and a male attendant, but now we will have to also hire a lady attendant for the girls.”

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