Department directs all Govt., private schools to follow norms while taking students on picnics

In the wake of the cargo autorickshaw accident that claimed the life of a Class VII student R. Renjitha (12) and left over 24 students injured, all departments have initiated multi-pronged actions. Police have seized the vehicle and arrested driver R. Praveen Kumar (17) for causing the death of the student owing to negligence.

Transport Department has initiated action against vehicle owner Karthik for allowing an under-aged driver to operate the vehicle and for transporting passengers in a vehicle meant to transport cargo. The Department has also submitted a report to the district administration and the Regional Transport Authority and recommended suspension of the registration certificate of the vehicle.

Deputy Transport Commissioner P. Muruganandam said that he along with Regional Transport Officer (South) Sivagurunathan and Senior Motor Vehicle Inspector P.K. Kumar inspected the accident spot and the vehicle that was seized and detained at the Perur Police Station. The officials also called on the injured students at the hospital to ascertain the sequence of events that led to the accident. District Collector Archana Patnaik has announced that strict action would be initiated against vehicle owners using cargo vehicles to transport people and also the schools for conducting tours without permission and for using cargo vehicles and drivers without licence.

The Department of School Education on Thursday placed under suspension, R. Rahotman, the Headmaster (in-charge) of Theethi Palayam Government High School. The trip to Ayyasamy Hills, which was around 3 km from the school, had been organised by the school staff without permission from the Department of School Education, Chief Educational Officer A. Gnanagowri told The Hindu on Thursday.

An inquiry was conducted on Thursday with all the eight teachers who had accompanied the 190 students for the trip. While the boys had walked to the spot, the girls complained of tiredness. One of the three autos hired by the school for the girls fell on its side killing the student.

She said that prior permission must also be obtained from the Department by the schools before undertaking such trips. Details such as the type of vehicle, the driver, the location and the number of staff accompanying the students must be intimated to the department. There must be one teacher to supervise every 20 students.

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