Students from class four to 10 of Irukur village near Paramathi town and their parents, numbering around 80, resorted to a road roko on the Kabilamalai Main Road on Thursday morning seeking government bus service to their village to help children reach the Kabilamalai Government Higher Secondary School, where they were studying.
Recalling the incident that claimed the lives of seven students on Wednesday, the students said that they had also been travelling under such unsafe conditions due to non-availability of proper bus service on that route. “We want the Transport Department to resume government bus service in the route like how they operated about five years ago,” the students, who were in uniforms said.
“Three government buses were operated in the route in the morning and evening to benefit school students of the locality and help them reach the school in Kabilamalai. They stopped the service after mini buses started operating in the route. This did not come free-of-cost and parents had to spend Rs. 8 per day for each child to go to school,” parents, who took part in the demonstration, said.
They added that mini buses were also unreliable as they did not run in the school time in the evenings, forcing students to take a lift from two-wheelers or load carriers to return home in the evenings. Students cannot walk on that road as traffic was high due to heavy movement of load carriers on the stretch to reach Erode as it helps them save 18 km.
Students and parents sat on the road from 8.40 a.m. to 9.20 a.m., which affected movement of vehicles for about 40 minutes. Police, revenue and block development officials pacified them after which they cleared the road and sat on the roadside and continued their demonstration for some time.