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Ensure safety of school children: Collector

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SCRUTINY: School vans assembled in Police Grounds for verification of documents and licences in Thanjavur. —
SCRUTINY: School vans assembled in Police Grounds for verification of documents and licences in Thanjavur. —

Staff Reporter

Response, preparedness of schools reviewed at Karur meeting

KARUR: Ensure safety of children being taken in school buses and vans and follow all norms and guidelines stipulated by the High Court in its directive on the issue without fail and immediately, Collector J. Uma Maheswari instructed all officials and heads of institutions concerned.

Addressing a meeting called here on Tuesday to review the preparedness and assess the response of educational institutions to the directive of the High Court in the wake of the recent mishap involving school children in Nagapattinam district, Dr. Maheswari pointed out that the vehicles should be distinctively marked ``School/College Bus/Van” while on school/college duty.

Most importantly the vehicles should carry only permitted number of children and overcrowding must be thoroughly avoided, she said. First aid box and fire extinguishers should be installed in the vehicles, she said adding horizontal grills should be fixed at the windowpanes.

Dr. Maheswari directed the educational institutions to deploy only drivers who possessed heavy vehicle licence for at least 10 years and who have clear track record. The name, address and phone number of the educational institution should be displayed prominently on the sides of the vehicles. Also a responsible teacher should travel with the children as guardian for them, she said.

It was of paramount importance that all necessary precautions be taken to ensure the safety of children and students travelling by school/college buses and vans, she underlined.

As far as autorickshaws were concerned only five children below 14 years of age should be carried and educational institutions should monitor the autowallahs as much as the parents were wary of sending their wards under the care of responsible autorickshaw drivers, she pointed out.

Dr. Maheswari instructed that severe action should be taken against those drivers who had the habit of speaking over the mobile phone while driving and said that such abominable practice was a dangerous one and needs to be prevented at all costs.

She also said that action had been taken against operators of five school buses and eight other vehicles that were plying dangerously and the vehicles have been impounded.

Chief Education Officer Kandasamy, Chief Education Officer (Sarva Siksha Abhiyan) Sivagnam, Regional Transport Officer Ramasamy, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, Kavitha, District Educational Officer Kandasamy, and others participated in the deliberations.

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