Delhi

Govt to give more teeth to school cab policy

Jolted into action by recent cases of crimes against schoolchildren across the National Capital Region, the Delhi government has decided to give more teeth to a decade-old policy aimed at regulating school cabs.

A senior government official said that the School Cab Policy, which came into force in 2007, will be amended by the end of the year by a sub-committee, to be headed by the Delhi Transport Department, tasked with framing the Delhi School Cab Rules 2017.

Police verification

Sources in the department said that the move comes even as an estimated 100 buses attached with prominent city schools had been prosecuted over the last two days for failing to comply with basic legal conditions such as ensuring that those employed as bus conductors had valid drivers’ licenses.

From provisions related to enforcing the maximum carrying capacity of private school cabs to stringent checks to ensure that police verification of drivers is done, the new rules will seek to put the onus of ensuring the safety and security of children on school administrations, according to a source.

“A committee will soon be formed to amend the existing policy and re-frame it in accordance with prevailing circumstances. The Transport Department has been directed to take up the exercise at the earliest,” said the source.

Illegal school cabs

“Others on the panel would include representatives from the Education Department, and government and private schools. We expect the rules to be notified by the end of the year,” the source added.

Permit conditions governing the operation of school cabs require that there carrying capacity be limited to one-and-a-half times the seating capacity declared in the registration certificate.

Most such vehicles drive around packed with children, which is among the most common reasons behind prosecution, said a senior government official.

Only a 1,000 such cabs exist on paper, but figures related to the prosecution of illegally plying school cabs in the Capital recorded by the Transport Department till last month revealed that nearly 1,800 cabs had been prosecuted for violations during a dedicated drive.

As per figures from the department, 902 school cabs found plying illegally were impounded till late July while as many as 1,767 were issued fines for flouting permit conditions during the same period. In 2016, 874 such vehicles had been impounded while challans had been issued to 1,776.

Apart from being verified by the local police and having clean criminal records, drivers of school cabs are required to undergo driver training, including refresher driving training. The vehicles are required to be fitted with approved speed control devices to ensure they do not exceed speed limit of 40 kmph.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 6:35:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/govt-to-give-more-teeth-to-school-cab-policy/article19679422.ece

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