Kerala

Smooth ride for students on hartal day

Private bus conducts services between Tirur and Manjeri

When all private buses kept off the road on hartal day in Malappuram on Tuesday, one private operator came forward to conduct services, considering school examinations.

The 58-seater Laverna bus owned by P.K. Mohammed Shafi from Kozhichena near Kottakkal conducted services between Tirur and Manjeri, and helped quite a large number of school students reach their exam halls in time.

Most schools had their mid-term examinations on Tuesday, and schools will be closing for Christmas holidays on Saturday.

Good gesture

While primary students were given a free ride, high school and higher secondary students paid concessional charges for their travel.

“Usually we do not charge from students up to Class 7,” said Mr. Shafi.

Mr. Shafi’s bus conducted the service with police protection.

He decided to conduct the bus service when he learned that a large number of students who depended on private buses every day were going to suffer because of the hartal.

Service motive

“Today’s run was purely with a service motive. There were not many people other than students. In fact, we could carry nearly 1,000 students to their schools between Tirur and Manjeri. I could see the relief on their faces today,” he said.

Assurance

Mr. Shafi said he had been given assurance of protection by State Police Chief Loknath Behera. “In fact, the Police Chief urged me to conduct the service considering the school examinations currently under way.”

Laverna bus service had made local history a couple of years ago by introducing high-tech facilities, including free Wi-Fi. The bus had assured special consideration for students.

The employees of Laverna are discouraged from speeding and competing with other buses. Unlike other bus operators, Mr. Shafi pays his staff salary on a monthly basis. Laverna has been a leader in promoting safe driving in the district.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 8:10:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/smooth-ride-for-students-on-hartal-day/article30333052.ece

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