School buses stay away, busy day for parents
By Express News Service | Published: 20th November 2012 08:00 AM |
The one-day token strike organised by the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association ensured that close to 20,000 school buses in the State stayed off the roads on Monday.
The strike was called to protest against some of the regulations for school buses put forth by the government earlier this year.
Over 15,000 schools all over Tamil Nadu, which were members of the association, participated in the strike. In Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, buses of over 3,500 schools did not ply.
General secretary of the association, K R Nandhakumar, said, “We feel that it was a 100 per cent success. We hope that the State takes notice of our suggestions and implements them as they see fit.”
Certain sections of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles (Regulation and Control of School Buses) Special Rules 2012 have called for modifications such as emergency exits, two doors, a certain height of the footboard, among other requirements. The fitness certificate (FC) would have to be renewed four times a year, resulting in extra costs. As suggestions made by the association were not taken into account, they have filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court.
School-owned buses were the only ones kept off the roads. This included those of Everwin Matriculation, Jaya Matriculation and CBSE schools. Schools like Vellamal, Maharishi Vidyalaya, DAV and SBOA had their buses running as they are on contract.
However, parents were seen scrambling to get their children to school.
IT employee and mother of two school-going children, Haripriya, says, “Currently I am working in the morning shift and have to be in office by 7 am; I had to take an hour’s permission. Even though we knew about the strike, it was still a mad rush to drop them and get to work on time.” That the two kids are in different schools made matters worse for her. Several parents were put in a similar position.
Vehicular traffic outside the school gates also caused chaos. Those schools which were not part of the association continued to run their buses as usual for both the morning and evening trips.