BENGALURU: Several private van drivers did not attend work on Wednesday in view of a convention organised by Karnataka United School and Light Motor Vehicles Drivers’ Union to demand for school permit to be given to private school vehicles. Parents had to look for alternative transport to send their children to school.
“This was not a strike, but a convention for all the union groups to discuss their demands. Though there is a provision under the Motor Vehicles Act for school cabs, the Regional Transport Office does not recognise and harasses us by levying penalties. Hence, we are demanding for school permits. Also, the road tax on school buses is Rs 1,800 per annum, but for us it is Rs 25,000,” said Shanmugham, president of the union.
“This affects drivers’ livelihood and also burdens the parents as the tax is passed on to them. Parking is a major issue. Children are picked up from far off places, and given the traffic, it makes sense for the driver to wait to pick them up after school. For this, we need parking, so that traffic jams are not caused,” he added.
Sridhar, a parent of a 4-year-old studying in Kindergarten said, “We have employed a private van for my son and the driver informed us a day in advance that he would not come to work. As both my wife and I work, we could not take the day off to drop him.”
Union’s demands include withdrawing high registration fee and traffic violation penalty, creating a welfare board for unorganised drivers and giving social insurance.