Although operators of school vehicles recently called off their strike, the information perhaps hasn’t quite percolated to all the stakeholders. Though the agitation ended on Friday, children of some schools in Ashok Nagar and Mambalam had to depend on private vehicles for their transportation on Saturday as well.
According to K R Nandakumar, State general secretary for the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matric, Higher Secondary and CBSE Schools Association, the operators of school vehicles withdrew their agitation after talks with government representatives.
Nandakumar said: “That strike (in some schools) may not be tied to ours. For our part, we have called (the strike) off.” He defended the protest, saying some of the regulations stipulated for vehicle operators, such as the presence of certified conductor at all times and a hike in road tax, were unreasonable. “We were asked to install one-foot high steps in school vehicles. How is it possible? Our potholed roads would damage them,” he added.
He, however, said that the operators were awaiting a Madras High Court verdict sometime in the coming week, following which they would decide their future course of action. Vehicle operators were also agitated over the May-end deadline set by the government for getting fitness certificates from Regional Transport Officers (RTOs). The rules came in after the tragic death of a schoolgirl who slipped onto the road through a hole in the school van near Tambaram last year.