CHENNAI: THE First Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the government to increase the number of buses operated for transporting children during school hours.
These buses should be exclusively operated for school children and others might only be allowed to board the buses, if there is sufficient space after the children are accommodated and in the event there is demand from children, others will have to get down to make room for the children, the Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice R Hemalatha said on Monday.
Last week, advocate RY George Williams drew the attention of the Bench to the photographs of school children travelling, clinging on to foot-board and windows and subsequently to a news report on the death of two children, who fell off an overcrowded bus. And it was suo motu treated as a PIL petition
The Bench said that the buses operated are obviously not sufficient to meet the demand of the people as could be evident from the photographs, on the basis of which these proceedings have been suo motu initiated. It is said that the State government has provided 100 per cent free travel to school children in its buses. This is absolutely imperative to give meaningful effect to the Right to Education under Article 21A of the Constitution. However, merely providing free transport is not enough.
The authorities concerned are also required to ensure the safety of children travelling in buses.
Earlier, the secretary to the Transport department filed an affidavit, stating that in the city, the MTC is operating 250 special bus services exclusively for women and children every day. Adequate services are maintained in the route in question, the Bench was told.However, it is difficult to accept that school students have safe travel in this route. This assertion is controverted by the photographs shown, the Bench said
Govt challenges order to close sand quarries across State
Madurai: Challenging a single judge order on the closure of all sand quarries across Tamil Nadu, the State government has filed an appeal before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. On November 29, Justice R Mahadevan had allowed a petition, which sought transit permission of imported sand from Malaysia. In his order, the judge directed the State to shut down all the sand quarries within six months. Challenging this, the State filed an appeal, submitting that the court went beyond the scope of the petition and issued orders without providing any opportunities to the concerned district collectors.