The Delhi government plans to come up with a fresh policy to regulate the school transport system in the national capital by January 2019.
n According to official estimates, at least 25,000 illegal cabs are plying as school vans in the city.
Transport officials said they have written to the education department seeking data by December-end.
According to data available with the department, at least 25,000 illegal cabs are plying as school vans in the city putting the lives of thousands of children at risk. Most have only private licenses and are required to get school van permits to ferry school children, under which they will have to follow guidelines mandated for child safety.
“We have asked the education department for data on schools, students, owned buses, and hired cabs to assess the total demand and supply of such vehicles in the city. Similar data will also be asked from municipal corporation-run schools. Once the data is collated and studied, a fresh scheme will be formulated to grant permits for school cabs with additional incentives,” said K K Dahiya, special commissioner (transport). “Once the data is received, it will take around a month to prepare the new policy.”
The government’s transport department has already sent a proposal in this regard to transport minister Kailash Gahlot. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting on Thursday.
Sanjay Goel, director, Directorate of Education (DoE), said, “We are yet to receive an official communication in this regard. (When we do) We will provide the data, as it will help regulate vehicles ferrying children.”
The move comes after an eight-year-old was killed in a school van accident in north Delhi earlier this week. The cab was plying without a permit and was ferrying more children than capacity. Both are major violations.
The government had earlier announced it will bring changes to the existing School Cab Policy 2007, as it was “outdated”.
Meanwhile, the transport department has formed 20 teams of five members each for a month-long drive, which begins on Saturday, to crackdown on illegally plying school vans.
Besides, the official said, the department will also invite applications from cab operators to apply for valid permits.
“The applications may be called in the next fortnight,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Traffic Police has already started a crackdown on these vans. At least 1,511 school vans have been prosecuted over the last three days by the traffic police.