Hyderabad: College buses crammed
- Students face risk of contracting virus; Inter Board to issue notices, guidelines
- School/college transportation licences, fitness check-ups valid till March 31
Secunderabad: Corporate college buses are mostly seen flouting prescribed norms. Vehicles are crammed with students, and physical distance norms are going for a toss. Students are also apprehensive as buses are not being sanitised, in contravention of government guidelines. They want officials to crack a whip on managements and ensure strict adherance to Covid norms.
A second-year intermediate student Vishnu (name changed), who studies in Sri Chaitanya Junior College, lamented that college transport vehicles are not being sanitised. "Moreover, mini-buses are being run which can accommodate only a few students. In such vehicles, each seat is shared by three students. Of 23 college buses, only 10 are running. Yet they are crowded. As many as 95 per cent students are attending classes. Of them 40 per cent commute in college buses" he said.
The State government has mandated sanitation of college transport facilities before they start plying, at least twice a day. The vehicles meant for carrying students should be sanitised once before they board the vehicles and once after, before the next use. However, students and teachers reveal that college buses are turning risky to commute in. The situation is no different in classrooms either, deplore the students.
"I am not commuting by my college bus as it is overcharging us for a month following alternate day's norm (as the first and second year students attend classes on alternate days in accordance with government regulations). There is an absolute laxity about Covid-19. Students don't follow social distancing. They don' check bus passes. Anyone can hop on to the bus without the driver's knowledge. On top of that, students don't wear masks." said Anjali, who travels by alternate means or is dropped and picked up by her parents .
Lecturers in corporate college claim that buses have been started for the benefit of students who have difficulty in commuting to colleges. Even as the bus service has commenced, students continue to flout social distancing norm even in buses. "If students continue to crowd college buses and if the management doesn't instruct them on Covid protocols and don't come out with a proper plan of seating, in no time students will contract the virus," felt a lecturer who has been teaching MPC at a college.
Speaking to The Hans India, Syed Omer Jaleel, Intermediate Board Secretary and Commissioner of Intermediate Education, said "We have received complaints from a member of the Child Rights Commission that colleges are violating the prescribed norms. Based on their complaint we will issue a notice, and follow it up with inspection of the institutions which are violating Covid-19 protocols." When contacted, Joint Transport Commissioner Pandurang Naik said that school and college transportation licences and fitness check-up are valid till March 31. Buses can apply for fitness check-up after that date. He said they would ensure buses are in proper condition.