School van strike disrupts traffic

School van strike disrupts traffic

Traffic in the central business district area as well the daily routine of hundreds of parents were thrown out of gear on Wednesday as vehicles ferrying students to schools went off the road. Consequently, the parents were forced to take their wards to schools in their own vehicles.

A number of schools are located in the central business district area.
Chalitha Reddy, whose son Venil is a class I student at Bishop’s Cotton Boys school, was forced to drop him to school at 7 am and again pick him after school despite having an infant to take care of at home. “Even after repeated requests, school authorities did not arrange for any transport,” she complained.

Preeti Khanna had to walk all the way from Ulsoor to St Mark’s road to drop and pick her daughter, a class VIII student at Bishops Cotton Girls’ School. “The private vans are very convenient. Though they charge us about Rs 15,000 per annum, they drop our kids at our doorsteps. We know that they are safe. The school buses charge almost an equal amount but my daughter will have to walk to Trinity to catch the bus,” she said   

“School buses are not available after class VI in my school, so most students who come from far-off places take private vans,” said Aditya, who studies in class VII at a school in that locality.

The traffic at a number of places in the City also came to a standstill.
An additional 50 men were deployed to ease the congestion at key areas like St Mark’s Road, Residency Road and Double Road flyover, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) Lokesh Kumar. “The slowdown in traffic was expected since the vehicles on road had increased 10 times due to the strike,” he said.  

  According to the police, the situation worsened because the east division, besides being a busy business area, has a number of schools located close to one another. In other areas, where the schools are scattered, the traffic situation was “more or less normal,” the police said. Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic) M A Saleem said: “The police will increase its presence on Thursday during school hours. More parents are likely to drop and pick up their children from school in private vehicles.”

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