Pune: Around 15 to 20 students of Indira National School, Wakad, were not picked up by the daily school bus driver on Wednesday after their parents allegedly refused to pay the hiked transport fees to the bus operator.
Speaking about the issue, a parent on the condition of anonymity, said, “The fees of the school bus are supposed to be approved by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) before they can be implemented. While we were already paying the approved amount regularly, it was hiked by 15 per cent without getting approval. As we refused to pay the extra money, the bus did not pick our children for the school.”
The parent also said that the school has denied any kind of responsibility in the matter saying that the parents should sort the issue out with the school bus operator on their own.
Rajan Junawane, Vice-President, Pune Bus Owners’ Association, said, “At the organisational level, we train school bus operators, drivers, attendants, etc. on how to deal with such sensitive issues where children are involved. However, we cannot do anything about the issues that happen at the personal, root level, unless the matter reaches us.”
Junawane also said that there is a provision for the parents to complain to the RTO in case of such instances, where the schools are not ready to intervene.
‘Check their authorisation’
† Rajan Junawane also appealed to the parents to always check whether the school bus operator that they have employed is authorised or not.
“These days, the schools do not interfere much with the appointment of school bus operators, although, I feel that they need to take responsibility for the same. The parents should also check, if the operators are authorised, as an authorised vendor will certainly follow all the legalities, including the fee structure. This, on a larger scale, is much more necessary for the children’s safety,” Junawane said.