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Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 1:15 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 1:15 AM (IST)

RTI activist denied information about school vans

Jaswant Shetra

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13

A Ludhiana-based Right to Information activist Ajay Sharma has decided to move State Information Commission after he was denied information by the Transport Department about the traffic norms violations by the buses and vans ferrying school children.

According to Ajay Sharma, he had sought information about the names of Ludhiana schools which are not following the norms in accordance with Safe School Vahan Scheme of Punjab Government under the RTI Act.

“The Transport Department authorities have denied to provide me the information. The authorities said information was not available with the department,” said Ajay Sharma.

He further informed that the school buses, vans and other vehicles ferrying students of various schools in the district have been operating in blatant violation of traffic norms and guidelines of state transport department thus posing a serious threat to the safety of the schoolchildren. “Moreover, Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued some guidelines to schools about safety norms while ferrying school children in school buses, while hearing a civil writ petition some time back. But majority of the schools have been ignoring the directions issued by Punjab and Haryana High Court which is contempt of court”, alleged he.

He added majority of these school buses violate traffic rules by overloading vehicles, modifying vans to increase seating capacity. “The school vans must have a fire extinguisher, a male and a woman attendant,” he said.

Road Transport Officer Lovejeet Kalsi said the information has been denied under Section 7 (9) of RTI Act because it was disproportionably diverting the sources of public authority.

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