The Pune Municipal Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) is appears to have forgotten the problems students face while travelling. The safety of children travelling by PMPML buses is always at risk. Every day hundreds of children travel to schools in these buses. It is a common sight that schoolchildren with heavy bags travel in PMPML buses standing at the doorway with their bodies hanging out of the bus. The overcrowding of buses at peak hours which will make students stand on the steps and travel. What is worrisome is that at times the bus tilts to one side due to overloading and there are chances that the kids may fall and get hurt seriously or be hit by another vehicle, sometimes resulting in fatalities.
The authorities do not have concrete plans to ensure safety of children. Another concern put forward is the cancellation of several PMP services without prior notice to travelers or parents of the children so that other arrangements can be made. The drivers and conductors should be sensitized towards children and that female students especially should be given secure space in the buses. There should be an authority person on important bus stops to guide students and educate them on safety.
Whether it is a rickshaw, van or a PMPML bus, the law should be equal for all. It is high time the RTO and traffic police take action against PMPML drivers and conductors. Interestingly, the PMPML had started a special bus service for children during school timings, but just when the scheme was gaining popularity the authorities shelved it for reasons best known to them.