The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Schoolbus ban irks Salt Lake

With the police and municipal authorities in Salt Lake planning to ban heavy vehicles, including schoolbuses, from entering residential blocks, school managements and guardians are up in arms. A memorandum was submitted to Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, Salt Lake, on Friday.

The police and the municipality decided on January 7 to ban all heavy vehicles and auto-rickshaws from entering the blocks from January 15. “This will cut the number of accidents in the blocks,” said a civic official. “Besides, heavy vehicles damage the roads and the municipality does not have the funds to repair the by-lanes,” he added.

With another accident last week, in which a private bus crashed into the wall of a house in AJ block, the officials feel the decision should be brought into effect immediately. “We have asked the three police stations to take stern action against vehicles that violate the order and enter the blocks,” Nand told Metro on Friday. “The vehicles, including schoolbuses, will be impounded immediately,” he warned.

Residents and guardians feel the decision is a bit harsh. “To check accidents, speedbreakers can be built in the blocks. In Salt Lake, schoolbuses drop our children at our doorsteps. The tradition must continue,” feels Prasun Kanjilal, a resident.

Schools, too, are resentful. “Those who are objecting to schoolbuses entering blocks must have been aware when buying the plots that a school would come up in the block, too,” said D.K. Sengupta, principal of Salt Lake Point School, in CD block.

Nandini Sen, vice-principal of Haryana Vidya Mandir, in BA block, with 4,000 students on the rolls, feels the ban will add to the responsibilities of the school. “We can be allowed to park the buses elsewhere,” she reasoned.

Additional superintendent Nand said the municipality would be requested to allot plots for parking the schoolbuses. “The buses, after dropping the children to school, can be parked there,” he said.

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