The parent of an injured student shows the vehicle, which had overturned, at Bistupur police station on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Sept. 7: Two schoolgirls were injured this morning when the overloaded auto-rickshaw they were travelling in turned turtle after being hit by another three-wheeler near G Town grounds in Bistupur.
Tagore Academy students Jhula Mukherjee (15) and Ishita Mukherjee (13) suffered injuries on their faces, hands, ankles and feet. Eighth grader Jhula and sixth grader Ishita were rushed to Tata Main Hospital from where they were discharged in the afternoon.
The students were on their way to the Sakchi-based school when the mishap took place around 7.10am.
The auto was crammed with seven students.
While negotiating a turn near G Town grounds, it was hit by another auto-rickshaw coming from the left. The impact made driver Mohammed Aftab lose control on the vehicle, which overturned.
Bistupur police have seized both the three-wheelers and detained Aftab. Officer-in-charge Awadh Yadav said that the driver of the other vehicle fled.
The accident has once again raised questions on the safety of schoolgoers, who are often seen hanging out of overloaded auto-rickshaws.
Taking strong note of such frequent mishaps, East Singhbhum district transport officer George Kumar wrote to district superintendent of education Abhay Shanker today, asking him to convene a meeting of representatives of private schools next week and ask them to organise proper transport for their students.
“Most schools in Ranchi, Dhanbad and Bokaro have their own transport arrangements. But in Jamshedpur, parents are forced to rely on private auto and van operators, who rarely follow safety norms,” Kumar said.
The transport officer conceded that efforts to rein in such offenders had not yielded desired results. “According to Regional Transport Authority rules, an auto can carry four persons besides the driver. We do carry out random checks and fine the offenders. But, this method is not proving to be effective. I had written to all private schools to introduce transport facilities. While some agreed, a majority did not even respond. Then, I decided to approach district education officer,” Kumar said.
He added that school-owned vehicles would also enjoy tax concessions.
Notably, seven students were injured when an auto-rickshaw overturned near Mango Bridge on August 29. One pupil was injured in a similar accident near Diagonal Road crossing on Bistupur main road on August 23.