Cuttack: With administration saying a no to auto-rickshaws and buses for carrying school kids, anxious guardians are on cross roads on how to ensure safe and good travel safety of their dear ones while sending them to their schools.
On the one hand when autos and buses have been barred from carrying children, pulling carts and rickshaws seem to return as they proliferate to carry school kids.
Sources said there are as many as 300 private schools in the city with more than 3000 vehicles were serving for the transportation of kids to and from their schools.
While encouraging clean and pollution free rickshaws are a good step on one hand but on the other there are some problems regarding its reliability. First of all it is very time consuming since it relies more on human driven power and less on machinery so kids have more to depend upon getting early for their chores. Secondly, only some 3000 odd rickshaws are plying on the city roads which are barely sufficient to meet the needs of all school children as of now.
Notably, earlier on August this year as per instructions from the collector autos and buses were given December 2016 as their deadline from carrying school kids until they comply with some mandatory safety measures. Some mandatory rules like attractive shiny colours yellow, golden yellow on the outer portion of buses, space below seats for keeping bags, first aid box, blood group identification of kids, fitting GPS and speed controllers inside the bus, limiting the total number of seats besides driver to 13 have been asked to follow.
Meanwhile the autos associations have decried these restrictions and have stopped carrying school kids.
Once more than 8000 rickshaws used to ply the roads of city but due to increase in autos their numbers had drastically decreased over the years but with the effect their numbers may seem to rise once more.