The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has decided to examine the buses of all schools in the province following a tragic accident which claimed the lives of 17 children in Gujrat.
A school bus in Kot Fateh Din, Gujrat in Punjab caught fire when its compressed natural gas cylinder (CNG) exploded on Saturday. As a result, the provincial government of K-P has decided to take precautionary measures which include examining all vehicles used for transporting school children.
“The situation is getting worse and we do not want to put our children in danger for just a few rupees since outdated buses are being used in many institutions. We have received instructions from higher authorities to check the buses of all educational institutions across the province and ban all those which do not follow standard procedure,” Director Transport Directorate Manzoor Ahmad told The Express Tribune.
According to him, a team of motor vehicle examiners will visit educational institutes for the purpose. As a first step, owners of schools will be asked to provide a list of all buses being used for transportation. After receiving the list, the Directorate of Transport will give a date to school authorities to ensure the vehicles are available for inspection. Manzoor added CNG kits, fitness certificates and availability of fire extinguishers would be checked because many incidents are a result of faults in these components.
K-P Governor Shaukatullah Khan has also taken notice of the issue following the Gujrat tragedy and ordered the secretary transport to examine all vehicles in order to prevent such an incident in the future.
The Peshawar High Court (PHC), meanwhile, has asked the relevant department to check all public transport vehicles and not allow those vehicles on the streets which are found to be violating safety laws.
“We have time and again told associations of all transporters to follow the procedure of keeping their vehicles according to the law of the state, but they assure us and then do not follow it. We fine more than 50 vehicles daily because they do not carry fitness certificates and other relevant instruments,” said Motor Vehicle Examiner (MVE) Malik Muddasir. Owners of heavy vehicles have been repeatedly told to install cylinders at the top, but many still have them installed in the area where passengers sit, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2013
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