Chandigarh schools may soon have to make car pool mandatory

Soon schools will have to make car pool mandatory for students dropped by their parents. For, the traffic management standing committee, under the Administrator’s Advisory Council, at a meeting on Wednesday evening, decided that all school principals in the city be asked to make car pool mandatory. The decision has been taken in order to ease traffic congestion particularly outside schools in the morning and afternoon hours. Those who attended the meeting were SSP (Traffic), Shashank Anand, DSPs (Traffic), Yashpal Vinayak and Rajiv Ambasta, Inspector Dilsher Chandel, Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh Chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu and others.

City BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, who chairs the committee, said that since every student is dropped by parents, it leads to heavy volume of traffic. “Parents can pool in and drop four-five students. Car pool stickers should be provided to those vehicles which can then drop the kids. It is utter chaos outside schools during morning and evening hours,” said Tandon, adding that the system was prevalent at St John’s High School, Sector 26.

Shashank Anand told Chandigarh Newsline, “We are deliberating on how to implement it. Thereafter, we will approach the schools to take it forward.”

Anuja Sharma, Principal of DAV Model School, Sector 15, said, “There are many practical hitches here. First, it would depend on how many students stay in that particular area who can car pool and if they are of the same age group. I know some parents who do not like their daughter, who is in seventh standard, to sit with a boy of the same age or parents don’t want their child to sit in someone else’s car and go. So, reliability would be an issue. Then, not every parent may have a car. There are those students also whose parents drop them on two-wheeler. This kind of decision caters only to 5 to 6 per cent of the parents.”

Director of Strawberry Fields High School, Atul Khanna, said they can encourage parents but not make it compulsory. “The car pool system is definitely a good move and I am totally for it. Sometimes, genuine issues like coordination problem occur with parents. We, too, encourage this practice and some of our parents are doing it as well. But I don’t think we can make it mandatory because what if somebody challenges it.”

The members of the committee even decided to implement one-way traffic on certain roads. A detailed proposal of which all stretches to have one-way traffic at peak hours would be placed at the next meeting in the third week of April.The committee also discussed that the number of cabs or taxis in the city had been swelling and that has to be checked.“There should be at least a fixed number of people, who are permitted to drive taxis. The numbers have been swelling. One can see taxis bearing Punjab and Haryana numbers also parked here,” Bittu added.