Drivers in Kurseong and its surrounding areas who load up more than the desired capacity of passengers in their vehicles, especially when it comes to school-going children, must be careful and stop such practices as the local administration has firmed up to take stern action against them after the Lok Sabha polls conclude. School authorities who appear blind to such risky practices will also be brought to book.
Of late, Kurseong town has been witnessing some major changes in its traffic management after the implementation of a new rule since May 2 under the initiative of Kurseong SDO U Swaroop.
Barring a few individuals, the general public has appreciated the move, although at present it has been imposed for parking spaces only. Other vital traffic measures that have been included under the new setup are soon to be executed it has been reported.
Keeping in mind the safety of school children who need to travel by vehicle, the SDO has also taken a major decision in which he has decided to include school authorities as well.
Administration sources admit several private vehicles are operating at present and they are all seen overloaded with school children. But strangely, neither the school authorities nor guardians seem concerned with this trend. Once school hours are over, school authorities deem their duties and responsibility are over. They do not know, or seem to care to bother, how difficult it is for the students to commute when there is no space to move an inch inside the vehicles.
Hence, the SDO has made up his mind to hold such careless school authorities equally responsible along with the drivers if any untoward incident were to take place.
According to Swaroop, after the implementation of the new traffic setup on May 2, copies of the new rule have been dispatched to all schools that offer vehicular services to students. He said no stern steps have been taken against such violators, but once the election is over, strict checking of vehicles and various other prohibitory measures will be undertaken to chasten any defaulter. More traffic-control forces will also be deployed to ensure the order is followed to the last word as it has been drawn up to ensure the safety of students and the public at large.
Swaroop added the administration will call a meeting with school authorities and other stakeholders concerned to discuss the issue right after May 16, the day the election results will be announced.
CAPTION: Kurseong SDO U Swaroop.