Shillong, May 12: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday hailed the order of the Meghalaya High Court which commended the state government’s initiative to introduce 30 buses for school children and officer goers in January, this year.
“As the minister of the nodal department, I am glad to see that the High Court commended the state’s initiative to introduce 30 buses for school children and office goers in January of this year. Our government’s determination to take advantage of the more recent kind of shared mobility has led to a groundbreaking scheme where numerous schools and offices share government-purchased buses,” Sangma said.
“School buses are typically underutilized, but in Northeast India, our government-owned shared buses for Urban Transport system is one of the first of its kind. With features like GPS tracking, CCTV cameras, and trained workers, we anticipate that this system would not only reduce traffic congestion but also assure the safety and security of students attending schools,” he added.
In its order passed on Thursday, the division bench of the High Cour said, “A status report has been filed by the State pertaining to the traffic situation in the city of Shillong. Certain immediate, short-term, mid-term and long-term proposals have also been indicated.
The most commendable aspect of the matter is the short time within which an initiative has been taken to procure a large number of buses for ferrying school children and to ensure that individual cars do not have to come to drop the children to school or pick them up thereafter.”
The bench said indeed, despite school buses being available, parents or guardians of wards are more concerned with the security of the school going children, particularly girls, and may not be inclined to allow them to use buses or public transport even if that entails a considerable degree of inconvenience to the parents or guardians.
However, it has been reported that CCTVs have been fitted in the buses and an App has been circulated or will be circulated to the parents for the parents to follow, real-time, the location of the buses and what may be going on inside such buses.
The system, called the Real-Time Passenger Information System, is almost revolutionary and should allay all the misgivings a concerned parent or guardian may have as to the security of the school going child travelling in a bus.
The bench however said, “Other measures need also to be adopted to ease the congestion on the roads, whether by building roads, parking lots, making one-way streets or other form of regulation.”
“In addition, if the proposed flyover between Rilbong and Jhalupara materialises, a lot of the traffic congestion at the entry point of Shillong would have been eased. The State should continue the good effort in such regard,” it stated in its order.
The next hearing on the matter will be held on July 7.