Students in the Panvel area may face difficulties in reaching schools from tomorrow as around 700 school vans may go off the road. They are going on an indefinite hunger strike from Tuesday, December 6, to press their demand to bring changes in licence renewal process to ferry students from schools.
They claim that many of the vans are operating without licence as they could not renew due to changes in the procedures. A consent letter from the concerned school is made mandatory for vans to get a new license or renew old ones to ferry students.
Pandurang Humane, president of Panvel Rickshaw Vidyarthi Vahak Sanstha (PRVVS) said that as per plan, only representatives of van owners will go on an indefinite hunger strike, but van owners may join.
In 2011, the state government allowed light motor vehicles to transport from 7 to 12 students as school buses. Accordingly, vans have been widely used to ferry students.
However, the school van association is alleging that schools in the Panvel region are not showing interest to enter into an agreement and giving a consent letter to van owners to ferry students as they already have a school bus system in place.
Humane said that the consent letter from the school is mandatory to apply for a new licence or renew the old one. “We have held several meetings with the RTO, and district education department but could not reach a conclusion,” said Humane.
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