Jamshedpur : As mark of protest against the overloading check drive started by traffic police, school van operators in the city have announced to go on indefinite strike on Friday.
In last 24 hours the traffic police have carried crackdown near Sacred Heart Convent School and Loyola School and seized 14 vans and auto-rickshaws.
Under the banner of School Vahan Sangh the operators agitated in front of the district collectorate and submitted a memorandum to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal apprising about the problems due to administration crackdown on overloading.
The police are acting against the van operators after receiving regular complains of city school vans being packed with students — their bags tied on the roof of the vehicles.
The association members have decided to go on an indefinite strike from October 25 till a tripartite meeting is called of the administration, parents association and the van operators to settle the issue.
According to officials of transport department in order to garner more returns the van operators take in large number of children opposite to the capacity of the vans. This may result to a major accident any time. This is the prime reason they have acted against them.
Ahmed Khan, another van operator said, “We are poor lot of people and rely on school children for our daily bread. If police would limit the number of children to be traveled then it would be difficult for us to survive”.
“We demand that the administration should call a meeting and settle a fare for the school vans. The administration should also release those vans caught in the raid yesterday and today.
The traffic police is charging exorbitant amount as fines which is not possible for us to pay. Till the issue is resolved we would not operate our vehicles for school duty,” said another operator.
Meanwhile Traffic DSP, Rakesh Mohan Sinha said that the crackdown would continue irrespective of threat of the van operators.
The crackdown follows a directive issued by East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal on October 17. Parents under the aegis of Jamshedpur Abhibhavak Sangh had met the DC protesting the overloading by the van operators.
“Our prime demand is that similar on the lines of metro cities, the administration should asks the van operators to charge fares depending on kilometers and not as per their own wishes.
We also protest the overloading being done by the operators,” said Umesh Kumar a senior functionary of Sangh
He added that in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the school van operators run according to fixed charges based on kilometers, similar plan should be implemented in city too.