Indefinite Strike by Pvt School Vehicles Drivers Called Off- Back to Business on Sat
Mangaluru : The withdrawal of indefinite strike by The Dakshina Kannada Duistrict School Vehicles Drivers’Association on Friday, comes as a sigh of relief for parents, who for the last two days had a hectic time dropping and picking up their school going children. The Association had resorted to an indefinite strike opposing, what it called, police harassment to its drivers, since Thursday. According to the association, private school vans and other vehicles will operate from Saturday. It ended the stir reportedly following an assurance by D. Vedavyas Kamath, Mangaluru City South MLA, and Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil to look into their grievances against the police.
Nearly 1400 vehicles from DK, and about 600 vehicles from Mangaluru City had gone on strike. Honorary president of the association Sunil Kumar Bajal speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “After the association suspended operations, several parents had called MLA Kamath to address their issues. Kamath had called the association members and has assured them of addressing the issues and asked the drivers to end the strike. Also Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil had met us around noon and asked us to bring to his notice instances of faulty booking of cases by police. It’s not right that police were booking them even while drivers were transporting 1.5 times of the seating capacity of the vehicle, which was permitted under the Motor Vehicle Rules”.
Private school vehicle operators withdrew their services on Thursday for alleged harassment by the city police while booking cases for overloading of school children since June 2nd. Apart from hefty fines, the city police also suspensed driving licences of many drivers. In the meantime Police Commssioner Patil said the action of the police was as per the directions issued by the Karnataka High Court on June 17, and that the police have been told to conduct special drives and suspend driving licences of all vehicles that were overloading students. “If there are any issues in the way cases are being booked, vehicle owners can bring it to my notice,” the commissioner said.
Umesh Shetty, a member of the association speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” Police have booked cases even when two to three students were in the vehicle. We do admit that we sometimes violate the rules , but it has improved over the years. We have been able to improve the system over a period, compared to the past. And we have made tremendous changes in service as well as safety aspects. We thank MLA Kamath and Police Commissioner Patil for their timely involvement in settling this issue in a systematic manner”.
It is learnt that the city police, along with other units in the State, will file a report on the action taken in the High Court on July 17.
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