Negligence of safety guidelines behind ‘Thoubal accident’: MCPCR & MACR

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IMPHAL, June 4: A team of the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights will be visiting the victim families of the tragic Thoubal Leishangthem Kaeli Makhong road accident tomorrow, said chairperson of the commission A Nabachandra.

A tragic and unfortunate road mishap involving a school van carrying 24 young students and a Tata truck yesterday morning around 6 had killed an eight-year-old student and left 16 other students injured five of them stated to be serious.

The injured students and the van driver who was also injured are all getting treatment at the Shija Hospital.

Following the tragic accident, this IFP reporter had visited the commission office and had a brief talk with the chairperson this afternoon.

He said there are already recommended guidelines regarding the transportation of school children since 2013.

However, no one seems to abide by the rules, he lamented.

He said regarding the implementation of the recommended guidelines in the districts, it is the prerogative of the district Child Welfare Committees to take the initiative.

When their efforts remain ineffective or when the district committees appeal for intervention, the state commission steps in and take stronger actions to impose the guidelines for transportation of students, he said.

Child Welfare Committee, Thoubal told IFP that within two days, the committee will held a meeting with the school students’ parents’ association, the van drivers’ association and the concerned authorities.

During the meeting, the number of students to be allowed in a school transportation vehicle will be fixed, he said.

He further said that as of now, he has contacted the Integrated Child Development Services, the District Transport Office and other concern authorities over the issue.

Meanwhile, the Manipur Alliance for Child Rights has strongly deplored that the concerned State government departments and Board have ignored and failed to comply with the recommendations of the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights, MCPCR regarding the setting up of a comprehensive school van/bus transport policy.

It said the MCPCR had passed a set of recommendations consisting of some 11 points in its Sou-moto case No 4 of 2013 in connection with the falling unconscious of 15 school going students inside a school van on May 23 in Imphal East.

Further according to the statement, the recommendations include constitution of a committee consisting of School Managing Committee, Van/Bus owners/drivers and representatives of parents, to fix the number of students in a school in a van/bus, among others.

It said the commission had forwarded its recommendations to the principal secretary (Education/S), the commissioner (Transport) and the member secretary, Manipur Pollution Control Board, however, these departments and the board has remained silent till date.

The Manipur Alliance for Child Rights have further appealed to the Chief Minister and the Health Minister to review the collapsing working condition of the Thoubal District Hospital, which had failed to give first-aid and ambulance service to the critically injured students.

 

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