Preparations for the next phase of odd-even scheme have started. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has shot off a letter to 84 schools, expressing its inability to make buses available during the period-from April 15 to 30. The missive has sent school authorities into a tizzy with many claiming to have been left stranded with the DTC's decision.
The state bus agency deploys 725 buses on school duty, which is a substantial revenue earner for the corporation. However, with the Delhi government set to implement the odd-even scheme from April 15, DTC has been asked to make the same arrangements it had made during the first phase in January. At the time, the bus agency had put its entire fleet on the road, including the school buses. However, since it was vacation time, most schools were not hit by the decision.
This time though, DTC's decision to withdraw the bus service temporarily is likely to make an impact. The let ter, which was sent by DTC to all the 84 schools in its roll last week, says: “This is to inform you that the government is planning to introduce next round of oddeven scheme in near future. It is informed that in the event of such decision we may not be able to service your school during the period of odd even scheme.“
The letter was sent before the announcement for the next phase was made on February 11. It adds that the DTC will inform the schools according to the agreement with the school administrations.
Schools are now trying to make alternative arrangements. Said Anu Behl Roy , principal of Cambridge School, “It will be quite a big pain for us but we'll have no choice but to shift that to the parents. We're hoping they won't be withdrawn.“ Roy got the letter a few days ago, as did other principals.
Cambridge School, added Roy , will be badly affected as both its campuses--junior school at New Friends Colony and the senior one at Sri niwaspuri--deploy DTC buses. The junior branch uses only two but the senior one, over a dozen, she said. Roy said DTC's decision to withdraw buses temporarily will aggravate an already difficult traffic situation as parents will then bring cars to drop their kids. “At best, two kids will pool but still there will be many cars which will defeat the purpose of having odd-even days,“ she said.
For some others though, DTC's decision won't affect school as much. Delhi Public School branches in East of Kailash, Vasant Vihar and R K Puram use just one DTC bus between them. “Earlier we used a larger number but we have reduced and moved to our own fleet. So if they withdraw, we'll just organise a private bus to ferry kids. It won't be a problem,“ says principal D R Saini.
Ramjas School, R K Puram, similarly has just two buses. “We got the letter yesterday and it said they may be withdrawn--not that they definitely will. We will be writing to the parents and ask them to make their own arrangements,“ says principal Rachna Pant.
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News Source: Times Of India, 17 Feb 2016