Shillong: Large number of schools are not willing to run school bus services, informed Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to a starred question on the third day of the Budget Session Question Hour on Wednesday.
With the introduction of Sustainable Transport and Efficient Mobility Society (STEMS) programme – shared school buses services with hope that it will help to minimise traffic congestion in Shillong, however, most schools are reluctant to run the school bus as they stressed that it is a very complicated process and that their primary work is to teach and not to run bus services, stated the Chief Minister on the hinderance faced by the government in implementing school buses run by the schools administration.
However, the Chief Minister informed that after reluctant of the schools, the government have conducted thorough consultations, more than hundred meetings and close to 6000 to 7000 surveys the Government feel the need to start with the program by handling the responsibility to government registered Societies.
“As we continue and see that the work is going on, the government will decide and if we realised that it is not working in that manner we will explore the opportunity of giving it to the schools and maybe if there are schools that are willing to run. We are not closing the option in giving it to the schools but we need to start somewhere and so we thought that this is the best way to start by taking and carrying everybody along”, said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.
The Chief Minister informed that there are 15 schools that have signed an MoU with the government to agreed to avail the School Bus services. The 15 schools are within Laitumkhrah- Dhankheti area. He also said that if this model adopted by the government function well they will adopt to different areas of the State.
The Chief Minister also informed the floor of the house that there are approximately 27,000 students who are coming to schools in Laitumkhrah-Dhankheti area and almost 60 percent of these school students use private mode of transportation.
“..a lot of discussion took place with the stakeholders which is the schools, parents, police and government administration and a number of efforts were made to coordinate with the schools to start bus services but we found that the schools were reluctant to run the buses as they stressed that it is a very complicated process and that their primary work is to teach and not to run bus services,” Sangma explained.
He further informed that to start with the project the government have decided to involved the registered society to run the school bus programs.