T.M. Vijaybhaskar holds video-conference with DCs, asks RTOs to submit action taken report by May 20
Bengaluru: Chief Secretary T.M. Vijaybhaskar has ordered Deputy Commissioners of all districts to crack down on illegal transport of school children and labourers in goods vehicles.
During a video-conference meeting with the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) on Tuesday, he said that the Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) should submit an action taken report by May 20.
The direction comes in the light of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Karnataka High Court by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority seeking action against illegal use of goods vehicles to ferry school children, labourers, senior citizens and others.
Each one was asked to come out with a District-specific action plan to curb the menace, following which a State-specific plan will be drafted. Ferrying people, especially women, children and labourers, in goods and construction vehicles is a practice that has come to be normalised. Though it is predominantly seen in the districts of North Karnataka, where public transportation is inadequate, such cases are prevalent even in Bengaluru. There have been instances of people travelling to the city from nearby towns and villages for work in goods vehicles. Pourakarmikas are often transported in auto-tippers.
Vijaybhaskar has directed the Police Department to file criminal cases against owners of such vehicles, while the RTO is to identify places where there is lack of safe public transport options and come up with mechanisms to address this shortfall. Similarly, a special scheme should be evolved along with the Labour Department to provide safe transport in areas with a high population of daily-wage labourers.
Other directions include distribution of KSRTC bus passes to labourers across the State, and to ensure awareness about the dangers of travelling in goods vehicles. The BBMP has been asked to ensure that no Pourakarmikas are transported in garbage vehicles.
A senior Transport Department Officer said that Departments such as Transport, Police, Labour, Education and KSRTC are working on a strategy to stop goods vehicles from carrying people. In fact, the Transport Department has been issuing media advertisements warning people against such travelling.