Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday expressed shock and grief over the death of four children in a school van fire incident near Longowal in Sangrur district.
He has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident. The Chief Minister also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 7.5 lakh each to the families of the victims.
The Chief Minister also ordered the Transport Department to immediately launch a statewide checking of all school buses to ensure safety and security of the students to avoid recurrence of such tragic mishaps.
He also directed the District Child Protection Officers of Social Security Department to keep a strict vigil on schools vehicles violating provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and also the school managements that are using worn- out vehicles for transportation of students.
He also ordered the Transport Department to take strict action against any erring school managements, found violating the norms and guidelines prescribed under the various provisions of motor vehicle act.
The tragedy occurred when the school van was on its way to drop the kids of nursery wing of a private school in Longowal at their respective dropping points.
On the directions of the Chief Minister, Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla along with Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori and Senior Superintendent Police Sandeep Garg rushed to the spot and the hospital and met the victims’ families.
A case under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code has already been registered against the school management.