The school van owners’ association has decided to go on strike and not ply their vehicles on Thursday morning.
Parents of schoolchildren have been forced to drop their children themselves.
The van drivers are protesting the Karachi police’s campaign against school buses with substandard CNG and LPG cylinders.
“Gas cylinders are found in cars across Pakistan,” said a van driver. “Why are only we being targeted?”
A parent remarked that he has no problem in dropping his children. “We will not listen to their [van drivers’] demands,” he added.
The crackdown started after six children were injured after their school van caught fire in Karachi on January 5. The van, which belonged to Madrassa Usman bin Affan, caught fire near the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town. There were 14 children in the van at the time of the fire.
We cannot put the lives of our children in danger, said Sindh Transport Minister Owais Qadir Shah. “We won’t allow school vans on run on CNG cylinders.”
He said that those who have a problem with this should go to court.
On January 7, Qadir appealed the parents to not send their children in a school van which has a CNG or LPG cylinder.
Accepting the government’s failure, the transport minister has said his department did not have a force of its own so parents should be careful on their own.