The West Bengal school education department has directed 26 prominent schools of the city to restrict the use of personal vehicles by students and ensure that they avail either car pool or school buses to curb the pollution menace.

The department, last week has issued an order asking the authorities of 26 prominent schools to minimise the personal use of vehicles by students restricting it to special circumstances. The schools, affiliated to different boards have been asked to implement the order by 1 April.

The order, according to the notification, has been issued to minimise pollution and reduce traffic congestion. The notification highlighted that the initiative has been taken based on the directives of the National Green Tribunal issued recently for maintenance of ambient air quality near big schools identified by Kolkata Police.

The notification, as informed by sources, was issued after the state chief secretary and senior police officials held a meeting with representatives of some of the eminent city schools to ensure minimum traffic congestion during the starting and closing hours of the schools. The department authorities have asserted in the notification that ‘the use of personal vehicle for ferrying students to and from the school should only be allowed in very emergent and exceptional cases against proper justification.

Some of the institutions that have been asked to ensure ‘mandatory’ introduction of the car pool/school bus system include St Xavier’s School, Don Bosco School Kolkata, Gokhale Memorial School, Sakhawat Memorial Government Girls High School, La Martiniere School for Boys/Girls, South Point School, Shri Shikshayatan School, South Point School and so on.

“We are studying how to implement the order,” informed Mr Krishna Damani, trustee of South Point School. “We are yet to take any decision on the subject as the notification has been received last week and the school was closed for Sarawati Puja,” echoed a senior staff member of another prominent private school in the city.