IMPHAL, January 14: The All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers’ Union observed its 24th Drivers’ Day Celebration today at the ISBT Complex at Khuman, Dinku Road, Imphal. The function was attended by Minister Education, CAF & PD M Okendro Singh, MLA & VP MPCC T Mangibabu Singh, State Level Co-ordinator IOC Ltd Manipur Kh Ibobi Singh, Senior Depot Manager IOC Ltd. Imphal S I Singh and President AMPTDU, Y Bhupenchandra Ghosh as Chief Guest, Guests of Honour and President respectively.
As part of the function the chief guest hoisted the union’s flag and floral tribute was paid to the portraits of the drivers who lost their lives. Gifts were also presented to deceased driver’s family and veteran drivers.
Education Minister delivering his speech said that the essential commodities in the state are not rail fed, nor air fed but it comes through roads by truckers. He said that during their transportation, many unwanted things happen to the extent of loosing the lives of drivers. He added that till date, more than 60 drivers have lost their lives out of which, some are caused by underground groups and some by road accidents. He reminded that during the conflict situations in the state the drivers had risked their lives to bring in essential and needful commodities into the state.
Appealing for all the drivers’ associations, unions into one body, he said that it would help make fruitful policies for the welfare of drivers like security policy and pension plans etc. He assured that the state Govt. will extend support in favor of the drivers and added, “ A garage with capacity for 300 heavy vehicles and a 150 feet long shed to meet the inconveniences of the drivers will be ready within April at the premises of FCS’s godown, Sangaiprou, Imphal.”
Another observation of the state was organized by the Manipur Driver’s Welfare Association, under the theme ‘healthy driver for a wealthy state’ at the Manipur Press Club.
Kh. Inaobi, President of the NH53 Truck Owner Association said the drivers of the state have played a major role in the day to day life for every section of society by facing lots of difficulties in the works and life.
Ito Tongbram said at the event, “Due to the lack of transportation of goods in the state trough train and flight, our state mainly depend on road connectivity for our daily need.” Adding that drivers of the state play a major role in providing all the commodities we need for our daily uses by bringing it from the other state for all sections of society who are staying together in the state, he said that is very unfortunate for all us that they were treated badly and harassed by some sections of the society in the way of bandh and blockade in both the national highway connecting our state to others. “Many drivers were beaten up for the tax and many have lost their life serving for all the people of the state in his line of duty,” he said.
Angtha Tombi, Adhaksha Imphal east said, “We have to depend for everything from food, cloth and other raw materials which are only brought to the state through our highways which are available in the state only due to the dedication of the brave driver’s of the state.”
Family member and other members of the Welfare Association today give floral tribute to the photos of the drivers who had died while performing their duty.
Meanwhile, Driver’s day was also celebrated by the 69 Bn CRPF at Mantripukhri to remember and respect the services rendered by drivers facing grave challenges and discomfort in respecting safety and security on roads.
Speaking at the celebration day function, Commandant Rakesh Kumar Singh said that 69 Bn CRPF is running the IOCL convoy to ensure proper and smooth supply of essential services in the state and also administering CRPF convoy, thus playing a very crucial role in the day to day functioning and progress of the state.
He further said that the road accidents, road rages and drunken driving have caused loss of precious lives in the past many years. He stressed the point that lives and injuries on road can be avoided if we follow road discipline and traffic rules religiously.
B.D. Das, DIG CRPF Imphal also extended his wishes and safe driving messages to all drivers of civil trucks, tankers as well as to CRPF drivers who were in attendance at the function. Applauding the role of civil trucks and tanker drivers working in difficult conditions, Second-In Command Helal Firoz said that they were doing great service to the society.
The drivers who were present in the function also related the various challenges which they had faced due to lack of amenities on National/State highways, poor road condition along the Jiribam-Imphal road and the absence of repair workshop along the roads.
The 24th Drivers day was also organized at Lanjing Achouba Truck Parking by the All Mainipur Truck Drivers Union.
Speaking at the function, Kh Ratankumar Singh, Minister Works & Transport Govt. of Manipur said that in the context of Manipur, the sacrifice and contribution of drivers to keep commodities in stock is noteworthy. “For the survival of the people, they face many difficulties in the face of sudden bands and blockades and trouble given by the agitators. They sleep and eat by the road-side ,” he said.