IMPHAL, January 14: The culture of dichotomy of the state has created a divide amongst the people of the state, deputy CM Gaikhangam said while addressing the 25th Drivers’ Day today held at the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Khuman Lampak.
The observation was organised by the Transporters and Drivers Forum, Manipur (TDF) and All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers’ Union (AMPTDU).
Gaikhangam, deputy chief minister and Y Bhupenchandra Ghosh, president TDF attended as the chief guest and president of the function.
MLA K Sharat Singh, MLA E Chand Singh, Kh Ibobi Singh, State level co-ordinator of IOC Ltd and SI Singh, senior depot manager of IOC Ltd were the guests of honour respectively.
During the function, Konjengbam Mani Singh, son of K Mandop Singh of Laipham Khunou and Laishram Babuchand Singh, son of L Mira Singh of Thangmeiband Hijam Leikai were honoured as life time achievement. They have been presented a dhoti, shawl, certificate and a case prize of Rs 2000 each.
Gaikhangam continued demands for Manipuri drivers have increased outside the state, because the drivers of the state not only have the required skills and technical knowhow of their field, but also works with responsibility, self-confidence and patience.
The deputy CM further said that the drivers of the state have been loyal to the owners of their vehicles.
Lauding the efforts of the drivers, the dy CM said that Manipur is one place where every essential commodities are brought in through the roads, and for which the drivers face bigger risk and hardships.
He further urged the people to talk nicely to the drivers.
MLA of Konthoujam A/C, K Sharat Singh said that drivers have brought essential commodities in the state despite intolerable situation on the national highways and they have also faced a lot of problem in the state. Even though they faced the problem, they continue bringing in the commodities into the state. They have served the people and without them people cannot survive in the state. He further said that it will be better if the drivers’ day is declared a state holiday.
Meanwhile, as was observed in other parts of the state, the Thoubal District Transporters’ Union also observed the day at the Table Tennis Indore Hall of Thoubal Wangmataba.
The function was attended by Khangabok assembly MLA O Landhoni Devi as chief guest, Thoubal Zilaparishad Adakshya Kh Surnalata as president and Imphal west traffic DSP Victoria Yengkhom, Thoubal district police DSP (ops) Y Chandramani, MOBEDS project director Md Sallaoddin Khan as guests of honour respectively.
The day’s proceedings started with the offering of floral tributes to six drivers.
During the function, DSP Victoria said that Thoubal District Transporter Union is a new drivers’ organisation. However, the help this organisation has extended to the traffic police is remarkable.
On the other hand, she further said, the profession of being a driver is nothing but service of the people.
She said unfair treatment to the drivers and looking down at the profession is an unfortunate act for one and all.
She also made an appeal to the drivers to follow traffic rules while driving and also to carry their necessary documents.
Victoria further pointed out that the number of vehicles has been increasing in such a manner that it is growing out of proportion with the staff strength of the Traffic police, which has only 140 staff.
The staff, vehicle ratio is 1:1020, she pointed out.
She further elaborated on the need to ensure security and safety of the drivers and the need to extend cooperation between the drivers, police and general public alike.
The chief guest of the function, MLA Landhoni said that all the professions are equal and there should be dignity of labour. The normalcy of the society will be affected if the drivers cease to do their duty. The chief guest further mentioned that it is not a nature of the mankind to inflict harassment to the drivers and also burning of their vehicle.
During the function, simple gift items were presented to the family members of the late drivers and to the sixty dutiful drivers. It is said that altogether 664 vehicles of different 19 societies are servicing in Thoubal district under the aegis of the said drivers’ Union.
Meanwhile, the All Manipur Road Transport Drivers and Motor Workers Union while commemorating the 202 drivers who died in various incidents during 1978 to 2013 also observed the day at Langjing Achouba Truck Parking.
The government continues to levy the toll tax points at Tadupi, Senapati, Keithelmanbi, Kangpokpi and collecting Rs 300- 400 per truck, however, the road safety measures and condition of the road continues to be still deplorable, said general secretary, All Manipur Road Transport Drivers Motor Workers Union, H Kullamani Singh.
The observance was marked by paying of floral tribute to the portrait of decease drivers who have lost their lives while performing their duty.
Speaking on the observance general secretary, All Manipur Road Transport Drivers Motor Workers Union, H. Kullamani Singh said that the drivers’ day is observed in remembrance of the deceased drivers of the state due to the difficult situation faced by the drivers of the roads.
He further said that the drivers are performing their duty on the swaying Maku Bridge and Barak Bridge carrying loads of various items for the state, however, the state government did not take up any positive works for the improvement of national highways and safety for the drivers in the national highways which make the drivers feeling of fear to performed duties.
The drivers which performed duties are for the sake of the people cutting across rich and poor but the government remain as spectator and never concerned about the difficulties of the drivers.
H Kullamani Singh appealed the state government to construct the national highways and the safety on national highways at the earliest for the welfare of the drivers.
Speaking to media persons by the side of the observation Nongombam (O) Pravabati wife of (L) Ningombam Govardhan Singh of Wangjing Hodamba died in Kohima in the year 2013 who ferry sugar for the FCI.
She further said that after the death of her husband the burden has increased and difficult to accommodate essential commodities, and added that to run the family holding jobs of collecting and loading sands to the trucks every day.
She expressed that if the government render help for the welfare of the family it will be an immense happiness.