IMPHAL, January 14: Manipur is the only State in the whole country where dead drivers of transport vehicles plying along the national highways are remembered and commemorated, said All India Road Transport Workers Federation secretary advocate Hareshwor Das today.
He was speaking at the 26th Drivers`™ Day celebration at the ISBT Complex.
Family members led others in offering floral tributes to portraits of the deceased drivers.
Continuing further, Das said his federation has been trying to do the same- commemorate the deceased drivers- for long.
Acknowledging the dangers that the drivers of the region had to undergo, he said the entire North Eastern States are mostly hills and on top of that the roads are in deplorable conditions, however, the Centre continues to remain silent.
The total length of road in India is 33.14 km on which some 15.92 crores of vehicles are plying daily and there is an 11 percent increase in the number of vehicles on daily basis he observed.
More than a lakh of people die while around 10 lakh are injured every year in road accidents he observed.
Elaborating further, he said Rs 70000 crore is utilised to control road mishap damages which amounts to around 3 percent of the total GDP.
The Narendra Modi government is also trying to replace the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 with the new Road transport & Safety Bill, 2014 he observed.
He said the new bill will magnify fines and extend imprisonment period.
He said that the All India Road Transport Workers Federation has been agitating against the new bill as most provisions of the bill are against the welfare of drivers. He also appealed to all associations and unions working for the welfare of drivers to join hands in agitating against the implementation of the new bill.
Das also said that the high number of accidents is mostly due to the poor road condition.
The day was organised by the All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers`™ Union and was also attended by senior Depot Manager IOC Ltd, Manipur Sinam Ibungoton Singh; president Golaghat District Drivers Union, Assam Pabon Barua; President NH 53 Truck Owner Association, Imphal Kh Inaoba Meetei; secretary Centre for Indian Trade Union, Manipur Sarat Salam and president AMPTDU Y Bhupenchandra Ghosh as guests of honour and president respectively.
As part of function devotional songs were presented.
Later gifts were distributed to the family members of deceased drivers`™ family and veteran drivers.