Welfare of drivers mooted during Drivers` Day observation

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IMPHAL, January 14: How many cases of driver killing and kidnapping cases in the State have the police registered and investigated, questioned director of prosection, Ng Tejkumar speaking at the 26th Drivers`™ Day celebration at THAU ground today.

The observation was organised by the All Manipur Road Transport Drivers and Motor Workers`™ Union.

People need to respect the drivers who are working day and night to bring in the essential commodities into the State he said urging people and the organisations against imposing bandhs, blockades along the national highways.

Tejkumar said people should preserve unity to bring happiness and peace into the State so that the future generation may live in a peaceful society.

The director of prosecution also said that he would like to be a legal advisor for the AMRTD&MWU and help the drivers.

Keithel Nupi Marup president Y Ibeni said people including the ministers, MLA high ranking officials cannot survive for long, if the drivers stop bringing in the items.

However, the government has failed to protect their interest she observed adding that the government needs to start recognising the drivers`™ sacrifice.

Ibeni said that those involved in kidnapping, killing the drivers and handymen and attacking transporters are all anti-socials and are equivalent to jungle animals.

The drivers, she observed are even higher that the minister, MLAs and officials .

In his speech AITUC secretary L Sotinkumar said the main objective of observing the day is to discuss the welfare of drivers and their families.

The government to increase the minimum monthly wages to Rs 15000 he said adding that the drivers and handymen should also demand salary hike from their vehicle owners.

Sotinkumar also said that the government should provide a main parking and resting space for the drivers, as the State ISBT inaugurated in 2011 by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been reduced to a total failure.

Setting up of a Highway Protection Force as security measure for the drivers and transporters plying along the highways is also necessary, he said.

Floral tributes were also paid to portraits of 207 drivers who have lost their lives.

As a part of the observation, AMRTD&MWU presented gifts to families of retired drivers and others who have died on duty. Another main highlight of the observation was a traffic signal demonstration presented by the Imphal West traffic police.

The function was also attended by AMRTD&MWU president S Manglem Singh as president, social worker O Henry Singh, DTO Imphal West Mutum Mani Singh and Sagolband United Club NH 37 president Senjam Mahindra Singh.

Meanwhile, general secretary of the union H Kulamani also said that the driver and his handyman who were reportedly kidnapped on January 11 from in between Keithelmanbi and Kalapahar have been freed by their abductors today around 2pm somewhere in Jakhama, Nagaland.

Meanwhile, the Highway Truck Owners`™ Welfare Organisation (HITOWO) has conveyed its greetings on the occasion of Drivers`™ Day held on January 14.

According to a release of the HITOWO, the organisation also honoured the drivers and shared the grief of those family members of drivers who passed away. The organisation also said that people must pay respect to the drivers who are constantly facing danger during their journey, it said.

The All Heirok Drivers`™ and Owners`™ Joint Committee, Heirok had also observed the day at Heirok Ngarouthel.

In his speech, secretary of the committee, Kh Mahendra described in detail the roles taken by drivers in today`™s society and appealed to the state government to take up steps for the benefit of the drivers. Elderly drivers and dedicated drivers are honoured with a small present each. Afterwards, a football match was also held for the drivers only.

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