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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

After fatal Agra crash, UP transport dept will teach Vrajasana to drivers to prevent mishaps

The Uttar Pradesh transport department’s announcement of a series of measures to prevent mishaps came after Monday’s fatal crash on the Yamuna Expressway near Agra which left 29 dead.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2019 22:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the SGPGI Lucknow on Wednesday to meet survivors of the bus crash on the Yamuna Expressway in Agra.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the SGPGI Lucknow on Wednesday to meet survivors of the bus crash on the Yamuna Expressway in Agra.(ANI)

The UP transport department has come up with a series of precautionary measures, including teaching long-haul drivers the yoga exercise of Vajrasana to overcome fatigue and building rumble strips on expressways to prevent accidents after Monday’s fatal crash claimed 29 lives near Agra.

“Drivers will now be instructed to take at least half-an-hour’s break at road-side eateries and perform Vajrasana (in which one sits in a kneeling position and does stretching exercises to increase blood circulation) to relax and beat any signs of exhaustion and tiredness, one of the major reasons behind accidents,” said UP Transport minister Swatantra Dev Singh.

Singh, who along with senior Transport department officials were summoned by chief minister Yogi Adityanath late Tuesday night said that the latter was ‘very upset’ and concerned over the growing number of accidents on the expressways.

The CM has asked transport department officials to prepare and implement a new plan to ensure safety on the Yamuna and Lucknow-Agra expressways, he said. On being asked about the findings of the inquiry report submitted to the CM, he said, , “the driver of the bus had dozed off.”

Also read: CM Yogi-led probe panel blames driver for Yamuna Expressway mishap

But the minister had no reply when asked about the basis of probe panel’s finding as the driver of the ill-fated bus too died in the mishap or why the bus was plying on a route different from its scheduled itinerary or had no-speed-limit device.

“Our officials spoke to some of the passengers on the bus,” he said adding that a more detailed report would be made available within a week.

“Ninety per cent of all our buses have been fitted with speed-limit devices and vehicle tracking system and the remaining ones would also be equipped within a month,” said the minister in what was his first presser ever since he took charge.

Singh said he himself was very disturbed by the gruesome scene when he visited the site of Monday’s accident and had ever since been discussing loopholes in the system and possible corrective measures with senior department officials to prevent such accidents. “Apart from focusing on the training, regular medical check-up of the drivers, we also intend to enhance our roads and highways infrastructure with the help of latest technology,” he said.

Also read: UP Roadways bus accident: Unfavourable work conditions make it difficult for drivers

Officials have been asked to identify ‘black spots and accident-prone zones on both the Yamuna expressway and the Lucknow-Agra expressway and all helpline numbers should be printed on the toll tax slip. He said that all drivers will be subjected to medical checkups before and after they go on long-distance routes and only those with a good track record of driving will be retained to drive on such routes.

New buses or the ones which have clocked less than 4-lakh kilometres would be deployed on all long routes and there will be two drivers in the bus so that they can interchange their duties along the route. The bus which crashed on Monday, had only one driver.

Singh said another measure to prevent accidents would be to build rumble strips at regular intervals on expressways to cut speed although that goes against the argument of building such roads in the first place.

First Published: Jul 10, 2019 22:16 IST

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