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‘Can’t escape responsibility by blaming drivers’: UP CM Yogi warns transport dept officials

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed displeasure over frequent accidents on Yamuna Expressway and asked the authorities to follow safety measures strictly.

lucknow Updated: Jul 12, 2019 11:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP chief minister,UP CM Adityanath,yogi adityanath
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath held a road safety meeting with senior officials in Lucknow on Thursday. (HT Photo )

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday warned transport department officials, saying they cannot escape responsibility for road accidents by blaming drivers.

Adityanath, who held a road safety meeting with senior officials in Lucknow, expressed displeasure over frequent accidents on Yamuna Expressway and asked the authorities to follow safety measures strictly.

The chief minister also asked the department officials to deploy two drivers on state-run buses on routes more than 400 km long, so that they can take turns driving the vehicle.

He said illegal ‘dhabas’ located near the expressway should be removed, rumbled strips should be installed on expressways, national highways and state highways after every 15 kilometres and speed breakers constructed according to the set norms.

To check overspeeding, speed radars should be installed on highways and adequate police force should be deployed, he said, adding signage with speed limits should be installed at sensitive points on the highways.

Also Read | CM Yogi-led probe panel blames driver for Yamuna Expressway mishap

He directed officials not to allow plying of vehicles without permits, remove unfit vehicles from roads and create awareness among people about traffic rules.

The directions have come after 29 people died in a tragic road accident on the 165-km Yamuna Expressway early Monday. The bus driver apparently fell asleep behind the wheel and lost control following which the vehicle veered of the road and fell into a drain, officials said.

There have been 4,880 accidents after commercial operations began on the high-speed corridor linking Noida and Agra in August 2012 until January last year, according to data sought through RTI. Over 700 people have died in those accidents.

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

The chief minister told JP Infratech representatives, present during the meeting, that ensuring safety on the expressway was also their responsibility since they collect the toll tax. He asked the company to follow the 13 suggestions for road safety prescribed by IIT Delhi.

Adityanath asked officials to take stern action against the company if standards were not followed. He also directed officials to conduct police verification and thorough medical checkup of drivers and scrutiny of their licence.

“Breathalyzer test should also be conducted before and after they go on long routes,” he said.

Stressing on safety audit of accident-prone spots, the chief minister said UP 100 vehicles and 108 ambulances should be deployed on highways, besides primary health centres and community health centres should be strengthened. Para medical staff should be trained , orthopaedic surgeons should be posted at the district hospitals, MRI and CT Scan machines installed in hospitals. Telemedicine service should be provided to patients, he said.

The chief minister said the toll plazas and petrol pumps should have public facilities. He also called for regular patrolling on highways to check overspeeding, drunken and irresponsible driving.

He directed the transport department to hold a meeting in coordination with other departments every month.

Yogi said road safety week will be observed after three months. Road construction agencies, including PWD, NHAI and State Highway Authority, should discharge their duties regarding road safety, he said, adding laxity by officers and engineers will be dealt with strictly.

To ensure safety of schoolchildren, the chief minister said, fitness test of all school buses be done before the next session and RTO office should remain open on holidays if necessary.

If anyone is found violating the law, stern action will be taken, he asserted.

Pamphlets on road safety should be distributed in the schools, he said, adding the DMs, SPs and BSAs should hold the meetings with principals on road safety.

In the first week of August, he will review the actions taken on the instructions he made, the chief minister said. Deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and senior state government officials were also present during the meeting.

Deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, medical education minister Ashutosh Tandon, industrial development minister Satish Mahana, minister of state for transport (independent charge) Swatantra Dev Singh, chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey and DGP OP Singh were present in the meeting.

First Published: Jul 12, 2019 11:22 IST

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