AP of­fers wa­ter, tea to driv­ers to thwart mishaps

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - NATION - Srini­vasa Rao Ap­pa­rasu n let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Chair­ing a re­cent re­view meet­ing, Andhra Pradesh chief min­is­ter N Chan­drababu Naidu is­sued a pi­quant or­der. He di­rected of­fi­cials of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion (APSRTC) to pro­vide wa­ter bot­tles and ther­mos flasks to their longdis­tance bus driv­ers.

Though sur­prised, the APSRTC of­fi­cials were not stumped. Many al­ready knew that Babu was be­ing in­spired by an on­go­ing ini­tia­tive by the state po­lice to bring down ac­ci­dents on the na­tional high­way num­ber 16 by of­fer­ing driv­ers wa­ter and tea.

For the past one month, po­lice in the state have been pa­trolling the ac­ci­dent-prone high­way cut­ting through the state and con­nect­ing Kolkata with Chen­nai with mugs of wa­ter and cups of hot tea, stop­ping buses at key points and po­litely ask­ing the driv- ers to get down. The driv­ers are then re­quested to wash their faces with wa­ter from the mugs and then of­fered hot cups of tea. “It is meant to over­come their tired­ness dur­ing the long-dis­tance travel. It gives them much needed break, af­ter which they are al­lowed to re­sume their jour­ney,” said in­spec­tor gen­eral of road safety, le­gal and tech­ni­cal ser­vices, E Damodar.

“We also at times pick up a con­ver­sa­tion with them to beat their bore­dom,” Damodar ex­plained.

Ac­cord­ing to him, most ac­ci­dents take at the dead of night when driv­ers tend to lose con­cen­tra­tion as also the con­trol of the wheel. “If they wash their faces and have a cup of tea or coffee at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals, they be­come fresh and alert, so that the pos­si­bil­ity of ac­ci­dents will be less,” Damodar told HT.

In ab­sence of data, it is not cer­tain to what ex­tent ac­ci­dents have come down af­ter the ini­tia­tive. But po­lice of­fi­cials say the move is bring­ing about pos­i­tive change.

“We also re­mind the driv­ers that their fam­i­lies are wait­ing at home. These words have a lot of im­pact on them,” M Ka­malakar Rao, deputy su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice and nodal of­fi­cer of the ini­tia­tive in Gun­tur, pointed out.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.