Monday, May 10, 2010

ST drivers’ wives get gifts, cash for mishap-free rides

Mumbai: ‘Behind every successful man, there is a woman’—the MSRTC has used this cliched saying to its advantage. In the past two years, 223 wives of state transport (ST) drivers were felicitated with sarees, gifts and cash for their husbands’ “accident-free’’ driving. The transport corporation claims that the scheme has brought down the number of accident cases to some extent.
“We had identified drivers who had a clean record of not being involved in accidents for several years. We not only gave them commendatory notes, but also honoured their wives with sarees, token gifts and Rs 7,000 for the family,’’ said a MSRTC spokesperson. He said the corporation’s initiative was such a hit with drivers that it sent a message to all ST drivers to drive carefully. “Who would not
want to get felicitated in the presence of family members? And who would not want his better half to be rewarded for his personal achievement?’’ the spokesperson said.
Statistics provided by MSRTC showed that in 2007-08, there were 3,450 accidents while the ST buses had covered

a distance of 179 crore km. The number of accidents came down to 3,220 while ST buses covered more distance of 181 crore km in 2008-09. Of the total number of accidents, the number of major accidents was 2,363 in 2007-08 and this dropped to 1,977 cases in 2008-09. The average number of major accidents per year prior to 2007 had never fallen below the 2,000-mark. “The corporation
also had to pay Rs 2 crore less in compensation to accident victims in 2008-09 as compared to the previous year,’’ an ST official said.
The number of passengers ferried were 224 crore in 2007-08 which rose to 240 crore passengers in 2008-09. “The safety of our passengers is very important. We are also conducting sensitisation programmes for drivers, urging them not to drive rashly even if there is no vehicle in sight. We also train our drivers to maintain road discipline and not to misbehave with any passenger,’’ the spokesperson stated.
The ST’s toll-free helpline (1800-22-1250), introduced in the recent past, has also helped passengers get emergency medical aid in case of accidents. “Our control room informs the nearby hospital and arranges for emergency treatment,’’ said a senior official.
published in Times of India

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