Didi takes driver’s seat to steer state on safe road
Two-wheelers should be banned on Ma and AJC Bose Road flyovers after 10pm to curb the rising rate of crashes on the speed corridors and any person responsible for an accident should be slapped with criminal charges, chief minister Mamata Banerjee instructed the police on Friday , reiterating her zero-tolerance approach to violation of traffic safety .
“I want my state to be free of road accidents,“ Mamata said at a programme, addressing a gathering of more than 1,000 traffic personnel, IPS officers, bureaucrats and ministers from across the state. “A road accident has far-reaching ramifications, which we cannot even imagine. It takes away somebody’s beloved, takes away a family’s only earning member.“ She seemed to be especially upset with rash bikers causing accidents. “I am instructing you to bar motorcycles from plying Ma and AJC Bose Road flyovers after 10pm,“ she said, as Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar and DG Surajit Kar Purakayastha shared the dais with her. The CM also suggested to the transport department and the traffic police–two agencies primarily responsible for road safety–to install CCTV cameras at all crossings and highways, make helmets mandatory at the time of buying motorcycles and to set up a monitoring committee for a periodical safety audit. She ordered the cops to treat an accident as a crime. “Killing somebody in a road accident is a crime and it should be treated like one,“ she added.
Prompt to comply with the CM’s directives, the police ordered all petrol pumps by evening not to refuel bikes if the rider did not wear a helmet. They also sent out instructions to bar “group bikes“ from taking Park Street, AJC Bose Road and Ma flyovers besides procuring breath analysers and speed guns for every traffic guard. The traffic department statistics show 12 people have died on the Ma flyover since its opening last Pujas. Not forgetting the options to boost employment, the chief minister announced the setting up of an e-rickshaw industry , which would create employment as well as earn the state revenues. She also declared the formation of a bicycle industry , which she said would thrive as her government would continue to give away free bicycles to students under the sabuj sathi scheme. Even as she explored options to boost the revenue of the state, transport minister Subhendu Adhikari said, “Many Bengal residents, in a bid to evade taxes, are registering their vehicles in a neighbouring state. This has to stop. We will make it mandatory for bona fide Bengal residents to register their vehicles here. It will not only enhance the state revenue but also bring the vehicles under our ambit.“
Calling for a change in rules to help cops crack down on traffic offenders, Mamata said, “The Centre is amending the Central Motor Vehicles Act. It interferes with the federal structure. I want changes in the state. After all, we are responsible for traffic safety here,“ she said, adding helmets be me made mandatory at the time of buying twowheelers. She even mooted the idea of creating a fund to either subsidise or provide helmets free of cost to bikers.“There is no harm is thinking on these lines,“ Mamata said.
anandabazar patrika epaper 09/07/2016 : http://www.anandabazar.com