- Training being provided to taxi and bus drivers for good behaviour alongside traffic etiquette
- Restriction on consumption of intoxicants & chewing tobacco, no additional charges for passengers
By Our Correspondent
Lucknow, January 9: In preparation for the consecration of Lord Rama in the grand Ram Temple built in Ayodhya, the Yogi government of Uttar Pradesh is gearing up to provide a comfortable, hassle-free ride for the devotees. Under the directives of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Transport Department has initiated a plan in which taxi and tourist bus vehicles will be reserved as needed during the various programs organised in Ayodhya.
Directives have been issued to taxi and tourist bus drivers to ensure the necessary reservations under different programs. Additionally, taxi and bus drivers have been instructed to practice safe driving, adhere to traffic rules, behave well with tourists, and wear uniforms mandatorily.
Instructions have also been given to drivers to abstain from any form of intoxication and chewing tobacco during this time, along with emphasizing the regular cleanliness of the vehicles. The department has also issued warning against charging passengers more than the specified fare under any circumstances.
It is noteworthy that the atmosphere across the country has become charged with anticipation for the consecration ceremony of Lord Rama, scheduled to take place in Ayodhya on January 22. In light of this, the state government is making preparations to ensure smooth transportation arrangements while also prioritizing the convenience of the devotees during the program.
The implementation of the plan has been initiated by the Transport Department. According to Transport Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Singh, taxi and bus drivers in Ayodhya are being sensitized through training on specified points to ensure their compliance. This includes instructing them on safe driving and adherence to traffic rules, improving their behaviour towards tourists, mandatory wearing of uniforms, abstaining from any form of intoxication and chewing tobacco, ensuring the cleanliness of vehicles, and not charging more than the specified fare under any circumstances.
He further added that within a 200 km radius of Ayodhya, enforcement teams equipped with interceptor vehicles are deployed on all routes to assist tourists. They address issues related to road safety, such as overloading, drunk driving, wrong-side driving, overcharging, enforcing dress codes for drivers, and adopting other measures for security awareness.
Chandra Bhushan Singh mentioned that at all toll plazas between Lucknow and Ayodhya, Gorakhpur and Ayodhya, and Sultanpur and Ayodhya, help desks of the Transport Department are being set up for tourist assistance. Hoardings being put up regarding road safety and traffic rules, while publicity is also being done through newspapers, publicity vans, digital banners, and all social media platforms to promote safe travel. For road safety, the deployment of ambulances, patrolling and crane vehicles has been ensured on the NH and SH routes of NHAI.
He further informed that in Ayodhya, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has initiated action on the automation of the driving testing track at the Driving Training and Testing Institute (DTTI) and is likely to complete the project by March 2024. The construction of DTTI was undertaken by the Uttar Pradesh State Construction Corporation, with an expenditure of INR 856.84 lakh. After the completion of construction, the department is currently conducting manual driving testing.
Traffic system improved during Road Safety Fortnight
From December 15 to December 31, 2023, the Road Safety Fortnight was effectively organised in Ayodhya as part of the statewide campaign. The inaugural ceremony saw the participation of 33,343 individuals, with 33,020 taking the oath. During this period, awareness about road safety and traffic rules was spread to 109,677 people. LED-equipped publicity vans were deployed at 195 locations, and 362 Public Address Systems were installed to promote road safety and traffic rules.
In addition, health and vision examinations were conducted according to health check cards in government hospitals, involving 11,274 commercial vehicle drivers. A Basic Trauma Life Support program was organized at Medical Colleges, with the participation of 5,709 people. Checking campaigns were carried out for 9,373 commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers, ensuring the proper use of retro-reflective tape, backlights, fog lights, and adherence to standards.
About 12,438 individuals were educated on lane driving and the use of high-beam and low-beam headlights at night for road safety. In the pollution checking campaign, 825 centres were inspected of which 20 were found unfit. In a checking campaign for school vehicles, 3,477 vehicles were inspected of which 176 were found unfit. The program included events and helmet distribution. Organizations excelling in the field of road safety, such as NGOs, Master Trainers, and Road Safety Clubs, were honoured.
Enforcement action taken during the fortnight
During the Road Safety Fortnight, enforcement activities were also carried out. A total of 988 fines were imposed for overloading, 407 for incorrect number plates, 2442 for vehicles without HSRP, 677 for unauthorized vehicles parked on the roadside, 737 for not having retro-reflective tape, 4581 for not using helmets, 840 for using mobile phones while driving, 1117 for driving in the wrong direction, 333 for operating buses illegally, 599 for vehicles spreading pollution, 310 for use of heaters, sirens, pressure horns, and tinted films on windows, 135 for not following lane driving, 202 for drunken driving, 1583 for overspeeding, 301 for exceeding passenger capacity, and 1404 for not using seat belts. Through these fines, a total revenue of Rs 3.3 crore was generated.