Gangtok, 23 May:
Motor Vehicles Division of the Transport Department, in association with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, today conducted a daylong workshop to discuss various aspects of road safety in the capital.
In his welcome address, Principal Secretary, Transport Department, SBS Bhaduria stated that the department is deeply concerned about road accidents in the State.
He added that injuries and fatalities have become a source of concern which motivated the department to organize the workshop.
“Road mishaps have now become a major issue,” he said.
Further, he said that the Centre and State Governments have a joint responsibility to address the growing concerns in reducing the incident of road accidents, injuries and fatalities.
He informed as compared to 2015, the number of road accidents and injuries have declined in 2016 by 4.1% and 1.1% respectively.
Adding further, he informed that two wheelers accounted for the highest share in total number of road accidents (33.8%) in 2016 which is an increase from 28.8% in 2015.
Sikkim recorded 210 cases of accidents in 2016 which decreased to 198 cases in 2017.
A total number of accident related deaths was 85 in 2016 which has come down to 68 in 2017, he informed.
He also informed that the department will set up Inspection and Certification (I&C) centres in Jalipool, East Sikkim and Jorethang, South Sikkim.
Transport Minister, DT Lepcha asked all the stakeholders to think and come up with positive suggestions to reduce road accidents in the State.
He stated that drivers are one of the prime stakeholders and they have to be responsible for not just their families but also of the passengers.
Adding that Sikkim is a leading tourism destination, he added that drivers play an important role in road safety.
The Minister also highlighted the role of the media to spread awareness on road safety.
He further added that the State Government has taken many steps to sensitize the citizens on traffic rules and road safety.
Citing the example of adding road safety in education curriculum in schools, he stressed that the government is fully committed to ensuring safety and security of all.
He further informed that ex-gratia of Rs 05 Lakh will be given to the families of victims killed in road related accidents with Rs 80 lakh already distributed by the State Government since the scheme was introduced.
The Minister further informed that the State is looking to install single window system very soon for easy documentation and registration of vehicles procedures.
He stated that the government is installing GPS, speed limit device and speed governor to boost safe driving in the State.
Asking the police and other line department to keep strict eye on ‘irresponsible drivers’, the Minister informed that the State Government is conducting awareness campaigns in all four districts of the State to stop careless driving [driving under influence of alcohol and drugs].
The program was also addressed by Additional Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Ongmu Bhutia, Editor-in-Chief, Sikkim Chronicle, Nirmal Mangar, General Manager, Sikkim Nationalized Transport, S.T Bhutia , Deputy RTO [East], J.B Thapa and Border Road Organization(BRO) representative, Colonel Gyatso.
A documentary “Nirnay” on road safety was also launched by the Transport Minister.
Presentations and open forum discussions was also done by the speakers.
The program was also attended by Mayor, Gangtok Municipal Corporation, Shakti Singh Chaudhary, GMC deputy mayor, Lassey Doma Bhutia with government officials, police, students, drivers and driver association members.