Bhubaneswar: With an aim to curb early morning road mishaps, the State Government, in a novel initiative, decided to provide free tea to the drivers of heavy vehicles during night in the highways in Odisha, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu said on Thursday.
Speaking to media persons here, Shrimati Sahu said keeping with the Chief Minister’s motto: ‘Every Life is Precious’, the State Government is taking measures to stop road mishap fatalities in the State.
“In this direction, we have decided to offer free tea to the night drivers of heavy vehicles in roadside dhabas and hotels. The drivers will also be provided with facilities to take rest.”
Normally it is seen that drivers drive their trucks while remaining awake the whole night. So, they feel drowsy and fall asleep in the wee hours, which causes road accidents. Therefore, the Transport Department has taken this innovative approach for the refreshment of the truck drivers, she said.
The Transport Commissioner has asked all Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) to identify the roadside hotels and dhabas on highways, where the drivers will be offered free tea to avoid drowsiness and sleeping related accidents at night, Minister said.
Further, the State Government has been setting up truck terminals and wayside amenity centres along various major roads of Odisha, where the drivers can take rest and have refreshment.
The truck terminals have been established in some districts while the collectors of remaining districts have been asked to identify suitable land to set up such terminals, informed the Transport Minister.
The Transport Minister had informed the House on November 23 that 25,934 people died in separate road accidents in Odisha in five years between 2018 and 2022.