In an attempt to improve road safety, the State Transport Authority (STA) has initiated a training programme ‘Vahak’ for heavy vehicle drivers of the State.
The programme organised by STA in collaboration with Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Ashok Leyland Limited was inaugurated by Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority at HMV Driver Training Institute, Chhatia in Jajpur district.
“We lost around 10,000 people during the Tsunami. India loses 1.5 lakh lives due to road accidents every year which is equal to 15 Tsunamis. Unfortunately, we don’t realise the graveness of the situation because these are isolated incidents. Road accidents are a serious cause of concern for all of us. This has a serious impact on families and our economy”, Bagchi said.
Appreciating the efforts of truck drivers during Covid 19 lockdown, Bagchi said, “Truckers are the ultimate lifeline who maintained critical supply chains of food and goods that were in high demand during the lockdown.”
“The refresher training programme will hone the skills of drivers and in turn help in reducing accidents in the state”, he said.
“In India, there is hardly any formal training for HMV drivers. There are very few HMV drivers training tracks in the country. Generally, helpers over a period of time become HMV drivers without proper training. Project Vahak is conceived to bridge the gap and enhance the skills of these drivers”, Arun Bothra, Transport Commissioner said.
It is a first of its kind state-level HMV Driver’s refresher training programme. To begin with, a total of 1000 drivers of OMC will be trained in the first phase. In each batch, 60 drivers will be trained for three days about driving skills, fuel efficiency, basic first aid, road safety and road signages. The drivers will be given a stipend for a three days training programme.