The state government has decided to set up a driving training institute to teach youths aspiring to drive heavy vehicles free of cost. A 12-acre land has been identified near Khandagiri for it.
“We will run the proposed training institute in public-private-partnership mode. A leading automobile company will operate the institute and train the drivers,” regional transport officer (Bhubaneswar) Lalmohan Sethi told TOI.
At present, the state’s lone heavy vehicle driving institute is located at Chhatia, which was inaugurated in 2012. To attract more learners to the proposed institute, the state transport department plans to provide free accommodation and stipend to them. The authorities will train the youths for 30 to 45 days.
“We want to attract more helpers of heavy vehicles’ because they learn driving without guidance. We often came across accidents caused by rookie helper-cum-drivers,” Sethi said.
The NH-5, passing through the city has turned into death trap as bulk of the accidents here was caused by heavy vehicles. More than 2,000 trucks pass through the NH everyday. While 599 and 625 accidents took place in 2011 and 2012 respectively, at least 675 mishaps were reported in 2013. As many as 200 persons died here last year as against 184 in 2012.
Absence of dedicated driving learning tracks for light vehicles here is another cause for concern. At present, private driving training institutes are imparting the skills to people on busy roads, causing mishaps on a regular basis.
Sources said nearly 15 accidents caused by novice drivers, involving vehicles of training institutes came to the notice of traffic police last year. “We have been warning driving training centres not to jeopardize lives of commuters by conducting driving tests on streets and busy roads,” said ACP (traffic) Binod Das.
Trainers said they teach driving skills to new drivers during non-peak traffic hours, especially early morning. “We take precautions to prevent any accident. Since we do not have open spaces anywhere, we are forced to use the city roads as driving testing track,” said Prabir Pattnaik, a trainer.
At present, the city has only one testing track in Chandrasekharpur, which is being used by the transport department to teach driving skills to people before issuing them a licence.
Citizens said the training institutes are using Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Sachivalay Marg and the spacious road connecting AG Square to Governor House as testing track during peak hours. “We do not think police ever takes the trainers to task for allowing rookie drivers to learn on crowded roads,” said Siddharth Das, a lawyer.
Courtesy: The Times of India
City in a Slideshow