Pradeep Pattanayak

To check the number of accidents, the State transport department has come up with an innovative idea. The department has asked the NH-side dhabas and hotels to provide tea to truck drivers free of cost. 

At a time when the increasing road mishaps have become a cause of concern for the Odisha government as well as road safety activists, the transport department’s move assumes importance. 

It has been seen that most accidents occur during morning hours. This is ascribed to the drivers feeling drowsy and often dozing off at the wheel after continuous night-long drive. So, the roadside dhabas and hotels owners have been directed to offer tea to the drivers during night. 

Also Read: Nearly 26K road accident deaths recorded in Odisha in 5 years: Minister in Assembly

Besides offering tea, the owners will also make arrangements for them so that they can take rest for five to ten minutes. 

Transport Department's Take On The Initiative

Speaking on the initiative, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu said, “Normally it is seen that drivers drive their trucks while remaining awake the whole night. It is also seen that most accidents occur in the wee hours as they doze off on the wheel."

"So our department asks roadside dhabas and eateries to provide them with tea and keep them engaged in discussions so that they will get rid of their drowsiness. I hope all would cooperate,” she said. 

Reportedly, the district-level hotels and dhabas will be identified and the cost of tea will be borne by the State government.

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.

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