Stressing the need to strengthen road safety campaigns in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked the transport department to ensure that every vehicle has ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ stickers pasted on its front and back sides.
The state government launched the ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ drive in 2016 as part of its initiative to inculcate a “sense of safe driving and responsible road behaviour” among people.
Banerjee, who inaugurated 20 state-run Volvo buses, 21 trauma-care ambulances and 13 wrecker vans, said the transport department would involve children for the sticker campaign “as the motorists might be more receptive to their requests”.
“Once the weather improves, we will rope in young boys and girls to paste the stickers on the front and the back sides of the vehicles at traffic intersections,” she said at the programme, in presence of Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari and senior transport officials.
The newly inaugurated Volvo buses would ply between district headquarters and Kolkata.
The objective of the sticker drive is to drill the message of road safety in the minds of people, Banerjee said.
“The ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ stickers, in big fonts, will have to be pasted on two ends of the vehicles to instill traffic discipline,” she asserted.
Talking about the new Volvo buses- ‘Banglashree Express’ – Banerjee said these high-speed vehicles would provide “comfortable and economic travelling experience” to the public.
“Twenty new buses, each worth around 1.5 crore, have joined the fleet and six more will hit the road in the near future,” she said.
The high-speed buses, connecting district towns with Kolkata, are being introduced at a time when debates over high-speed trains are doing the rounds across the country, the chief minister said, in an obvious reference to the bullet train project of the NDA government.
“During flood-like situations, when rail tracks are inundated, buses can be of help to stranded people. Last year, during north Bengal floods, bus services turned out to be the only means of transport,” she said.
The CM also said 80 electric buses would be introduced in greater Kolkata area before Durga Puja.
Referring to the wrecker vans, the CM said, “The vans can be of great help after a road mishap, especially at places like Maa flyover in central Kolkata,” she said.
Adhikari, on his part, credited the chief minister for the improved transport facilities in the state.
The non-stop Volvo buses were introduced to provide “comfortable and affordable” services to middle-class people, the transport minister added.