District administration had come out with 10 norms for them to follow. Rounds of official meetings to make oil companies and transporters of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) take precautionary measures to prevent accidents on highways in Dakshina Kannada have not yielded desired results. It came to the fore in the Karnataka Development Programme review meeting presided over by B. Ramanath Rai, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada here on Monday.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar told the meeting that the district administration had given 10 guidelines to them to follow. But none of them had been adhered to. They had been told to identify two acres between Mangaluru and Shiradi for developing it as a truck terminal. The companies and transporters had to keep an additional emergency rescue vehicle. The LPG tankers should have had one more additional driver to make it a three-member crew (two drivers and a cleaner). They had been asked to fix speed governors and connect a vehicle tracking system to the office of Superintendent of Police. They had been asked to set up a quick response team and keep a crane ready for rescue operations. But none of the guidelines had become a reality. “They have not yet given positive commitment,” he said.
A.B. Ibrahim, Deputy Commissioner, said that about 1,800 tankers plied on the highways in the district daily. He said an LPG tanker from Mangaluru to Hassan toppled at Addahole on NH 75 on Sunday. It was a cause for concern. There is a ban on the movement of LPG tankers in the district between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Ivan D’Souza, MLC, and B.A. MohiuddinBava, MLA, took the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to task for water-logging on the highways between B.C. Road and Mangaluru and between Talapady and Udupi. They questioned what sort of engineering the NHAI was following.
Expressing concern over increasing accidents on the highways, Rai instructed the Police and Transport departments and the NHAI to work in coordination to take preventive steps. Ivan D’Souza, MLC, alleged here on Monday that though movement of tankers transporting cooking gas or LPG on the highways in Dakshina Kannada is banned between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the police are allowing it by taking bribe. At a Karnataka Development Programme review meeting here on Monday, he said that recently crew of a tanker near Uppinangady told him that if bribed Rs. 500 police allow movement of tankers during night. The MLC said that when he noticed a LPG tanker on the highway near Uppinangady recently, he stopped it and questioned how it could ply during night. The crew revealed that they could ply by bribing.
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