TODAY -

Drivers' Day to be observed
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, January 11 2011: Like in previous years, this year also All Manipur Road Transport Drivers' and Motor Workers' Union (AMRTD & MWU) is going to observe Drivers' Day on January 14 .

The 22nd observance of the day will be organised at Sinam Sama Devi Town Hall, Chingmeirong, as a mark of respect to drivers who lost their lives while discharging their duties, a statement of the Union said today.

The union has been observing the day every year since 1990 remembering a seven day continuous protest at Koirengei airfield by hundreds of drivers against tortures, bad road conditions of the highways and the problems faced by drivers while passing through Nagaland.

The observance of the day became more meaningful after drivers collectively launched a series of protests in the following years against the killing and torture of drivers and handymen.

Over 200 transport vehicles carried out a rally on June 1994 when handyman, Naorem Tarun alias Inao son of Ibomcha of Kakching Wairi Sabal Leikai was brutally murdered by armed miscreants at Zubza in Nagaland.

The rally was carried out by drivers who staged a nine day protest by suspending transportation of goods to the state from other parts of the country on the highways.

Around 1000 vehicles remained camped at Koirengei for nine days.

Thereafter the AMRTD & MWU has been working for the welfare of the driver communities and for the upliftment of their status in the society.

Under the guidance and pressure of the Union, the family of one driver, Brahmacharimayum Binoy Sharma of Nambol received an ex-gratia of Rs.1.5 lakh from the election commission and Rs 1.9 lakh as insurance.

He was killed on February 15, 1998 in an ambush by armed miscreants at Ngariyan while he was on election duty.

His family was the first in the state to get ex-gratia from the Election Commission of India said the the Union adding that it is helping drivers at times of misfortunes like accidents, deaths etc.

The Union also took a main role to press the government to pay compensation to drivers and handymen who suffered injuries during the economic blockade on NH 39 in September 1996 by the Naga People's Forum , protesting against the creation of Sadar Hills District and during the economic blockade imposed by Senapati District Students' Association on the same highway in May, 1998 .

In August, 2007 when two drivers of LPG bullet tankers, Akoijam Bormani Singh and Mishang were kidnapped from Dimapur, the Union had organised rallies demanding their safe release.

The two drivers were released unharmed.

The Union in a statement also added that they had extended support to bandhs imposed against the 'terrible' bad condition of NH 39 .

A total of 168 drivers have lost their lives while discharging their duties in a span of 18 years, from 1990 to 2008 .

On the other hand the Union is paying a monthly pension of Rs. 250 each to old aged drivers who retired from duty and also to those who are permanently disabled due to accidents.


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