The Bengal government has joined hands with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, for the first time to prepare a detailed report on how to prevent increasing number of road accidents in the state, state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said.
He inaugurated the Toyota driving school, the first of its kind in Eastern India run by Toyota Kirloskar on Thursday afternoon. This was the fifth Toyota driving school in the country. The other schools are located at Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kochi and Chennai. The driving school is the first step towards fulfilling the state government’s slogan “Safe Drive Save Life.”
"We are expecting to get the final report from the experts of the premier institution within the next couple of months to help the government take suitable steps to prevent such unfortunate incidents which currently had been leading to deaths of more than 6,000 people every year,” Principal Secretary of Transport department, Alapan Bandopadhyay said.
Earlier referring to the "keen interests" shown by all leading automobile manufacturers in the country like the Maruti- Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai and the Ford India apart from the Toyota Kirloskar about the importance of running the "Safest car with the safest driver" to prevent road accidents, Bandopadhyay said that the existing driving training schools need to be upgraded and the state government would give incentive to unemployed youth intending to join the transport sector and become owner drivers under schemes like Gatidhara, provided they have received “corporate structured training”.
"Gradually, not all will be given driving licenses and the filtering process would start. There is also a need for corporatisation of the driving schools and the government is in talks with companies such as Maruti, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland," he said.
Hirdyesh Mohan, principal secretary technical education said in the next three years, state government had proposed to impart driving skills in one lakh youth from basic, regional level and state levels.
Asked about his future plans in carrying forward the new initiative, N Raja, Senior Vice President of TKM, said by 2020 they planned to set up at least 50 such driving schools, specially for the unemployed youth of the country across India where the month long training would be imparted to them completely free of cost.
Shyamaprasad Sarkar, principal of the driving school said the training would be imparted to people above the age of 18 years in two phases. They would be given training in the workshops and informed about the engines and other details about the engine so on and they would be given training on the road. All the trainers have received training from Toyota’s Bengaluru factory. There will be classes for professional drivers as well where they will be taught about the Motor Vehicle rules, ABC of driving and how to handle passengers and driving ethics and etiquette.