Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath warned transport department officials Thursday, saying they cannot escape responsibility for road accidents by blaming drivers, and asked the Yamuna Expressway authority to follow safety measures strictly.
He also asked the department officials to deploy two drivers on state-run buses on routes more than 400 km long, so that they can drive the vehicle alternatively.
The directions have come after 29 people died in a tragic road accident on the 165-km Yamuna Expressway early Monday. The bus driver apparently fell asleep behind the wheel and lost control following which the vehicle veered of the road fell into a drain, officials said.
During a road safety meeting with senior officials in Lucknow Thursday, Adityanath expressed displeasure on frequent road accidents on Yamuna Expressway.
There have been 4,880 accidents after commercial operations began on the the high-speed corridor linking Noida and Agra in August 2012 until January last year, according to data sought through RTI. More than 700 people have died in those accidents.
"Department officials cannot escape responsibility by blaming drivers," the chief minister said sternly.
He told JP Infratech representatives, present during the meeting, that ensuring safety on the expressway was also their responsibility since they collect the toll tax. He asked the company to follow the 13 suggestions for road safety prescribed by IIT Delhi.
Adityanath asked officials to take stern action against the company if standards are not followed. He also directed officials to conduct police verification and thorough medical checkup of drivers and scrutiny of their licence.
"Breathalyzer test should also be conducted before and after they go on long routes," he said.
To ensure safety of schoolchildren, the chief minister said, fitness test of all school buses be done before the next session and RTO office should remain open on holidays if necessary.
If anyone is found violating the law, stern action will be taken, he asserted.
In the first week of August, he will review the actions taken on the instructions he made, the CM said.
Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and senior state government officials were also present during the meeting.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)