The State Government has released an order, paving the way for making appointments on compassionate grounds, for members of A.P. State Road Transport Corporation employees who died while in service.

The move is expected to help 1,120 families, said Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana.

At a meeting to mark the 24{+t}{+h}Road Safety Week here on Saturday, he recalled that the practice was given up way back in 1998.

He said Government was employee-friendly and contrary to what the Opposition alleged, had no privatisation plans and determined to bring RTC out of the red by improve services.

The Minister and APSRTC Chairman, M. Satyanarayana Rao gave away awards for drivers with accident-free record.

The three best drivers in the State are Md. Kaleemuddin of Greater Hyderabad (GH) Zone with 34 years, 6 months and 13 days of safe driving, M. Bikshapathi (GH-34 years, 5 months and 13 days) and S.A. Kareem (Vijayawada-34 years, 2 months and 26 days).

Managing Director, A.K. Khan stated APSRTC had won four national awards two days ago.

They included the lowest accident rate of 0.11 per lakh kilometres of operation, productivity with 363 km of operations per-bus-per-day and fuel efficiency of 5.24 km per litre in rural areas overall and 5.21 kmpl registered in Visakhapatnam urban operations.

Mr. Khan said that keeping the recent incident of the rape of a 23 year-old on board a moving bus in New Delhi in mind, a proposal to provide train women employees of the corporation, specially conductors, in martial arts was being considered.

“This will go a long way in boosting the self-confidence of employees on duty and also help women passengers,” he added.