TAMIL NADU

Government against petrol, diesel price hike

CHENNAI, AUG. 14. The Transport Minister, R. Viswanathan, today said the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, has been urging the Centre not to hike the price of petroleum products and spark inflation.

He was addressing a state-level conference organised by the Tamil Nadu Van Operators Association (TNVOA) here to mark the 15th Road Safety Week.

Mr. Viswanathan said frequent hike in the price of petrol and diesel affected road-users. The Chief Minister, who was aware of the problems faced by the public, had been putting up stiff resistance to the price hike, he claimed.

Focus on road safety

The Government's focus was on road safety and reduction and avoidance of accidents. He said the role of drivers was important in preventing loss of lives and injury in case of accidents. The State transport undertakings had introduced regular refresher training and yoga classes for its drivers. The Government had also been holding several consultative meetings to evolve ways to ensure accident-free traffic, as Tamil Nadu was one of the states with a large number of motor vehicles.

The Minister urged the TNVOA to conduct yoga classes for the drivers as the Government's efforts had yielded positive results.

The president of the State Lorry Owners' Federation, P. Sengodan, said truck and van operation had become unviable due to periodic revision of diesel price. He demanded the Insurance companies to simplify procedures so the operators receive compensation without hassles.

The Deputy Commissioner (Traffic, North), M. Ravi, Joint Transport Commissioners, R. Shanmugam and R. Jayaramachandran and State TNVOA president, R. Kamalakannan addressed the gathering. The special director (customer service), Ashok Leyland, K.N. Krishnamurthy, said the driver training school established by the company at Namakkal had so far trained nearly one lakh.

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