Nagpur: “India witnesses five lakh road accidents every year in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives. Most of these road accidents could be attributed to faulty engineering of roads, driver errors as well as flawed eyesight. The eye check-up and treatment of truck drivers who use national highways the most is an ideal venture on the part of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) with the aim of averting road accidents and possible human lives,” the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Monday. He was speaking at the launch of nationwide five-day Free Eye Check-up Campaign and distribution of spectacles for truck drivers, cleaners and helpers at Panjari Toll Plaza, Nagpur Bypass.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion include NHAI Member (Technical) D O Tawde, NHAI Chief General Manager Atul Kumar and Hingna MLA Sameer Meghe.
Gadkari further said that the country needs 22 lakh drivers. 2000 driving schools would be opened across the country for imparting training and and other jobs. Free eye check-up camps for drivers is one of the many programmes undertaken by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure safe travel along national highways. This initiative is expected to reduce the number of accidents involving trucks and encourage regional staff, NGOs to set up such camps on regular basis.
The truck cleaners can also avail the facility of the programme on the condition of producing a valid driving license. 50 free eye check-up camps will be set up on identified national highways on either side. The camps will be manned by eye specialist and support staff volunteers.
Facilities like toilets and beverages vending machines, adequate space for parking of approximately 50 trucks shall be made available in these camps.
One more component of these camps will be distribution of free spectacles up to a certain power as prescribed by the eye specialist. Any other defect like cataract will be identified and medicines will be prescribed. NGOs, state governments, social enterprises and private businesses are being roped in for facilitating the provision of these facilities.