Training institutes for drivers, fleet modernisation are need of the hour, says Bhaskar Rao

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 31, 2020

Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City   -  SOMASHEKAR G R N

Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City, has said that each State in the country needs a high-quality driver training institute.

Delivering his keynote address at ‘Road Ahead’ for the transport sector meet organised by BusinessLine as part of the Transporters Meet presented by IndianOil and powered by Mahindra Small Commercial Vehicles here on Thursday, Rao said: “I have seen number of vehicles parked due to breakdown leading to accidents because drivers have not been trained properly. It is here we need training institute like the one in Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, but there has to be a government initiative and people will be ready to come forward.”

The transport sector will continue to face challenges, Rao said: “We all know that in the days to come, we will have further shortage of drivers. This is going to be a huge challenge.”

Rao stressed on modernisation of transport fleet. “The first thing, if we want to modernise our transport fleet, is that we have to ensure that higher capacity trucks. Now, our capacity is very low like for example on National Highway 4, which is the lifeline between Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Chennai passing through Karnataka.” He added: “I see many trucks, but carrying capacity of trucks is low. Trucks designed to carry 8 tonnes are carrying about 20 tonnes; they are struggling to move; the cabin comfort is very poor; the breakdown rate is very high; and the tyre life is very poor. The battery life is dismal, and the driver has to make frequent stops.”

Driver fatigue

The next challenge for the sector is higher capacity vehicles. “Most of these trucks are now coming up to 200 horsepower, which is supposed to be difficult to handle. But our transportation needs higher capacity vehicles with better driver comfort; I’m sure all of you have toured around Europe and the US, where driver efficiency has increased because of technology and good quality vehicles, which is absent in India,” he pointed out. Talking about zdriver comfort, Rao said: “Here, we only take pride in saying that one truck is taking care of eight people. And we're very happy. Each truck in Europe has capacity up to 150 to 200 tonnes. Their capacity is higher and the speed is higher. The driver fatigue is also lower. Our drivers are treated with extreme contempt and our cabins are horribly designed.”

“Since driver fatigue is very high, we need more and more number of drivers; our accident rate is also very high. On account of that, our breakdown rate is also high since the driver does not have control over his vehicle.”

Earlier, a transporter did not know where his truck was because the GPS system was not perfect.

He had no idea whether or how of much of his diesel is being pilfered . Today, that is not the case.

“One thing I'm happy to note is that a lot of issues are getting addressed now, compared to what is happening in other sectors. In other sectors, there is only charcha, charcha and charcha, but no progress takes place. But in the transport sector, due to your dynamism, lot of good things have happened over 20 years.”

Published on January 31, 2020

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