Ahmedabad, November 8
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday rebuked a transport business owner from Bhavnagar in Gujarat for employing just eight drivers for his six trucks, instead of the required number of 12.
Overworked drivers can cause accidents, Modi said during an interaction with people via video conferencing before inaugurating the Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira in Surat and Ghogha in Bhavnagar.
Asif Solanki, involved in transport business and based in Bhavnagar, told Modi during the interaction that he will be greatly benefitted by the new ferry service as it will reduce the travel time and distance and his drivers will also get rest when the ferry transports trucks by sea route.
Modi asked him about how many drivers he has employed, to which Solanki replied that he has eight drivers.
The PM further asked him how many trucks he has, to which the transporter said six.
“This is not fair, you should employ 12 drivers for six trucks. You take so much work from drivers, this should not be done,” Modi said.
Solanki said due to the ferry service he would not require more drivers, to which Modi replied that the ferry service is starting from today.
“The thing is when drivers are overworked, they fall asleep while driving which can cause accidents and whatever you have earned will go away with that accident,” Modi said and took a promise from Solanki that he will employ more drivers.
On a lighter note, Modi also said the Income Tax department will not raid Solanki if he reveals his plan to purchase more trucks.
The comment came after the transporter smiled when the PM asked him if he is planning to buy more trucks.
During the video conference, Modi interacted with people from Surat and Bhavnagar on how their life will be impacted by the introduction of the new Ro-Pax ferry service.
The service will reduce the 375-km road distance between Bhavnagar and Surat to 90-km by sea route and the travel time from 10-12 hours to about four hours, a release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier said.
It will save time and fuel and boost economy and religious tourism in the Saurashtra region of the state, the release said.
The three-deck Ro-Pax Ferry Vessel ‘Voyage Symphony’ connecting Hazira in Surat district of south Gujarat and Ghogha in Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar has a load capacity of 30 trucks, 100 passenger cars, and 500 passengers plus 34 crew and hospitality staff, it said. PTI