Canacona (Goa) Announcing slew of measures to avoid deaths due to drunken driving in the State, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturdayhinted at introducing law making it mandatory for the liquor outlets to ensure that the drunken customer does not drive or ride back home on his own late night.
Parrikar also said that State Police department would be initiating stringent action against drunken driving for which 100 alcometres costing Rs 36 lakh are already procured by the department.
The Chief Minister was addressing a crowd at Canacona taluka during his day long tour to this constituency, located on Goa-Karnataka border.
“We are also introducing a measure in the upcoming budget making it would be responsibility of a bar owner to ensure that any person who is drunk and leaves the bar after 11 p.m. doesn’t drive or ride back on his own,” Parrikar said.
The chief minister raised concern over the deaths on the road, many of whom were due to rash and negligent or drunken driving.
“Government will take action against the wrong lane driving and drunken driving specially in the night. Police have procured 100 alcometres at the cost of Rs 36 lakh,” he said.
He said that the drivers or riders can now “expect police to check their breathe with the alcometer especially during the night.” “So, if a group goes for the party, let one be sober without drinks. Such a step is required to reduce accidental deaths on the road,” he suggested.
Narratting his experience when he introduced social welfare scheme named Dayanand Social Security Scheme during his earlier tenure as Chief minister, Parrikar said he didn’t expect that 35,000 widows would be beneficiaries of the scheme.
“These are the women whose husbands have died young. I am sure half of those must be liquor related deaths, either due to drunken driving or due to damage to the liver due to excessive drinks,” he said.
Giving the statistics, Parrikar said “Year before last 336 people died on the road, and last year 320 people had died.”
“For the first time in last twenty years, the first day of the new year went off without anyone dying on the road. This did not happen automatically, we had planned measures for that to avoid deaths during the wee hours,” he said.
Addressing the people, Parrikar also appealed Goans to be tolerant towards the unruly tourists. “Even if some tourists commit mistake don’t assault them as it does not fit in the character of goans. Make them understand their mistake and let them go,” he said.
Talking about Swatch Bharat abhiyaan, Parrikar said “Swatch bharat is not just a fancy slogan by the prime minister. It has impact on our health. Many took it as a photo opportunity.”