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Student traffic volunteers inducted in Goa

By Our Staff Correspondent

PANAJI, SEPT. 4. The campaign for road safety in Goa received a further boost here on Saturday with the liquor major, UDV India Ltd., joining hands with the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) to provide scholarships to Student Traffic Volunteers (STVs).

The makers of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys, J & B, Captain Morgan, Cuervo, Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyard, has allocated one per cent of its net profit towards corporate and social investments, with particular focus on road safety.

Fatality rate

The rate of road fatalities in Goa, with around 4 lakh vehicles, is equal to the rate of fatalities in Mumbai, where there are more than 20 lakh vehicles. An average of 250 people die on Goan roads every year.

A batch of 14 students pursuing their graduate studies in Panaji and Mapusa were inducted as STVs after they received training from the traffic police in traffic management here on Saturday. While the IRTE had inducted STVs since 2000 and provided them with scholarships during their stay as STVs, UDV has now come forward to provide a scholarship of Rs. 1,000 a month to the STVs. The STVs would assist the traffic cops for two and a half hours a day in managing the traffic during the peak hours between 5.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.

Speaking on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of Goa University, P.S. Zechariahs, complemented the partnership of the corporate sector with social welfare areas and said such measures would go a long way in accelerating the process of social betterment.

The Director of Corporate Affairs, UDV India Ltd., Rajeeb Mallick, said that UDV had a significant interest in social welfare activities, especially road safety.

Improvement

The IRTE president, Rohit Baluja, noted that the STV scheme, which was launched first in Delhi with 40 students during 1998, was a major success. Goa, which has four lakh motor vehicles with 4,450 km of road network, had very limited traffic police personnel. As such, the STV scheme was launched in December 2000 with eight students, he noted.

Mr. Baluja said that wherever STVs were deployed, there was considerable improvement in traffic discipline; positive response to young STVs by road users, particularly by young drivers; no dispute whenever an STV initiated a traffic violation penalty and the like. He said other States too had shown keen interest in having STV scheme after its success in Delhi and Goa.

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