TODAY -

Drivers call off stir, SOP issued for security convoy
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, April 23 2024: Petroleum and LPG tanker drivers have withdrawn their steering off strike on the National Highway 37 (Imphal-Jiribam Road) with effect from Tuesday after the state government assured adequate security arrangement along the highway stretch.

Consequently, chief secretary has issued a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of security convoy for the transporters.

The understanding was arrived at during a joint meeting between Coordinating Committee of Petroleum and Bulk LPG Drivers and Petroleum Transporters' Association and chief minister N Biren.

Chief secretary Dr Vineet Joshi was also present at the meeting.

Thangjam Chandrakumar, one of the drivers who attended the meeting, told media persons that drivers are serving every citizen in the state irrespective of their ethnicity.

Calling the recent armed attack on drivers in Kaimai area as unfortunate and highly condemnable, he urged all concerned to refrain from repeating such acts in future.

Chandrakumar informed that they have decided to end the agitation of ceasing operation as the government assured adequate security arrangement for their safety.

Meanwhile, in order to enhance security along the crucial NH-37, the chief secretary has issued a detailed SOP aimed at ensuring safe passage of convoys amidst potential threats and challenges.

As the SOP, CRPF personnel detailed for ROP as well as escort duty will adhere to the existing SOP for the CRPF during convoy movement.

In case of ambush/attack on the convoy, the escorts should take immediate counter measures and aggressive action without any delay.

When there is an ambush from the front or middle or rear, the available teams along the convoy, be it rear, middle of front will coordinate and ensure to set up an ambush in the direction of fire without any delay.

Further, the driver should take the vehicle to a safe place located on the hill.

There should not be unauthorised parking by drivers along the route.

ROP will be deployed at least two hours before the movement of the convoy and withdrawn one hour after the last train of the convoy passes; cover the mountain peaks in their respective AOR so that the convoy could be able to pass easily; deployed in some strategically located pickets from where they can have a long view; must be in a position to retaliate in the event of ambush or fire by miscreants; and clear the road immediately to make the conveyance run smoothly.

In case of any injury to the forces/ drivers or crews of the escort party of the convoy, they should arrange for immediate evacuation and treatment besides keeping all informed.

All efforts are to be made to cover all parts of the route so that the miscreants do not get an opportunity to attack, elaborated the SOP, adding that heavy recovery and towing trucks should be made available in at least important sections of the NH-37 under the command and control of SPs concerned.

It identified proposed sites for the recovery vans/crane as Kotlien under Kangpokpi district (31 km); Irang in Noney (101 km); Nungba, Noney (125 km); and Kaimai, Tamenglong (159 km).

PWD or NHIDCL may be given the task of procuring the heavy recovery and towing trucks as rental charges will be exorbitant, the SOP said.

In addition to the existing CRPF companies along the NH-37 performing ROP duty, three more CRPF companies will be added to give extra layer of security at vulnerable parts of the NH-37.Wireless sets to be provided by the government after proper authorisation with documentation, shall be used only along NH-37 and during convoy movement.

Checking of movement of armed miscreants along the road in vehicles will be increased and SPs concerned should be briefed accordingly.

Dedicated response teams of CRPF may be set up at various intervals to deal with vehicles which have broken down so that the vehicles are secured and transported to safe place.

They will not be part of the convoy movement but stationed along the NH-37.Contact details of such response teams should be shared to all the drivers well in advance.

Four such teams may be formed to cover the distance of 50 km each.

During movement of convoy, POL/LPG vehicles will move at the front, one ambulance vehicle will be stationed at Nungba CHC, CRPF pilot will control speed of the convoy by moving at a steady pace, no overtaking of vehicles should take place, and unnecessary stoppage of vehicles should be avoided.

Sincere cooperation from the drivers' associations is needed during movement of both empty and loaded convoy.

Overloading of vehicles from the normal allowed weight (tonnage) should be avoided as much as possible and be checked at Jiribam by SP, Jiribam.

With regard to victim compensation, categorisation of victims and quantum of compensation/ex-gratia will be as per ex isting rule as issued by home department.

Job to the next of kin in the family will be considered by the state government on a case-by-case basis.

In view of the essential requirements of the state and commitment shown by the drivers and others deployed in this operation, the aforementioned actions/ contributions are exceptional, and accordingly while dealing with any case, the case would be given special treatment.


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