7th Apr 2017 09:04:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Along with few district headquarters, the capital complex administration has sealed wine shops within 500 metres of the national highway 415 in compliance with the Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court in December 2016 had banned all liquor shops within 500 metres of national and state highways across the country, a move aimed at reducing drunk driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year.

The bench made it clear that such an order was necessary for the safety and security of highway commuters who get tempted to down a few drinks after seeing liquor shops.

Social drinking is an accepted norm in tribal society. It is not only expected but obligatory in social settings. From that angle, one can say that alcohol intake is widely prevalent in Arunachal society. But as opposed to days of yore when rice beer was the norm, the infiltration of Indian Made Foreign Liquor and all sorts of alcoholic beverages have pushed the consumption level like never before. Youths under the influence of alcohol have become wayward; involved in rash driving accidents or in other anti-social activities. Arunachal Pradesh has incidents of road accidents much above the national average, a major contributor to this is the zero regard for road safety and adherence to traffic rules. Underage driving is rampant, so is driving under the influence of alcohol.



It would be interesting to see, how Arunachal will follow this directive, as every few metres, wine shops dot not just urban areas but rural small towns as well. What about the wine shops which are thriving near schools and educational institutions. They have been previously directed not to be 100 metres near educational institutions but it has not seen any follow through. As a layman, one wonders if pushing wine shops away from direct view from highways to the heart of townships has much logic at all. Also, letting wine shops solely take the hit for growing accidents is quite unfair.

Respecting and abiding safety rules must be ingrained rather than imposed. But sadly that is how we are as a society. This needs course correction and the way to start is by targeting school children.  At the same time, Arunachal must implement the Government of India’s National Road Safety Policy, an important policy undertaken by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. The aim of the policy is to create mass awareness for safe driving by adopting various programmes. The implementation of the policy will also strengthen the system of driver licensing and training to improve the competence and capability of drivers.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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