Killer Roads Claimed 774 Lives In J&K Last Year

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Bhatnagar Orders Analytical Study Of Road Accidents To Identify Major Causes

Jammu- At least 774 people have been killed and nearly seven thousand injured in over 5452 road accidents across Jammu and Kashmir last year, even 22 lakh vehicles have been registered from the past decade in the erstwhile state, officials said Thursday.

These figures on road accidents were shared by officials during a meeting of 8th Road Safety Council (RSC) chaired by Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar at Civil Secretariat here today, an official spokesperson said.

“It was further given that a ‘Road Accident Victim Fund' has been created to provide a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to family in case of death of a person, Rs 75000 for a permanent disability, Rs 50000 for grievous injury and Rs 10000 to a person receiving a minor injury,” he said.

Earlier, he said, the LG’s Advisor emphasized on the officers of Transport Department to do the analytical study of road accidents so that the major causes of these mishaps can be identified and suitable measures for rectification of same can be taken to reduce such adversities in future.

“Speaking during the meeting, Advisor Bhatnagar maintained that it is not enough to collect the data from police stations only at the time of accidents but visiting the accidental spot and finding the real causes behind these unfortunate incidents is essential. He observed that only after this scientific study, an effective roadmap can be formulated to reduce such fatalities,” he added.

According to the spokesperson, the Advisor remarked that the upgradation of infrastructure and strict enforcement by the concerned departments has alleviated the problem to some extent but yet much needs to be done to save human lives from getting spoiled.

Bhatnagar, he said, asked the officers that a holistic approach needs to be adopted to address the multiple causes as there is a role for everybody to play.

“Advisor Bhatnagar also stressed on the concerned officers to utilize the funds effectively meant for procurement if necessary equipment of road safety measures. He asked them to procure motorcycles, mobile interceptors, cranes, high tech cameras at an earliest as funds for the same are available with them,” he said.

“He asked them to address the black spots on roads on priority for reducing accidents in hilly areas along with rigorous enforcement of laws,” he added.

The Advisor, as per the spokesperson also asked the Police and Transport Department to make a plan for creating awareness among people regarding road safety as covid has receded and educational institutions have also opened.

“He asked them to double their efforts for making both Institute of Driving Training and Research (IDTR) and Inspection and Certification Centre (ICC) here at Jammu functional till July this year and accelerate the same for Kashmir by working closely with the divisional administration there,” he said.

The spokesperson said that Bhatnagar also impressed upon the officers to ensure that no road side constructions are carried out in violation of laws. The Advisor, he said, asked them to increase their surveillance mechanism and fix responsibility in case of dereliction of any sort.

“The Advisor asked them to carry out the third party road safety audit of all the major roads and redress the loopholes pointed out therein. Moreover he asked from the concerned officers about the status of trauma centres on National Highways, installation of Intelligent Traffic Lights System, removal of encroachments, erection of crash barriers and fixing of road signages as and where required,” the spokesperson said.

“He asked them to work out the requirements of additional manpower for manning traffic on roads and directed the Police Department to make necessary arrangements for the same,” he added.

Regarding other measures promulgated by the government, the Advisor, as per the spokesperson was informed that an incentive of Rs 5.00 lakhs is given for replacing old buses, introduction of 40 electric buses in Srinagar/Jammu cities, procurement of 36 new buses for Chenab Valley besides adding a fleet of 226 buses for the benefit of travellers.

Moreover, he said, other measures like awareness and medical camps for drivers, challans, encroachments removed, parking spaces created, black spots rectified and kilometers of crash barriers erected by each of the agencies were also discussed during the meeting.

“It was said that the same is going to be upgraded in the coming year to reduce road accidents by 50% by the year 2030, on the directions of the Supreme Court and as an objective ratified by India in various international declarations,” he added.

The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Raj Kumar Goyal; Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Vivek Bhardwaj; Principal Secretary, H&UDD, Dheeraj Gupta; Principal Secretary, PWD, Shailendra Kumar; Addl DGP, Traffic, T. Namgyal; Commissioner Secretary, Transport, Hirdesh Kumar; Transport Commissioner, Pradeep Kumar; Chief Engineers of PWD, PMGSY, Beacon, Mughal Road and representatives from Health, Education, Revenue, NHAI, NHIDCL, JKPCC, JKRTC and several other departments both in person and through video conferencing.

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