Fatalities in road accidents in just one district more than the number killed in terrorist activity: Gadkari

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2020

Nitin Gadkari, MSME Minister

Lessons to be learnt from TN, which has reduced accident fatalities by a fifth, he said

The Road Ministry may have a success story to share in terms of the length of highways built in the country, but the country’s road safety track record remains a blot.

"We may have built more roads in the last five years, but unfortunately there has been an increase in the number of accidents during the period," said Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, at a conference here today.

Fatalities due to road accidents in a year in just one district - Nagpur - was more than the number of people killed due to terrorist activities in the country, said Gadkari, adding that 586 lives were lost due to road accidents in his Lok Sabha constituency, Nagpur.

That said, Tamil Nadu, which had brought down road accident fatalities by over a fifth due to the strict implementation of traffic rules -- provides an example for other states, he said.

Referring to black spots, which are accident-prone sections on roads on account of faulty road design, he said multilateral agencies -- both the World Bank and ADB – have committed Rs 7,000 crore each, which could be spent in removing black spots, not just on the highways, but on district roads across the country.

Gadkari added that the project directors and regional office heads had been empowered to decide and improve road design.

Referring to the Motor Vehicles Act which had raised fines for traffic offences, Gadkari reiterated that this was not a “revenue mop-up step”, it was aimed at instilling a sense of responsibility and fear in road users against violating rules.

Prodding officials not to delay decisions, Gadkari said when he informed the Prime Minister about the kilometres of highways built, the Prime Minister asked him about the number of officials who had been compulsorily retired.

Published on January 13, 2020

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