The Union Minister laid emphasis on road quality and safety measures to bring down number of mishaps
Nagpur: The Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that with people’s cooperation the number of road accidents could be reduced significantly in India that sees over 5 lakh mishaps on roads and death of 1.50 lakh people every year.
Addressing a virtual event organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Gadkari said, “Around 1.5 lakh persons die due to road accidents (every year)… My internal target is before 2024, we will reduce deaths and accidents by 50 per cent.”
The Minister assured that road accident cases in India will go down by about 50 per cent in the next three years. He has set the target for his Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to reduce the number of road accidents before 2024 by improving the quality of roads as well as safety measures. Gadkari’s remarks come months after he said that he hopes reduction in deaths in road accidents to go down by 50% before 2025. He had also said that if “we keep waiting till 2030, then at least 6-7 lakh people will die more due to road accidents”.
Currently, a little over 400 people die every day in India due to road accidents. India also records around 1.5 lakh deaths in five lakh road mishaps annually.
The Union Minister laid emphasis on road quality and safety measures on Indian roads to bring down the figures. “My ministry is actively working to reduce black spots from Indian roads. Around 50 per cent of road accidents are due to road engineering problems. My Ministry is striving hard to reduce road accident deaths by restructuring and strengthening four ‘Es’ of road safety — Engineering (including road and automobile engineering), Economy, Enforcement and Education.
Gadkari also said that insurance companies need to cooperate more with respect to road safety activities to help the Ministry to bring down casualties in road crashes. “Insurance companies are direct beneficiaries of a saved life. Hence, they can extend their cooperation for various road safety activities… but the cooperation from the insurance companies is very negligible, and cooperation from government insurance companies is zero,” he said.
Gadkari said that there is a shortage of 22 lakh drivers across the country. This has prompted the government to plan 2,000 driving schools, especially in backward districts. He congratulated the corporate body on the announcement of the Road Safety consortium ‘Safar’, based on the safe system approach and release of a white paper on road safety for the corporate world.