As roads continue to kill, call for Coordination among agencies working on road safety
Despite repeated insistence on road safety, government authorities have failed to make commute any safer in Uttarakhand where over 962 people lost their lives in road accidents last year.
This year, over 698 people have already died in road accidents till September, with maximum deaths (180) being reported from Udham Singh Nagar district.
In the latest incident, the Balliwala flyover in Dehradun – which was inaugurated in July last year and has been dubbed as the ‘killer flyover’ by locals — claimed its eighth victim during the intervening night of November 23-24. The victims were not wearing helmets when their two-wheeler hit a sharp curve of the flyover.
In another incident, a police constable, Sundar Singh Chauhan, died and three others were critically injured when the car they were travelling in fell into a 100-meter deep gorge in Kalsi area of Dehradun late Thursday, police said.
Besides reasons like rash and drunken driving, lack of coordination among various bodies responsible for taking steps to reduce road accidents is one of major challenges before the authorities.
Transport minister Yashpal Arya said that the government would “ensure coordination among transport, police, PWD, municipal bodies, irrigation, jal nigam, jal sansthan and electricity departments” on a priority basis. “It has come to my knowledge that various government bodies are making individual efforts but it is important to bring them on the same page for making concerted efforts to save precious lives,” Arya told HT.
Around 124 ‘black spots’ have been identified all over the state by the transport department. “Analysis of the same would be conducted by experts under the supervision of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on road safety,” a senior official of the transport department said.
The police department, meanwhile, has zeroed in on over 297 danger zones, which are most prone to accidents across state. “We are trying to push for a panel of officials from different departments which can meet quarterly to ensure regular monitoring, coordination and follow-up on measures taken for road safety,” additional director general of police (ADG) law and order, Ashok Kumar told HT.
The technical study of the danger zones was being conducted to that effect, he added.
Residents, meanwhile, called for stricter implementation of rules to curb road accidents. “Besides improving technical faults on roads and repair of damaged roads, police and transport departments should work in tandem to strictly penalize individuals violating traffic rules,” Rajesh Nautiyal, a resident of Ballupur area, said.
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