With first-ever policy, Delhi to identify and fix its killer roads
Once the policy is notified, the transport department will have to set up special teams at the state and district levels to conduct scientific accident investigations using simulation techniques.Updated: Apr 28, 2018 23:20 IST
Every fatal road accident in Delhi will have to be scientifically investigated within three months to zero in area-specific traffic problems and road engineering defects that may have caused it, according to the city-state’s first road safety policy. The ‘Delhi Road Safety Policy’, which was approved by state transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Friday, wants the police, transport department and road operators to reduce accidents and fatalities by 30% by 2020 and by 80% by 2025.
Once the policy is notified, the transport department will have to set up special teams at the state and district levels to conduct scientific accident investigations using simulation techniques. The policy mandates training every two years for all officials -- from junior engineers to chief engineers --and police officers.
With five deaths per day, Delhi records the highest number of fatal accidents among all cities in India. Roads in the national capital are particularly unsafe for pedestrians, who make up nearly 43% of all fatalities. The next most vulnerable are those on two-wheelers, accounting for 36%.
The sharing of expertise among the police, transport department and road owners, including the public works department, and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), help make the roads safer, an expert said.
“The problem is there is no capacity-building workshops because of which the expertise that the police has is not shared by government road engineers and vice versa. Every officer involved in building and maintaining roads and traffic needs holistic training at regular intervals,” said K Ravinder, an official in the transport planning division of the Central Road Research Institute.
According to the road safety policy, agencies will have to conduct anti-encroachment drives to clear carriageways and pedestrian walkways. One such drive was conducted on Friday in which encroachments on stretches of the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Andheria Mod and Chirag Dilli were removed by the south district administration.
“The policy is something which many states have, but was missing in Delhi. Once notified, it will be mandatory for road owning agencies and traffic police to digitise the database of all black spots in the city and check their real-time status. The list of such spots along with accident-prone areas will have to be updated every six months on the basis of severity,” minister Gahlot said. The policy will be put up in the public domain this week for feedback, he said.
Once public feedback is received in a month’s time, the policy will be sent tot the Lieutenant Governor for his approval. The rules under this will have to be implemented by the Delhi police, transport department and road- owning agencies
Over the next two years, the government will enlist experts to conduct a safety audit of all roads including aspects such as signage, road engineering flaws and traffic problems. A Road Safety Index will also be devised so that all arterial and sub-arterial stretches in the city are ranked on safety.