'Need to save lives in India': Gadkari inaugurates Road Safety Month
Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday inaugurated Road Safety Month where he highlighted the government's commitment towards safety.
"Till now, we have been observing National Road Safety Week. But from today, we will observe National Road Safety Month. Seventy per cent of deaths are in the age group of 18-45 years," Gadkari said in his address.
There is a need to save lives in India where 415 people are dying every day due to road accidents, he added.
Gadkari said that last year, the Indian government had participated in a conference in Sweden, where a vision was conceptualised - to have zero road fatalities in India by 2030.
"We had promised to reduce such fatalities by 50 per cent. Tamil Nadu has done it, with a success rate of 53 per cent. If we wait till 2030, 6-7 lakh more people will die. So, we've made a commitment that before 2025, road accidents and deaths due to it will be brought down by 50 per cent with help of people's participation," Gadkari said.
The minister also called for cooperation among government departments, NGOs and other organisations to ensure awareness about road safety is spread.
He also gave details about his ministry has increased the target of per day construction of roads. "We have achieved the target of constructing 30 kilometres of road, I believe that by the end of March, perhaps we will achieve the target of constructing 40 kilometres of road per day," the Union minister said.
"World Bank and ADB (Asian Development Bank) approved two projects worth ₹7000 crore each. We'll receive approval from finance ministry soon. So, we'll spend ₹14,000 crore to improve black spots - death traps - on roads," Gadkari added.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister VK Singh and chief executive officer (CEO) of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant were also present on the occasion.
The commemoration of Road Safety Month marks the road transport and highways ministry's commitment for making roads safer for all the road users, according to a government statement.
The road transport and highways ministry said that the event is organised throughout the country to create awareness among general public and specially amongst the youth to improve safety on roads.
Various activities like display of banners, walkathons, road signage and pamphlets will be carried out and used to increase awareness about road safety.
Different departments of state governments like transport, police, PWD, health, education, municipal bodies, as well as vehicle manufacturers and dealers, doctors, PSUs, corporate and various NGOs would be participating in events during the month, the ministry said.