3,500 road accidents last year due to potholes: Govt tells Parliament
The poor condition of roads in the country was back in the spotlight on Thursday after the ministry of road transport and highways disclosed that as many as 4,775 accidents occurred in 2019 due to potholes and 3,564 such accidents were reported in 2020.
The ministry shared the information in response to a question in Parliament from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lawmaker Jayadev Galla. Galla sought to know the number of road accidents recorded during the last two years that occurred due to poor maintenance of highways.
The ministry noted that road accidents were occurring due to multiple causes such as over-speeding, using mobile phones, drunken driving, overloaded vehicles, defective vehicles, poor light, red-light jump, overtaking, bad weather, driver errors, wrong-side driving, defective roads, and cyclists and bikers’ faults.
Galla also sought to know whether the government will introduce a road safety information database or a national road safety board for enforcing the road safety rules. The ministry said it will roll out the Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD), which will advise the Centre and states on promoting road safety and adoption of technology for regulating traffic.
During the monsoon session of Parliament earlier this year, Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari had cited the same figures and underlined that the number of accidents due to potholes last year was the lowest in the last five years.
Gadkari had told the Parliament back then that the total number of road accidents due to potholes in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 stood at 6,424; 9,423; 4,869; and 4,775, respectively.