Supreme Court panel warns UP government over growing accident deaths
The high-powered committee has also warned of reporting the matter direct to the apex court for appropriate action if UP failed to show results by the given time frame.Updated: Sep 07, 2017 14:12 IST
The Supreme Court committee on road safety has given a two-month ultimatum to Uttar Pradesh to check the increasing number of road accident deaths in the state.
The high-powered committee has also warned of reporting the matter direct to the apex court for appropriate action if UP failed to show results by the given time frame (November 15).
- UP leads the country’s road accident deaths though in number of road mishaps it is far behind several states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
- Just in five years, the number of deaths in road accidents increased by more than 27% in Uttar Pradesh witnessing the highest-ever jump in the last one decade, puncturing the global efforts to bring down the deaths by 50% by 2020.
- A whopping number of 19,320 persons died and another 25,096 were injured in 35,612 cases in a year between January 2016 and December 2016 in UP, according to a report available with the road safety and transport department here.
- An analysis of the report shows the number of deaths went up by 1,654 compared to the previous year when 17,666 persons died in road accidents registering a growth of close to 10% in a single year
The three-member committee headed by justice KS Radhakrishnan set the deadline at a quarterly review meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. Officers from various departments, including the transport, the traffic, the PWD departments and the NHAI, who participated in the meeting, were given a dressing down for their failure to do their bit in checking accident deaths.
The committee, according to sources, observed with anguish that UP was the only state where the number of road accident deaths was growing every year. It also cited specifically West Bengal’s case that it said had been able to reduce the number of deaths by 10%.
“Uttar Pradesh has truly disappointed us doing nothing during the last three years of the committee’s existence,” the panel is said to have told the officials.
The committee asked UP to take all possibly measures promptly and effectively to ensure that the number of road accident deaths did not increase anymore over the previous year, which is being seen as a formidable challenge.
Sources said the committee expressed disappointment over the poor enforcement work on action taken against tariff law violators during the last three months. “They stressed the need for the transport department suspending more driving licences for a period not less than three months in offences related to over-speeding, drink driving and others,” said sources.
The PWD was specifically asked to remove the engineering defects from all the 958 identified black spots in the state by November 15 while the NHAI was told to act tough against overloaded trucks.
The committee also asked the transport department, the nodal body, to consider giving compensation to all road accident victims and not just those who met with an accident in a passenger vehicle.
Sources said the latest figures presented before the Supreme Court committee on Tuesday also showed an increase by around 300 deaths by June 2017 over the corresponding period of the previous year. “The only consoling factor this year is the increase in number of road accident deaths is not very high so far. But meeting the SC committee’s two-month ultimatum will be a big challenge for us,” said a senior official who did not wish to be identified.
The SC appointed the three-member panel in April 2014 to regularly monitor implementation of road safety measures, including emergency medical help to accident victims in the country where around 1.50 lakh people die in road mishaps every year.