Govt directs authorities to draft road safety action plan, go tough against violators
Srinagar, Mar 20 (KNS): With road accidents standing as a major killer in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government has directed the authorities to formulate road safety action plan in every district and take stern action against the traffic violators.
Sources told KNS that the government has directed all Deputy Commissioners to formulate district road safety action plan for the respective districts. “Road accidents, especially on National Highway, are assuming alarming proportions. There are standard rules and instructions for vehicle drivers about how to drive safely in mountainous regions but unfortunately, the vehicle drivers are not following the standard rules for road safety,” sources while quoting government said.
“JK state is not the lone example where the National Highway and other link roads pass over hills and gorges. The authorities have been asked go tough against the traffic violators and constitute more special checking Squads to stop the increasing road accidents,” one of the top government officials told KNS.
“The graph of road accidents shows that most of the road accidents happen owing to the fault of the drivers and only few owing to the fault of pedestrians. It means that the transport authorities have to focus on why the drivers are the main cause of accidents and how that situation can be brought under control,” the official said
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had conducted research on the reasons for increasing road accidents in JK and has observed that the lack of education, enforcement, engineering and emergency is the main reasons for the growing accidents.
As per records from the J-K traffic police and the central ministry of home affairs (MHA),more civilians have died in traffic accidents in the 13 years since 2004 than in armed conflict in twice as many years (since it began in 1989-90).
J-K also topped the list of “high accidental death-prone areas” in a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) survey conducted in 2013, which found that an accident in J&K state has a 64% chance of causing death as opposed to 36.4% for all of India.
The Jammu and Kashmir government recently has said that more than 2,500 people lost their lives in road accidents in the last three years.
There have been 15,996 accidents in the state in this period up to October 2017, resulting in 2,666 deaths and injuries to 22,021 persons, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had informed Legislative council in the recent secession.
Of these, 958 people were killed in 2016; 917 people in 2015; and 791 deaths in 2017 up to October end.
Meanwhile sources told KNS that government has so far not implemented the guidelines of the committee constituted to curb frequent traffic accidents in Jammu and Kashmir. The eight-member House Committee, under the chairmanship of MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, was constituted in March 2011 and submitted its report in April 2012. The House Committee was constituted by the Speaker after a school bus carrying students met with a road accident while returning from a picnic.
House Committee was constituted to study the kinds of accidents and give recommendations to control it. The panel had come up with a slew of recommendations to the Transport department, Traffic department, R&B department and other agencies concerned for curbing rising road accidents.
According to the official figures of the Traffic Department, around 6,000 road accidents have been reported annually for the last two years in the state.
In 2015, 917 people lost their lives in 5,800 road accidents. In 2016, 910 lives were claimed and over 8,000 suffered injuries in road accidents in the state.
Between 2011 and 2014, 3,960 people have lost their lives in road accidents and more than 30,000 people were injured in over 20,000 road mishaps.
The government, in 2015, had set up a ‘Lead Agency’ to act as the secretariat for the State Road Safety Council and coordinate all activities relating to the road safety in the state.“The setting up of the agency has been confined to papers only,” an official said. (KNS)