New Delhi : Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has called upon the citizens and NGOs to participate in the national campaign on Road Safety to create awareness about road safety issues in the country.
The minister was addressing the Road Safety Forum 2016, the national meet of NGOs on Road Safety, in New Delhi today.
Expressing concern over five lakh road accidents in the country per year in which about 1.4 lakh people lose their lives, Gadkari said that containing road accidents and saving lives is not possible by the government alone, it needs the support of the citizens, the NGOs and the media in this regard.
Gadkari pointed out several issues related to road safety like identification of accident black spots, training and health check up of drivers and educating the general public including children about road safety issues, where the NGOs can play a vital role.
He called upon the NGOs to give their suggestions on issues related to road safety, and assured them that he will take these up in a suitable manner. He especially urged the organizations to help the government in its efforts to identify accident black spots across the country, so that the concerned authorities can be asked to take remedial action to make the sites safe.
Gadkari further informed that identification of black spots and taking corrective action to make these sites safe is a major priority for the Ministry. 726 black spots have identified across the country and Rs. 11,000 Crore have been earmarked to address this problem.
Throwing light on other efforts of the Government to contain road accidents, Gadkari said that the present system of issuing driving licenses will soon be replaced by a transparent and efficient computerized licensing system.
He further informed that driving schools are being opened across the country to train drivers. Fitness of drivers is another major concern that the Government will be addressing. He said that over 3000 centres will be set up in rural areas to train drivers and address fitness related issues.
He further added that roadside amenities will be equipped with helipads for quick transfer of accident victims to hospitals and all busy traffic corridors will have trauma centres along the highways.
The minister announced that the road safety campaign will not be limited to only the Road Safety Week but will continue throughout the year. He said a train will be run across the country with exhibition on road safety to create awareness on the subject.
The minister also announced that a scheme will be worked out to provide NGOs working in the field of the road safety with Rs. 3 lakh financial support. Awards will also be instituted for the best performing NGOs.
Gadkari also emphasized that apart from road safety, the Ministry was also committed to reducing pollution in the road and transport sector. He said that the government has decided to implement Euro VI standards for automobiles from 1st April 2020. The use of electric vehicles and of bio-diesel, biogas, and ethanol as fuel is also being promoted.
Gadkari also launched a Facebook page on road safety, termed as Road Safety: Time for Action. The page will be a platform for discussion on various issues related to road safety and the wide array of work being done in this area.
The Minister also gave prizes to winners of a contest on films on road safety. Akshat Nangia of New Delhi, Bablu Thomas of Trivandrum, Chirag Acharya of Mumbai and Raja Gopal Singh of Ghaziabad got the first, second, third and fourth prizes respectively. (ANI)