The road transport and highways ministry has prepared a list of black spots on national highways to be fixed on priority basis to reduce the number of road deaths. India has the highest number of road fatalities in the world with road accidents claiming more than 1.4 lakh lives every year. The ministry targets to reduce the number of road accident deaths by half in next four years.
"We have found that in most of the cases accidents occur due to to bad road engineering. We have to get it fixed on priority," Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. On Tuesday, Gadkari held a meeting with regional officials, project directors and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials to fast-track the work.
"I have asked my officials not to waste any time in moving files to and fro. Official lethargy and bureaucracy should not come in the way. All regional officers have been empowered to take decisions related to fixing black spots,” he said.
Around 800 black spots have been identified on national highways across the country. The ministry has already kept aside Rs 2,000 crore to fix these spots through road engineering. The ministry will also rope in international road engineers to improve the road designs so that number of road accidents could be reduced.
The proposed Bill has several clauses to make India's roads safer. It proposes new safety norms for motor vehicles, more compensation to the victim of hit and run cases, and steeper penalties for traffic violations. The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 9 but could not be taken up. The government has also proposed to give legal backing to its 'Good Samaritan' guidelines in the proposed amendment Bill to give people comfort to stop and help accident victims. The ministry is also introducing new safety norms for two-wheelers that make up 72% of vehicles on Indian roads and more than half of the fatalities in road accidents.
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