Prevention of road accidents is National priority especially under PMGSY (Phase-III) :Shri Narendra Singh Tomar
The Union Government along with the State Governments have been implementing various measures to make Indian roads safer. Given the magnitude and gravity of the problem, there is a need for the society at large to take cognizance of the issue and to join hands to make road safety a social movement. To give stakeholders an opportunity to take part in concerted action the “National Road Safety Week” is observed throughout the country every year. In line with this objective, the Road Safety Week is being observed from 11th January to 17th January 2020 with the theme “Bringing Change Through Youth”.
The Department of Rural Development is a key player in ensuring road safety as 70.23% of total roads in India are passing through and connecting rural India. To ensure that rural roads become safer, the Department held a workshop on ‘Road Safety’ with State Governments and other stakeholders in order to ensure that the best practices that emerge from States can be adopted by other States and more awareness can be generated among rural India on how to improve road safety. The workshop was held to disseminate information among States and increase awareness so as to propel the economy forward and reduce the loss of lives andproperty which has a substantial impact on the GDP.
The main topics which were discussed and deliberated upon during the conference includes:
- Better quality roads so as to improve mobility and reduce damage
- Better visibility by ensuring lesser serpentine S-shaped roads and more straight ones including ideal road geometrics
- Road furniture such as walls on both sides of the roads, fences, road studs, speed bumps & reflectors on sides of the roads and many more safety devices.
- Better Signage to effectively inform the drivers as well as pedestriansabout the road and its contours such as reflective sheeting sign boards, thermoplastic road markings-beam crash barriers, over-head boards etc.
A short video clip was also shown at the workshop on Road Safety with a special message from the Union Minister for Rural Development, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar wherein he said thatroad accidents are of grave concern and the nation is losing lakhs of people every year in these accidents, mostly youth. Shri Tomar emphasized that prevention of road accidents is national priority and under third phase of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Union Government shall make continuous efforts in this direction and expect contribution of Engineers also towards achieving this objective.
The Union Minister addedthat roads should be constructed with an understanding that their users are human beings who may commit mistakes. Therefore, roads should be capable of preventing small mistakes converting into big accidents. Shri Tomar said that these days, there is a concept of “Forgiving Roads” all over the world and for this purpose emphasis will be given on capacity building of Engineers and contractors.
Accident Prevention is a national Priority, especially under PMGSY-III. Involvement of community in all the States through advocacy, meeting and awareness campaigns is critical in accident prevention.There is also an intrinsic need to conduct road safety audit of some of the critical roads for which a training programme to train engineers as Road Safety Auditors is also needed whichwill beundertaken in coordination with AITD and IAHE.