Srinagar,July 26 (Scoop News) -N. N. Vohra, Governor Jammu and Kashmir, today stressed for taking urgent measures by all the concerned agencies for minimizing occurrence of road accidents and mitigating heavy loss of precious life these cause.
A high level group of experts on Road Safety were calling on the Governor at the Raj Bhavan here today, consequent to the Governor urging the Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways in the past months to provide expert advice to the concerned State officials for promoting road safety in J&K. The Central Government team comprised C. Kandasamy, Director General, Roads Development and Special Secretary, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways; Chaman Lal, Chief Engineer; Rajeev Lochan, Director, Road Safety; Verinder Singh, Project Director, National Highway IA, Chenani-Nashri; Brig. T. P. S. Rawat, Chief Engineer, Project Beacon, Border Roads Organization; and Col. Mishra of the Project Vijayak.
Qamar Ali Akhoon, Minister for Transport; Ashok Prasad, Director General of Police; Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Commissioner/Secretary Transport; Mrs. Tanveer Jehan, Commissioner/Secretary, R&B; M. A. Kakroo, Transport Commissioner; and Muneer Ahmad Khan, IG Traffic participated in the discussions held at Raj Bhavan.
Referring to the frequency of fatal road accidents, which take a heavy toll of life, the Governor urged the Central team to provide sustained help and advice to the concerned State Government departments and agencies so that a multi-pronged strategy could be implemented on a time bound basis to achieve visible improvement. The Governor stressed that remedial measures must be taken on urgent basis at all the identified Black Spots (High Accident Prone Locations) on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and erection of crash barriers along the already identified 36 kilometres critical stretch of the Batote-Kishtwar National Highway.
After a detailed presentation made by the Central Team, it was agreed that Information Technology would be applied for preparing a Comprehensive Accident Data Base Management and Analysis system to ascertain causes of road accidents and to devise effective approaches to eliminating these. It was also agreed to undertake regular Road Safety Audits and addressing all the contributing factors for fatal road accidents; creating adequate wayside facilities for the drivers and traveling public; developing emergency medical services and deployment of ambulances to attend to the emergencies arising out of road accidents.
The Governor emphasized the need for strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations and readily endorsed Kandasamy’s suggestion to involve students, Boy Scouts, NCC Cadets and Red Cross volunteers and other youth in enlarging awareness among the road users about the road safety norms and traffic management. The Transport Minister endorsed the Governor’s suggestion to introduce mandatory retesting of driving license holders of commercial vehicles plying on various routes, particularly in the hilly tracts of Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Reasi, Rajouri and Poonch.
The Governor thanked Kandasamy and other members of the Union Ministry of Transport and Highways team for making a detailed power point presentation on the measures being initiated for ensuring road safety in the State and for their valuable suggestions.
Qamar Ali Akhoon, Minister for Transport, gave a detailed account of the measures which have been taken for the promotion of road safety in the State. He informed that the number of SRTC buses has been increased in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts which has resulted in lesser number of accidents involving passenger vehicles.
Earlier, Kandasamy in his detailed presentation dwelt on the steps taken by the Central Government to improve road safety. He said that National Road Safety Policy has been approved, National Road Safety Council stands constituted and all the States and Union Territories have been requested to set up State Road Safety Councils and District Road Safety Committees. He added that stress has been laid on Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency care. He said that road safety would be an integral part of road design at the planning stage. Further, Road Safety Audit of selected stretches of National Highways will be taken up, driving training institutes established and publicity campaigns launched on road safety awareness and exhorted the State Transport Authorities to avail maximum benefit of various schemes launched by the Central Government to enhance road safety.