Narendra Tomar emphasizes prevention of road accidents national priority
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.
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 and property which has a substantial impact on the GDP.
The main topics which were discussed and deliberated upon during the conference include:
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 pedestrians about the road and its contours such as reflective sheeting signboards, 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 that road accident is of grave concern and the nation is losing lakhs of people every year in these accidents, mostly youth. Shri Tomar emphasized that the prevention of road accidents is a national priority and under the third phase of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Union Government shall make continuous efforts in this direction and expect the contribution of Engineers also towards achieving this objective.
The Union Minister added that 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 by 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. The involvement of the 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 audits of some of the critical roads for which a training programme to train engineers as Road Safety Auditors is also needed which will be undertaken in coordination with AITD and IAHE.
(With Inputs from PIB)
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