On the occasion of World Environment Day (June 05, 2020), Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) Shri Nitin Gadkari has launched the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) national awareness campaign on ‘Prevention of Human and Animal Mortality on Highways’ through a video conference with the aim to reduce or eliminate cases of death on the roads.
Road accidents in India: According to Gadkari, there are about 5 lakh road accidents in India every year, in which about 1.5 lakh people die.Ministry is trying to reduce these figures by 20-25 % by March 31, 2021.
Identification of sensitive locations:
- More than 5000 black spots (sensitive places) have been identified by the ministry and steps are being taken to improve them, including essentially temporary and permanent measures.
- SOPs ( standard operating procedure )related to the process of improving black spots have been issued to take short term and long term permanent measures. As of now, temporary measures have already been taken on 1,739 newly marked black spots and permanent measures on 840 newly marked black spots.
Road safety measures outlined: As per Gadkari, various road safety measures have been outlined on the stretches of National Highways, including rectification of black spots, traffic reduction measures, crash barriers, repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction of weak and narrow bridges, road safety audit,Reduction of fatalities on vulnerable roads, Highway Patrolling and safety during construction.
Nagpur-Jabalpur Highway Mentioned: Gadkari referred to the Nagpur-Jabalpur highway, where bridges have been built at a cost of Rs 1,300 crore to give right-of-way to tigers. Similarly, the same process is being adopted in the forest areas of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha etc.
Conscious about protecting animal life: Gadkari also asked all agencies to comply with the provisions issued by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) under the manual titled ” “Eco friendly measures to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructure on wildlife” in order to take care of wildlife.
About Ministry of Road Transport and Highways:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Minister of State- V. K. Singh
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Headquarters– New York, US
Administrator– Achim Steiner