The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is all set to roll out a new ₹ 7,270 crore scheme to enhance road safety in 14 states in order to help realise the vision of zero road fatalities on the country's roads.
The centrally-sponsored six-year scheme will be implemented in 14 states that contribute to 85 per cent of the total road fatalities in the country. Of the ₹ 7,270 crore, MoRTH will lend a budgetary support of ₹3,635 crore while ₹1,818 crore will be secured as loan each from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Of the total cost, ₹ 6,725 crore will be disbursed to the 14 states based on their performance while MoRTH will use ₹ 545 crore for capacity building activities.
Which States Will It Be Rolled Out In?
The target states for the road safety programme include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Haryana and Assam.
The scheme will incentivise state governments to drive road safety interventions at the grassroots level with the main objective of curbing road accidents and achieving a reduction in fatalities, the MoRTH said. The grants will be distributed to the states based on the key performance indicators. The performance will be assessed on 11 mandatory and three elective indicators.
India reported about 1.51 lakh fatalities in 4.49 lakh road accidents in the year 2019. The 14 target states accounted for 1,27,379 deaths alone. Last year, 1.32 lakh road fatalities took place across the country as the numbers fell due to the COVID-induced lockdown.
Steps Being Taken To Reduce Fatality
The new scheme targets to bring down the fatality rate by 30 per cent by March 2027. Under the programme, an Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD) will operational in all states by 2022-23 and applied for identifying and rectifying all black spots on state highways and major district roads. Road safety audit will be made compulsory on state highways and urban roads by the end of the scheme period.
From 2022-23, MoRTH will also launch a 'Challenge Round' every year to provide incentives to states on additional road safety interventions and also to foster competition among states.
Earlier, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways said that the Centre's target is to reduce road accident deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2024. He also termed the road accident scenario in the country 'much serious than the COVID pandemic' and 'an alarming situation'. He added there could be a saving of ₹ 90 lakh per person by preventing deaths and reducing injuries to minor ones in such incidents.