The Centre on Tuesday informed in the Rajya Sabha that 3,564 accidents took place in India due to potholes in 2020 compared to 4,775 and 4,869 in 2019 and 2018. The drop in the numbers can perhaps be attributed to the road traffic movement being restricted to a large extent due to COVID-induced lockdown in the country in 2020.
The Centre was responding to Trinamool Congress lawmaker Derek O'Brien's question on the number of road accidents due to "road engineering issues" and initiatives for road safety and the funds allocated for it.
'Multi-Pronged Strategy To Adress Road Safety'
"No separate data/record is maintained for an accident occurring due to road engineering (issues)," said Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. Gadkari added that his ministry has put together a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on four factors - education, engineering of both roads and vehicles, enforcement and emergency care.
Elaborating on the total number of accidents that took place in 2019, the minister said that the figures have declined by 4 per cent to 4,49,002. Of these, overspeeding caused 3,19,028 accidents, drunken driving/consumption of alcohol and drugs caused 12,256. The number of accidents because of driving on the wrong side/ lane indiscipline, jumping red light and use of the mobile phone in 2019 stood at 24,431; 4,443 and 10,522, respectively.
Minister Calls On Pvt Players To Finance Zero Fatality Corridor
On Monday, August 9, asked all private sector entities to come forward for the development of social bonds, saying the corpus generated through the social contribution may be used to finance projects like the zero fatality corridor.
In 2018, the Supreme Court while taking a note of deaths from potholes termed it "frightening". Judges said that more people have died due to potholes than by terrorist attacks. It is a persistent problem in the country.