India cannot achieve target to cut 50 per cent road accidents by 2024 due to shortcomings: Gadkari

'More people die in road accidents than in street fights, riots, terrorist attacks'


India will not be able to achieve the target of reducing road accidents by 50 per cent before 2024 due to many shortcomings on the part of the government and people, who compromise with road safety standards, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

He pointed out that more people die in road accidents than in street fights, riots or terrorist attacks.

"We had said that we will reduce the number of road accidents by 50 per cent before 2024. But we could not do (reduce) much. We could not do it because we have certain shortcomings and there are other people who are not doing their bit," Gadkari said while addressing a public function in New Delhi.

Stressing the need for improvement in road engineering, he said, "People who prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) are not doing their job properly. Their mindset is that there should be saving (reduce) on the cost".

They compromise with road safety standards while preparing DPR to reduce the cost of construction and deliberately don't provide for the construction of flyovers, under bridges required in a road project, he noted.

"We have identified black spots. Even good road signage helps to reduce the risk of accidents. Lane discipline can help us win half the battle for ensuring road safety in the country," he said.

He stressed five important Es—Engineering (road), Emergency (action in case of an accident), Engineering (automobile), Education (about road safety) and Enforcement (rules).

"I think people's support is the most important (for road safety)," he stressed.

Talking about road engineering, he said that there is a need to improve civil engineering in our country.

"I have been working in this department for nine years. Now, I understand what needs to be done to reduce the risk of road accidents," he stated.

He said that India witness five lakh road accidents in the country (every year), which includes two lakh deaths.

Legs and arms are broken by three lakh people in these accidents. Three per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is lost in these road accidents, he added.

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