Bhubaneswar: Expressing concern over escalating casualties in road mishaps, a Supreme Court panel has directed the Odisha government to plan and enforce road safety measures in the state by April 1, 2020.
In a letter to Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, the panel has stated that the authorities ought to deploy police officers for patrolling at five selected stretches, namely Bhubaneswar-Puri, Sambalpur-Sohela, Manguli-Sambalour, Jaleswar-Ichhapuram and Sambalpur-Rourkela. The panel also sought enforcement of adequate safety measures at uncontrolled junction, where maximum accidents take place.
The committee has directed the state government to frame a scheme under Section 135 of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act with the help of research institutes proficient in the field.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide information about the causes and analysis of accidents and to set up traffic aid posts along highways. A copy of the scheme has to be submitted to the SC committee by July 31.
Besides 193 vulnerable roads, the state government has identified 435 black spots, out of which 250 pertain to NHAI and 47 to the Works Department. Out of 130 vulnerable bridges, 45 have been reconstructed and 16 repaired. The panel has directed the authorities to reconstruct the remaining 69 bridges and repair 26 others within three years. The repair and rehabilitation work of 329 bridges on NH will be completed by March, 2022.
Speaking about the issue, Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, “We have decided to put all 193 vulnerable spots on highways under CCTV surveillance and intensify highway patrolling to keep a tab on over-speeding.”
The minister added that the number of road accidents and deaths in the state came down to 3,563 and 1,541, respectively, from September to December 2019 as compared to the same period in 2018.