Nitin Gadkari launches campaign on ‘Prevention of Human and Animal Mortality on Highways’
Nitin Gadkari underlined the need to generate awareness and education among the masses that aim at reducing mortality on the roads.
The Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSME, Nitin Gadkari launched the UNDP and MoRTH national awareness campaign on ‘Prevention of Human and Animal Mortality on Highways’ through a video conference on June 5, 2020.
At the launch, the union minister underlined the need to generate awareness and education for the masses that aims at reducing mortality on the roads, he also mentioned that the sustainability and ecology are most important for the human life.
The minister informed that India has witnessed nearly 5 lakh road accidents every year, out of which about 1.5 lakh lives are lost. He indicated that economy, ethics, and ecology are the three most important pillars of India.
Nitin Gadkari during the launch of the campaign:
After mentioning the accident rate in India which is nearly 5 lakh every year, Nitin Gadkari mentioned that he has been planning to bring down these figures by 20-25 percent by March 31, 2021.
He also informed that over 5000 black spots have been identified and their rectification process including permanent and temporary measures are being carried out on an urgent basis. SOPs regarding the rectification procedure of black spots for taking up long-term and short-term permanent measures have already been issued.
Road Safety Measures:
The Union Minister informed that various Road safety Measures have been highlighted to be focused upon the stretches of National Highways such as:
• Rectification of Black Spots
• Traffic Calming measures
• Crash barriers
• Rehabilitation and reconstruction dilapidated and narrow bridges
• Road Safety Audit
• Reduction of fatalities on vulnerable roads
• Safety during construction
• Highway Patrolling
Need to protect animal life on roads:
The Union Minister during the launch mentioned that his ministry has been fully aware and conscious about the need to protect animal life on the roads. He stated that ministry has requested all the agencies to follow up on the provisions of the manual titled ‘Eco-friendly measures to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructure on wildlife’. The manual has been issued by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun to make roads or any linear infrastructure and to take care of wildlife accordingly. Gadkari also requested the NGOs and social organisations to locate the black spots for animals on the roads and inform the ministries so that the necessary steps can be taken.
Nitin Gadkari informed that the ministry has been spending good amounts on creating an infrastructure that is conducive to animal use. He gave the example of Nagpur-Jabalpur Highway, where a via-duct has been constructed for Rs. 1300 crore in order to create the right of way for the tigers. Similar steps have also been undertaken in the forest area of Maharashtra, MP, Odisha, etc. It included conducting studies for the road engineering that will be favourable to animal movement, elevated corridors, constructing underpasses, etc.
He mentioned that MoRTH has always advocated the construction of underpasses/overpasses, elevated roads as ecological wildlife corridors in order to avoid fragmentation of wild animals habitats and will also abide by the compensatory afforestation schemes in lieu of tree required to be felled.
The new road projects to come up will adopt a green rating system of roads, that has already been approved by the IRC Council for Publication. Further guidelines will also be drafted for green roads that will be specific to India’s bio geography.