Poor Road Engineering: In a significant revelation about road safety in India, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari highlighted the alarming rate of road accidents in the country, attributing a considerable portion of these mishaps to poor road engineering. According to Gadkari, India witnesses around 5 lakh road accidents annually, which have grave implications, both in terms of human lives and economic impact.
Gadkari pointed out the staggering statistics of these accidents: annually, 1.5 lakh people lose their lives, while another 3 lakh are injured. This not only represents a tragic loss of human life but also translates into a substantial economic burden, causing a loss of up to three percent to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These figures underscore the critical need for effective measures to improve road safety.
In his statement, Gadkari emphasized a common misperception in accident attribution. He noted that drivers are often blamed for accidents, but clarified that faulty road engineering is a significant factor in most incidents. This statement redirects attention to the often-overlooked aspect of road design and maintenance as crucial elements in preventing accidents.
Gadkari’s personal experience further validates his concerns about road safety. He shared that he was a victim of a road accident, which resulted in four broken bones, illustrating that the issue of road safety can affect anyone. Moreover, he pointed out that 60 percent of fatalities in road accidents involve young individuals aged between 18 to 34 years, highlighting the impact on the most productive segment of the society.
Road engineering encompasses critical aspects like the design, quality, and maintenance of roads. Effective road engineering ensures that roads are not only safe but also efficient and sustainable. This involves considering factors such as road layout, signage, and materials used, which play a vital role in preventing accidents.
Furthermore, investing in better road engineering can have long-term economic benefits. Durable roads reduce the frequency and cost of maintenance, thereby saving resources in the long run. Enhanced road engineering is not just about creating safer roads; it’s also about building a more efficient and sustainable infrastructure.
Overall, Gadkari’s insights bring to light the crucial link between road engineering and road safety. His emphasis on improving road design and maintenance is a call to action, urging for immediate and effective measures to reduce the high incidence of road accidents in India. This not only aims at saving lives but also at minimizing the economic losses associated with road accidents, ultimately contributing to the nation’s progress and wellbeing.