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Chief Secretary for adherence to safety measures for reducing road fatalities in State




 Expressing concern over increase in number of deaths in State due to road accidents, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi today stressed the need for adherence to safety measures and stringent action against violators of traffic rules.

Chairing a meeting and video conferencing with District Collectors, SPs and RTOs across the State on rise in number of road fatalities in the State, the Chief Secretary said a comprehensive approach is needed to check fatalities in road mishaps in the State. He also stressed better road engineering, intensifying enforcement activities and massive traffic education among the masses.

Padhi asked the officials to ensure holding road safety committee meetings at district level in every month to analyse the causes of the accidents and ways to prevent those. Apart from putting in place required signage on roads, RTOs and MVIs should make field inspections every day and they should ensure enforcement work, Padhi said.

The joint committees comprising of police officials, RTO and road construction department personnel must visit the accident prone areas and analyse the reasons of such incidents, he said while stressing implementation of ‘zero tolerance day’ in every districts to reduce road fatalities.

Sources said in the current year road accidents death percentage has gone up to 42. As many as 42 deaths have been recorded in every 100 road accidents. 3300 people have died in 2016 due to road accidents. It is found from an analysis that speed-driving, driving without helmet, rash driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and defects in road construction seem to be major reasons of road mishaps. Most of the people dying in road accidents are found to be within the age limit of 18 to 60. Keonjhar, Koraput, Balangir, Kalahandi, Jajpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Cuttack, Ganjam, Khordha and Sundargarh districts appear prominently on the accident map of the State. Authorities in all these districts must prepare action plans to reduce road accidents and they should furnish a report to the State government on the implementation of such plans on regular basis, said the chief secretary.         

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Odisha Police Director General Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma said the number of road accidents has increased significantly in seven districts of the State in the last nine months. About 7 districts have been identified where the number of road accidents and fatalities has increased in the last 9 months as per the analysis done at today’s meeting, he said adding that measures are needed to bring the number of road mishaps down. “A comprehensive approach is needed in the seven districts. It includes road engineering, enforcement and traffic education. All these components ought to be paid attention to,” the DGP stated. He added, “Places with black spots will be identified and rectifying measures would be taken”. The DGP said despite speed limits imposed at certain accident prone sites in the State, over-speeding is rampant. “Speed interceptors will be used to identify rash driving and stringent action will be taken against the violators including suspension of driving license,” said he while stressing intensifying enforcement activities.

Dr Sharma said, presently, police has been empowered with MV Act in the urban/municipal areas in Odisha. “Under such scenario, the State government is considering to bestow police with the MV Act compounding power in the rural areas too. I hope a decision will be taken on it soon. By this decision, police will be able to execute effective enforcement especially in the national highways (NHs) and rural areas”, he added. The DGP said, “In 2018, we aim at reducing road accidents and carve a niche at the national level”.

APC GK Dhal, Transport Commissioner MS Padhi, Principal Secretary Water Resources PK Jena, Agriculture Secretary S Garg, Special Secretary Transport Manoj Mishra and other senior officials were among present in the meeting.  






Editorial

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From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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