New Delhi, Dec 5, 2019-
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday told Parliament that the government had been working on a Rs 14,000 crore scheme with the assistance of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to remove “black spots” – which are vulnerable to accidents – from the country’s roads.
Replying to a query during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, the Minister said as per the scheme, “black spots” will be identified on all roads including National Highways, state highways and municipal roads.
Gadkari said a scheme worth Rs 7,000 crore will receive the World Bank’s assistance and a similar amount from the Asian Development Bank in view of India having the highest number of deaths in road accidents, compared to the world.
The Minister said an audit will be conducted to know the reasons of accidents.
He said barriers are being erected along the rivers in Himachal Pradesh so that vehicles do not plunge into water in case of accidents.
Mentioning there are no potholes on Mumbai-Pune Highway which was constructed 25 years ago when he was in Maharashtra government in 1995-2000, the Minister said the design of National Highway now is stronger compared to that.
“Since our government came to power, we are constructing concrete roads and I can firmly say that in coming 100 years, no potholes will be found on these roads.”
He accepted that huge amount was being spent on the maintenance of roads earlier but also confirmed that the money being spent for this purpose has come down due to construction of new roads.
“Contractors have been warned of strict action if there would be any loophole in construction of roads. The accidents occur not only because of rash driving but also bad construction of roads.”
About National Highway Accident Relief Scheme, the Minister said it was valid till 2017 but ambulances under the facility are still being provided by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
“Ambulances had been provided at toll plazas and carry three stretchers and cutting equipment.” (Agency)