Over 1.37 lakh accidents took place on National Highways in 2019: Gadkari
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, informed the Parliament on Thursday that a total of 1,37,191 accidents took place on National Highways (NHs), including expressways, during the year 2019. A total of 1,40,843 accidents occurred in the year 2018.
The minister also informed that around 3,400 km NHs have already been upgraded to six-lane or higher configuration while the upgradation of 6,250 km of NHs to six-lane or higher is currently under implementation. Gadkari stated that additionally, projects of around 1,870 km have been planned for upgradation from four-lane to six-lane or higher configuration across the country.
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While replying to a separate question about electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure along the highways, the minister said that charging stations will be provided by the developer as part of the Wayside Amenities (WSAs) that are being awarded by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The autonomous agency has already awarded 39 such facilities to developers while another 103 such sites are at bidding stage.
Further, as and when the ministry will identify any new WSA site, it will be put up for bidding among developers. The projects which have already been awarded are expected to be completed by 2022-23.
In a similar session on Wednesday, Gadkari had informed the Parliament that a total of 23,483 pedestrian deaths had occurred due to road accidents in the year 2020. The number of pedestrian deaths due to road accidents in 2019 was 25,858. The minister also informed that the total number of deaths in road accidents across India in the last calendar year was 131,714, down from 151,113 recorded in 2019.
India has an alarmingly high number of deaths that occur due to road accidents and to curb the high fatality rate across the country, the central government has been taking a wide range of measures.
(with inputs from PTI)