Free treatment may be on way for accident victims on Highways


And if a high-level committee formulates its recommendations to this effect, a part of the cess imposed on petrol and diesel could be used for financing the project where an accident victim on the Golden Quadrilateral and the North-South East-West corridors would get treatment for free for first 48 hours.

"The Committee proposes that a road safety fund be set up with one per cent of the cess collected on the sale of fuel in the country," a senior Transport Ministry official said.

The Committee suggests that the government contributes a part of the road safety fund towards setting up an escrow account in collaboration with four public sector insurance companies viz. New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and United India Insurance.

The funds from the escrow account would be utilised to pay treatment costs to the hospitals.

The objective of this recommendation is to assure payments to hospitals, who otherwise are reluctant to admit accident victims on account of uncertainty over reimbursements, the official added.

The government currently levies a cess of Rs 2 on every litre of petrol and diesel sold in the country to fund the National Highways Development Project (NHDP), its flagship programme to develop road infrastructure in the country.
The government collected over Rs 14,000 crore last year through cess on fuel and aims to collect about Rs 16,500 crore in the current fiscal.

The Committee has also suggested roping in the Indian Institutes of Technology and other research bodies for collection of data on road accidents and drawing up complete statistics on the subject.

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