Action plan to make roads safer in Karnataka

Action plan to make  roads safer in Karnataka

Being prepared by CiSTUP for Bihar, it will be adopted in State too

To reduce the number of road accidents, the Karnataka government has plans to adopt Road Safety Action Plan which is being prepared by the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), IISc, for Bihar.

The government has already agreed in principle to implement the proposed plan across the State. Karnataka figures among the top five states in terms of deaths caused by the road accidents.

As part of a World Bank project, experts from the CiSTUP have come up with a final draft on making roads safer for pedestrians and motorists. Stakeholders such as state governments and NGOs have been roped in preparing the plan.

The “best practices” in Bihar and Karnataka will be taken into account while implementing the project. For instance, experts have recommended the use of Blackberry systems and CCTV cameras in Bihar that have been adopted by the traffic police in Bangalore. On the other hand, the practice of fixing responsibility on road contractors being followed by Bihar, has been recommended for Karnataka.

In Bihar, the contractor who constructs roads should give a warranty for five years. During this period, the contractor is bound to repair the road in case of any problem.

“We found that roads in Patna and other places in Bihar were very good. The same can be emulated here. The difference in implementing the projects in both the states is the fact that people in Bangalore are far more aware and educated compared to the population in Bihar.

But in Bangalore, the database for black spot —frequent accidents spots, is not well updated. Also, there is a need to set up Road Safety Fund which has been set up in many states and independent bodies to conduct Road Safety Audits in a place like Bangalore,” said Lokesh Hebbani, the consultant for the project and a Transportation Programme Manager in CiSTUP. Hebbani is an advisor to the State government on Traffic Management, Transportation, Infrastructure and  Urban Development.

The same project will be replicated in Karnataka once the experts hand over the report to the Bihar government in a month's time.

The action plan which is also a capacity building project involving the respective state governments, focuses on four Es- Engineering, Enforcement,Emergency Care/Response, Education.

It also lays emphasis on three Cs-Coordination, Cooperation and Communication. “Many times, when an accidents happens, the departments such as police, health, transport indulge in a war of words over jurisdictional issues and purview matters. So it is very important that the stake holders involved communicate, cooperate and coordinate in such matters,” Hebbani added.

As a part of the Action Plan, there will be an executive committee comprising senior government officials, a technical committee comprising experts from different fields and they will be meeting once in a month for the effective implementation of the project.

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