Now Delhi gets 'fatal accident capital' tag

With five deaths per day, Delhi tops the list of fatal road accidents as well as the number of pedestrians and cyclists falling prey to these mishaps across the country, said a report by Centre for Science and Environment on Monday.

About 16 people die and 58 are injured every hour in India due to road accidents — the death rate, in fact, is equivalent to wiping out about 40 per cent of the population of a small nation like Maldives in a year, said the report.

According to the report, of the five accidental deaths in Delhi, four are of pedestrians and two-wheeler riders. “Every week, two cyclists and one car rider die in Delhi. The worst accident hotspots are near flyovers and crossroads,” it said.

The assessment by the CSE indicated that despite the nominal reduction in total number of accidents over the last two decades, the share of fatal road accidents have increased phenomenally.

“The Indian cities are giving more importance to high speed roads for vehicles, and not ensuring safe access to all,” added the report.

The untimely death of the Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in a road accident was a grim reminder of the dangerous trend in the city.

Even children going to school are not spared: young Lineshya and her cardiologist father were crushed to death by a speeding bus in Gurgaon.

Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE, who herself has recently recovered from a serious cycling accident, said unsafe roads are a warning against the goals of sustainable mobility practices. “Walk, cycle, and public transport will not work if people are not safe, and are injured or die while travelling,” she added.

Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s Executive Director, echoed similar concerns. “If any other cause was responsible for so many deaths in Indian cities, it would have led to emergency measures. Neither the rich and powerful nor the poor can escape the fury of our killer roads,” Roychowdhury added.

“Our assessment has become necessary at a time when Delhi and other cities are trying to increase their share of public transport, including walking and cycling, with the aim of getting clean air, protecting public health, and reducing fuel guzzling and climate impacts.”

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