NHAI seeks Rs 11,000 crore for retrofitting roads

 To improve safety features in existing national highways, the National Highway Authority of India ( NHAI) has sent a proposal to the Road Transport ministry seeking Rs 11,000 crore to retrofit roads.

The retrofitting, includes correcting black spots, building flyovers, foot over bridges, crash barriers, service lanes and under passes, NHAI chairman Raghav Chandra told Deccan Herald here on Friday.

In absence of sufficient safety measures while building highways for past several years, large number of road accidents have been occurring either due to bad design, narrow roads or not having facilities for pedestrian crossings.

As the ministry now wants to take immediate corrective steps to improve safety features, around Rs 11,000 crore is required for the project. After getting funds from the ministry, the NHAI will set the time frame for completing the works which include short- term projects like installing road signs as well as long-term safety features, including constructing flyovers and intersections, he said.

Based on the deaths reported from fatal highway stretches during the three years from 2011 to 2013, the road transport and highways ministry has identified 726 black spots.
India sees 5 lakh road accidents annually in which 1.5 lakh people lose lives. The ministry is taking several steps to reduce the numbers.

The Transport ministry also plans to provide road safety amenities across 1,200 spots on NHs to ensure immediate help in case of accidents.

“We have identified 1,200 spots where trauma centres will be created with various amenities that will provide necessary assistance in case of accidents. We are also appealing to the private sector to take up this responsibility. We will provide them with around 15,000 sqft area at Re 1 lease rentals for setting up such centres,” he said.

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