Helipads to come up on highways

NHAI told to identify locations on every 100-km stretch

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has written to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to identify suitable locations on every 100 km along the highway stretches for this purpose.

“With many hospitals in the country these days are engaging helicopter services to airlift patients in various places, the ministry wanted to facilitate them by building helipads to early evacuate road accident victims,” a senior official in the ministry told Deccan Herald.
“The NHAI has asked all its general managers to identify locations to build helipads and the services of helipads are likely to be provided free of cost,” said the official.

The ministry’s proposed National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board Bill, that was approved by the Union Cabinet on Monday, also makes it mandatory to establish and operate trauma facilities on the national highways to provide early treatment to road accident victims. “Once the trauma facilities are ready, these helipads would have a greater advantage to shift accident victims,” the official said.

The Bill, which was aimed to adopt safety features to reduce road accidents in the country, will pave the way to set up the National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board at the Centre.

The Board will recommend the Centre on administration of road safety laws and suggests standards for design, construction and maintenance of the national highways and safety standards for motor vehicles.

The Board will also have financial autonomy through the creation of a National Road Safety Fund, which will get 1 per cent of the total cess collected on petrol and diesel.

India is having dubious distinction in having highest number of road accidents in the world —  about 1.20 lakh people lost their lives in 2007, 60 per cent of which due to mishaps on the highways.

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