Kashmir Indepth

J&K’s killer roads claim 8000 lives in nine years

Ishtiyaq Ahmad 

Srinagar Sep 23 (KINS): Even 8000 road traffic fatalities in the last nine years have not moved the authorities and people alike to take corrective actions and prevent the traffic crashes in Jammu and Kashmir.

Official figures revealed Jammu and Kashmir ranks second across India in the tally of road accidents per 10,000 vehicles with an average of over 900 deaths every year in the last five years.

Figures of the Traffic Department accessed by news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) revealed that over 8000 people have died and almost 80,000 injured in 56000 road accidents during the last nine years in Jammu and Kashmir.

During 2018, 984 people lost their lives in 5978 road accidents. The road accidents claimed 926, 958, 917 lives in 2017 and 2016, and 2015 respectively.

The Chenab Valley in Jammu region has witnessed a steep increase in the road traffic accidents in the past few years.

For the last one decade, the government has made tall claims to prevent such incidents, but those have remained only on papers.

In April 2012, House Committee headed by CPIM leader MY Tarigami submitted a detailed report to the government with a slew of recommendations for the transport, traffic, R&B, and other departments to curb growing road accidents.

The Committee concluded that increase in the number of vehicles, narrow and faulty roads, negligent driving and ageing vehicles were among the reasons for the growing accidents in J&K.

The government, in 2015, had set up a ‘Lead Agency’ to act as the nodal agency to coordinate all activities relating to the road safety in J&K.

The government introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Road Safety Council Act, 2018, which advocated the formation of a State Road Safety Council.

According to the bill, the proposed council would advise the government regarding the transport safety measures.

Sources however said nothing has been done in this regard so far.

A senior official regretted the loss of lives in the road traffic accidents. “Government is equally concerned about how to curb road accidents. The government has taken several initiatives like road accident data management system to analyze each mishap. Funds have also been released for safety of roads,” he added. (KINS) 

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