Tanda (Himachal Pradesh), June 12 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday underlined the need to strengthen emergency and trauma care services to save people injured in road accidents and also a fund for road safety.
He said intelligent transport system was the need of the hour and infrastructure investments should take it into account.
Singh said the state government had given top priority to the road sector though several issues like high cost of construction and maintenance in hilly states were involved.
He was speaking at a meeting of the Group of Ministers, constituted by the Centre to steer reforms in the road transport sector, in Tanda town in Kangra district.
The Group of Ministers is headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan and comprises state transport ministers.
In the light of available infrastructure, the state had been continuously facing the issue of road safety and evolving a mechanism to reduce accidents, the chief minister said.
He said Himachal at present had a strong road network of 34,359-km long and with 1,913 bridges.
According to him, over 10,000 of the 17,000 census villages in the state had been connected with roads.
He said there was a need to highlight the national accident relief policy and a fund should be created for road safety.
He said that a roadmap should be formulated to reduce road accidents by half by 2025.
Singh said the state had allocated Rs 50 crore each during 2015-16 and 2016-17 for engineering measures to rectify identified road traffic black spots.
State Transport Minister G.S. Bali demanded that hilly states should be given special priority in taking up road safety steps in view of tough topographical conditions and other challenges.
Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan announced to constitute a sub-committee under Bali’s chairmanship, which will give suggestions on road safety. A detailed report on the matter will be submitted to the government of India.