Rs 14,000-crore state support plan to strengthen road safety

NEW DELHI: The transport ministry has firmed up a Rs 14,000 crore state support programme for strengthening road safety in India, which will be funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The programme will be driven by a strict incentive-based structure for states delivering on road safety aspects, including reduction in fatalities. Road accidents in India claimed more than 150,000 lives in 2018, a recent government report said. “We are developing an incentive-based mechanism to ensure that states actually work on the ground,” a government official told ET. “If states do not perform, they will stop receiving grants proposed under the programme.”

India recorded the highest number of road accident deaths across 199 countries in 2018, according to the World Road Statistics. It was followed by China and the US. As per the 2018 WHO Global Report on Road Safety, India accounts for almost 11% of accident-related deaths in the world.

The road transport and highways ministry will fund half of the `14,000-crore programme while the World Bank and the ADB will equally contribute the remaining half. To incentivise states, a delivery matrix will be developed that will comprise mandatory as well as optional performance parameters. States’ performance will be assessed and the grant amount will be disbursed accordingly.

Indicators will be focused around safe road infrastructure, safe vehicle standards, driver behaviour, road safety advocacy and enforcement of relevant laws.

An apex monitoring body chaired by roads secretary will be constituted, with representatives from the ministries of home, health and family welfare, housing and urban affairs, heavy industries, and human resource development.

Given the programme is spread over four years, the ministry has set a target of reducing fatalities by 30% starting from 7.5% in the first year, 15% in the second, 22.5% in the third and 30% in the fourth year.

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