Chandigarh, Apr 5: Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Monday directed the departments concerned and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to rectify all accident-prone black spots identified on the highways passing through the state. Besides, she also asked the principal secretary (finance) to explore the modalities to procure e-challaning machines for the traffic police to issue e-challans on the spot to the violators.
Mahajan issued these directions while chairing a meeting of a high-powered committee for identification and rectification of black spots on the national highways (NHs) and other state roads (SHs), an official statement said here. On the directions of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, ‘Safe Punjab’ programme has been launched as a joint initiative of the Punjab Police, Public Works Department (PWD) and the Transport Department besides involving all the district administrations to make the state roads safer and smoother.
The Director General, Road Safety, an agency constituted by the Punjab Government, R Venkat Ratnam, apprised the chief secretary that as many as 391 accident-prone black spots spread across 12 districts in the state had already been identified as a part of the scientific study based on the accident severity index. Of these black spots, 264 killer locations were found on the national highways, 64 on the SHs, six on the link roads and 54 on the roads within municipal limits in the state, Ratnam said. The meeting was informed that the NHAI has accepted 257 black spots on the NHs, of which 159 have already been rectified.
The chief secretary asked the departments concerned to conduct an audit of the rectified/re-designed black spots to check the fatality rate after rectification of the black spots. She was informed that as many as 17 patrolling vehicles and 36 ambulances have already been stationed on the toll plazas located on the NHs across the state.
With an aim to further decrease fatality rate in the accidents on the roads and streamline the challaning system in the state, Mahajan stressed on the need for strict action against traffic violators, including those involved in wrong parking, red light jumping, over-speeding and drunken driving offences. Assuring to strengthen the traffic police in the state, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said adequate personnel would be provided to the traffic wing of the state police after hiring more men and women in the ensuing recruitment process.
Expressing concern over the fact that 70 per cent road accidents were reported due to stray animals on the NHs in the state, the chief secretary asked the Local Government and Rural Development Departments to paste reflective radium bands on the horns of stray animals. During the meeting, ADGP (Traffic) Sharad S Chauhan said reflective radium bands have already been pasted on over 5,000 stray cattle so far and the drive would be intensified with the help of the NGOs in the coming days.
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