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Weekly Pullouts » Himachal Tribune

Posted at: Jul 7, 2018, 12:12 AM; last updated: Jul 7, 2018, 12:12 AM (IST)

‘Crash barriers should be put up’

The Engineer-in-Chief of the PWD, RP Verma, talks about his department’s responsibility to ensure good road conditions and minimise the accident-prone areas or the black spots in the state. For the past two consecutive years, a budgetary allocation of Rs 50 crore each has been made for the purpose, says he.

What are the total numbers of black spots where maximum accidents have occurred?

There were 99 black spots identified by our engineers. I am glad to say that 71 out of these have already been taken care of. The shortcomings of another 17 black spots, which fall on the Parwanoo-Shimla four-lane stretch, will be taken care of as the work progresses. This leaves us with 12 black spots on which work is underway. 

The PWD is aware of its responsibility to ensure good road conditions. Since in a hilly terrain, road accidents can result in a high casuality figure, the roads must be in a good condition.

Does the PWD have enough funds to treat these black spots and address the issues concerning road conditions?

We have ample funds to treat the black spots and for the past two consecutive years, a budgetary allocation of Rs 50 crore each has been made to deal with these accident-prone areas and stretches. 

Besides the 90 black spots, our department has on its own identified 3,218 potential black spots where mishaps could happen. The department has spent Rs 150 crore during the past three years to treat these. We are constantly working on these areas, whether it involves widening of the road, putting up signage, rumble strips or improving the gradient. 

Don’t you think that putting up crash barriers in risk-prone areas should be made mandatory to reduce fatalities in case of accidents?

Yes, I agree. We are trying that the crash barriers should be put up right in the beginning when the road is made, especially in difficult terrains like Chamba, Sirmour, Kinnaur and Shimla districts. 

In the case of national highways, the provision is made by the Ministry of Road and Surface Transport for putting up crash barriers. 

The GVK-EMRI Company, running the 108 ambulance service, has also undertaken a study to identify black spots based on the data compiled by them?

Yes, the company has given a list of 516 vulnerable spots. In the case of 278 spots, we have undertaken short-term measures like putting up signage. In the case of the remaining 238 spots, long-term measures will be undertaken.

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