By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 22 Aug: Director General of Police Ashok Kumar described the increasing road accidents in Uttarakhand as a matter of great concern for the state. He said that, on an average, 200 people are murdered in the state every year, whereas five times more i.e. about 1000 people die in road accidents. The DGP was speaking on the topic ‘Road Traffic Accidents in Uttarakhand’ in the 4th VoW Policy Dialogue organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and SDC Foundation at VoW Cafe, Sahasradhara Road. In this program, Dr. Madhur Uniyal, Assistant Professor, Trauma Care from AIIMS Rishikesh, and senior journalist Gaurav Talwar were also present as speakers.
Kumar said that one of the major reasons for road accidents in the state is the increasing traffic pressure on the roads. At the time of formation of Uttarakhand, the number of vehicles was about 4 lakhs, whereas now it has increased 8 times to 32 lakhs. Roads have not increased according to the number of vehicles. He also cited drink and drive, speeding and overloading as major reasons for road accidents. He said that breaking the rules has become the culture of some people. Such people enjoy breaking the rules on the roads and are often the cause of accidents. He appealed to the people of Uttarakhand and the tourists visiting here to follow the rules and regulations strictly while driving. He also said that the police are very serious about the cases of road accidents and are making all efforts including training to reduce them.
Talwar said that if we analyze the statistics of road accidents in the state, it is found that the nature of road accidents is different in the plains and hilly parts of the state. In the plains, where two-wheeler accidents are more frequent, larger vehicles are more prone to accidents in mountainous areas. He said that there is a need to make different strategies for the hill areas and plains to prevent road accidents. He stressed the need to effectively curb speeding and rash driving. He said that we have policies to prevent road accidents, but they are not being uniformly implemented. He also stressed on the need for better coordination between various responsible agencies.
Dr Madhur Uniyal said that most of the working people are dying in road accidents in Uttarakhand. If we analyze the statistics of deaths and injuries of working age people in accidents, Uttarakhand has the highest disability-adjusted life years across the entire country. He said that we often generalize too much in the cases of accidents. We are limited to speeding and drunk driving, while there are many other reasons for accidents. Dr. Uniyal specifically mentioned road engineering and said that the construction of roads is also a big way to prevent road accidents. He said that zero fatality corridors are being built in many parts of the country. There is a dire need to build such corridors in Uttarakhand. He said that most of the accidents are due to the negligence of the youth. In such a situation, it is the responsibility of the parents to show a lot of understanding while giving vehicles to their children. He asked the parents to come to the trauma centers of the hospital to see how many teenagers are suffering in accidents and how much pain their families are suffering due to this.
The VoW Policy Dialogue was co-chaired by Hemant Kochhar, PHD Chamber of Commerce, Uttarakhand Chapter, and moderated by Anoop Nautiyal of SDC Foundation. DIG, Traffic, Mukhtar Mohsin, SP, Traffic, Dehradun, Akshay Konde, Rashmi Chopra, Venu Dhingra, Sanjay Bhargava, Ashish Garg, Ganesh Kandwal, SS Rasayali, Paramjit Singh Kakkar, Vishal Kala, TN Jowhar and many other citizens were present in large numbers at the program.