Chandigarh, Dec 20 (UNI) Punjab will soon have a Road Safety Council to monitor all issues related to road safety in order to minimise accidents in the state due to the increasing number of vehicles every year.
The establishment of the Council was cleared by the state Cabinet and it will be formed soon, Transport Minister Mohan Lal informed the state assembly while replying to a call attention motion by Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Cong) on the recent accident in Moga district which claimed the lives of 16 persons after a mini bus rammed into a passenger train at a level crossing near Chuhar Chak village.
This Council will review the road safety measures from time to time and would also look into the assistance to be provided to road mishap victims, the Minister said.
The Minister pointed out that Punjab had an estimated 52,284 kms length of roads and there are around 50 lakh registered vehicles running on these roads. About two lakh vehicles are added every year in Punjab, he added while pointing out that a majority of the accidents are due to the negligence on the part of the drivers.
Referring to the measures being taken by the government to ensure safe driving on roads, Master Mohan Lal said the speed limit of vehicles on various roads had already been specified. All deputy commissioners, district police chiefs and concerened officials had been intimated about these limits, he added while pointing out that speed limit sign boards would be fixed on all roads.
The Minister informed the House that the government had introduced the concept of interceptors to keep a check on driving under the influence of liquor. Any driver found under the influence of liquor would be proceeded against as per the law, he assured.
He also informed the assembly that ambulances had been stationed in accident prone areas to assist the injured.
Coming to the Moga accident, the Minister told the House that it was due to the negligence of the gateman incharge of the rail level crossing at Chuhar Chak village that resulted in the accident. The state government has asked Moga deputy commissioner to inquire into the reasons of the accident and submit a report, he added.
The Minister told the House that a sum of Rs 21 lakh was placed at the disposal of the Moga deputy commissioner for providing assistance to the next of kin of the deceased and taking care of the medical expenses of the injured.
Another call attention motion on the embezzlement done during the previous Congress rule while allocating BOT works under the Jalandhar Municipal Coporation was moved by K D Bhandari (BJP) in the House. Minister for Local Bodies Manoranjan Kalia informed the House that a total of nine projects were approved by the Coproration under BOT mode and the inquiry report of two was still awaited.