Cranes to be used to clear highways in Manipur

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Imphal, Oct 7 (UNI) Manipur will get two cranes from the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways during the current fiscal for clearing obstructions at the site of accidents on National Highways in the state, the Manipur Information Centre said. Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T R Baalu approved a sum of Rs 5,88,68,475 for the purchase of a number of 25 ten-tonne cranes under National Highways Accident Relief Service Scheme(NHARSS) during the current financial year.

The cranes will be made available to the transport as well as police departments of various states across the country.

Sources from the ministry said while the transport department of Tamil Nadu would be provided with five such cranes, another three cranes would be given to the Directorate General of Police of Karnataka.

Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Punjab and West Bengal are being provided with two cranes each, while another such crane would be supplied to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The NHARSS is operational since 2000-01. Under the scheme, ambulances and cranes are being provided to transport as well as police departments of the states and Union Territories, apart from NGOs, for evacuating the accident victims to the nearest hospitals and clearing the accident site.

The Union Government is also encouraging the states to set up a system of highway patrol with a chain of Traffic Aid Centres at an interval of 30-50 kms on highways equipped with ambulance, crane, patrol vehicle and enforcement staff to administer aid to the victims within the first hour of accident.

So far, 437 ambulances and 252 cranes have been provided to different states and Union Territories till 2007-08.

About 1.05 lakh people were killed in road accidents in the country in 2006.

Widening and improvement of National Highways with the construction of flyovers, provision of service lanes, geometrical correction of road alignments and creation of medians were all part of steps to bring down the accident rate.

For safety on hilly roads, the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport&Highways requested all the states in the previous month to furnish proposals for providing retention walls, parapets, storm water drainage facilities and proper signage facilities in hilly roads.

UNI NS SB KLC1644

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