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Shimla to host National Road Safety Council meet

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 29 (UNI) Setting up trauma centres along National Highways, deploying modern ambulances fitted with the latest life-saving equipment and curbing problem of fuel adulteration will be the focus of the National Road Saftey Council meeting, to be held in Shimla in August.

The meeting, slated for the third week of August, has been convened by the Central government to discuss introduction of new technologies and other measures to enhance road safety .

This was conveyed by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu to Himachal Pradesh Transport Minister G S Bali, who called on him here last night.

All the state Road Transport and Public Works Department Ministers, Secretaries and Commissioners of Road Transport, besides top bureaucrats and experts of the Central Government, will attend the meeting.

''The National Road Safety Council will discuss various aspects of the transport sector and introduction of new technologies and measures to enhance road safety throughout the country,'' Mr. Bali said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was in Bangalore earlier this week, said one lakh people died in road accidents every year, and stressed the need to reverse this trend. He also called for making road safety awareness, both in urban areas and on national highways, a major national campaign.

In view of spiralling accidents on National Highways, the meeting would discuss setting up trauma centres, deploying modern ambulances and putting up 'weigh bridges' at entry points of states, he said.

Mr Bali also announced that the Centre Expenditure Finance Committee had approved construction of a 540-metre-long bridge connecting Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. ''Mr Baalu will lay the foundation stone of the bridge, to be constructed at the cost of Rs 20 crore, when he visits the state in August,'' he added.

He made a strong plea for setting up more trauma centres along all the National Highways in the state to provide emergency medical facilities to victims of road mishaps.

The Himachal Pradesh minister also emphasised the need for taking stringent measures to strictly implement the ''bus building code'' throughout the country, specifying safety norms in respect of body of the vehicles.

Referring to the problem of fuel adulteration, Mr Bali suggested amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act that would put the onus on both owners of vehicles and petrol pumps.

UNI/SKS MSJ KP1422

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