Highway minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurates road safety month
New Delhi, Jan 18: Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday flagged off Road Safety Month where he highlighted the government's commitment towards safety.
In his address, Gadkari said, "Till now, we have been observing National Road Safety Week. But from today, we will observe National Road Safety Month. Seventy per cent of deaths are in the age group of 18-45 years."
"There is a need to save lives in India where 415 people are dying every day due to road accidents," he added.
Gadkari said that last year, the Indian government had participated in a conference in Sweden, where a vision was conceptualised - to have zero road fatalities in India by 2030.
"We had promised to reduce such fatalities by 50 per cent. Tamil Nadu has done it, with a success rate of 53 per cent. If we wait till 2030, 6-7 lakh more people will die. So, we've made a commitment that before 2025, road accidents and deaths due to it will be brought down by 50 per cent with help of people's participation," Gadkari said.
He also called for cooperation among government departments, NGOs and other organisations to ensure awareness about road safety is spread.
He also gave details about his ministry has increased the target of per day construction of roads. "We have achieved the target of constructing 30 kilometres of road, I believe that by the end of March, perhaps we will achieve the target of constructing 40 kilometres of road per day," the Union minister said.
"World Bank and ADB (Asian Development Bank) approved two projects worth Rs 7000 crore each. We'll receive approval from finance ministry soon. So, we'll spend Rs 14,000 crore to improve black spots - death traps - on roads," Gadkari added.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister VK Singh and chief executive officer (CEO) of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant were also present on the occasion.