Governor Reviews Road Safety Issues: Directs immediate establishment of Empowered Task Force

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 18: Governor N.N. Vohra reviewed all issues relating to Road Safety in a meeting held at Civil Secretariat today. The meeting was attended, among others, by Shri Parvez Dewan, Advisor to the Governor, Chief Secretary,  Financial Commissioner, Planning & Development, Home Secretary,  besides Administrative Secretaries of Housing & Urban Development, Public Works (R&B), Finance, Transport and Health & Medical Education, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and  Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir (through video conferencing), Transport Commissioner, IGP Traffic, Chief Engineers of Border Road Organization.

The Governor expressed serious concern that, on an average, there are over 6000 road accidents in J&K which result in around 1000 innocent persons being killed, which is almost double the national average, and 8000 getting injured every year.

The Governor recalled the high level meeting held by him on 14th February, 2015  and regretted that the decisions taken had not been progressed in the past one year. He reiterated his directions to carry out improvements in the road architecture, duly vetted by the Design Directorate, based on the Safety Audit carried out for the identification of “black spots”. The Governor directed that every concerned agency should strictly enforce and sternly deal with all cases of overloading and other traffic violations to ensure that no unfit vehicle is allowed to ply on the road under any circumstances. Side by side no unqualified and untested person should be allowed to drive any personal, transport or commercial vehicle.

To enable speedy decisions the Governor directed that an Empowered Task Force chaired by the Chief Secretary and comprising DGP, Administrative Secretaries of Home, Finance, Housing & Urban Development, Public Works (R&B), Transport and Health & Medical Education; Divisional Commissioners, Jammu and Kashmir; IGP Traffic and Transport Commissioner should be set up by 23rdFebruary 2016, to take all required decisions for dealing with the enforcement of every element of Road Safety. This Task Force will meet atleast once every month and take appropriate decisions in regard to all issues. The Governor asked the Chief Secretary to finalize the Road Safety Action Plan within 20 days and identify every matter which requires Executive or Legislative approval, which must be accorded by 15thMarch, 2016. The Home and Transport Administrative Secretaries shall secure clearance of Finance and Law Departments to all pending matters to ensure that the traffic management framework becomes fully operational by 20th March, 2016.

The Governor was informed that the meeting of Jammu and Kashmir State Road Safety Council was held last week and the meetings of the District Road Safety Committees are also being held regularly. The draft State Road Safety Policy, which was recently approved, has already been placed in the public domain for inviting comments from stake holders and the general public by 29th February, 2016. The Governor directed that the proposals regarding increase in the existing scale of fines and penalties for traffic violations, enhancement of fees and taxes, and the re-organization of Motor Vehicle Department should be brought up before the State Administrative Council to be held on 25th February 2016. The Governor also directed to expedite completion of computerization of entire data base and provision of online services for driving license, registration certificates, permits, fitness certificates etc. in all the districts within 200 days w.e.f. 1st March 2016.  The Governor directed the Home Secretary to expedite proposals for strengthening Traffic Police by rationalizing of deployment of existing manpower.

The Governor further directed that there should be no further delay in establishment of Institute ofDriving Training and Research (ITDR) and Inspection and Certification Centre (ICC) both at Jammu andSrinagar. In addition to 10 Trauma Care Centers already made functional by the Health Department from within its existing resources the network of Trauma Care Health facilities located along the National and State Highways will be completed by 30th June, 2016. The Action Plan for Intelligent Transport System like traffic signals, CCTV Cameras etc. will be expedited under the AMRUT scheme in the urban areas. A special drive will be launched for the removal of encroachments and clear all roads and footpaths for the smooth movement of vehicles and pedestrians.

The Governor directed that decisions already taken in the 3rd State Road Safety Council be implemented in a time bound manner. Laying special emphasis on active involvement of all stakeholders in creating awareness about Road Safety, campaigns should be conducted every month by involving NCC,NSS, Home Guards, Scouts & Guides and volunteers. Special attention must be focused on pedestrians by providing clear footpaths, adequate number of Zebra Crossings and under passes and over bridges built on all major roads and highways.

The Governor particularly urged the DGP, IGP Traffic and Transport Commissioner  to enforce stringent measures to check overloading of transport vehicles, check over speeding and ensure that only trained drivers are allowed to ply  buses and trucks on the accident prone roads,  particularly  in the difficult stretches in the hill areas.

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