Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CA&PD), Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that in 2015, 5836 road accidents have occurred in State in which 917 people lost their lives.
The Minister was replying on behalf of Minister for Home to a clubbed question of Yasir Reshi and Zaffar Iqbal Manhas.
He said that the Government has taken various steps to strictly enforce traffic laws/ rules to minimize road accidents and avoid loss of life and property.
The Minister said that during 2015, 6, 37,110 persons were challaned by the Traffic Police and an amount of Rs 12,79,54,692 has been realized from them. Similarly, he said during the current year 2,74,137 persons have been challaned for various traffic violations up to ending April, 2016, and a fine of Rs 5,35,57,619 has been realized from them.
Mr. Zulfkar said that in order to curb the tendency of rash and negligent driving, overloading and over speeding by habitual offenders, the driving licenses of erring drivers especially of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) are being recommended for cancellation to the concerned RTOs/ARTOs. Besides, he said, system of registering criminal cases under Section 304 and 307 RPC against the drivers indulging in repeated overloading has been introduced.
The Minister said that road safety measures are being flashed regularly through the electronic and print media. He said that ban on issuance of permits in respect of 4-wheelers and mini buses in the hilly districts of the erstwhile Doda and Poonch districts with effect from 15-12-2001 is being enforced strictly.
He said that all commercial and passenger services drivers have been advised and instructed to display details of driving licenses including photographs duly attested by concerned RTO / ARTO on the windscreen of the vehicles, while driving a motor vehicle.
Mr. Zulfkar said that all 25 year old commercial and passenger vehicles have been taken off the roads and all 15 year old passenger vehicles are required to undergo mechanical fitness test twice a year.
He said that State Road Safety Councils and District Road Safety Councils have been constituted to address the increasing trend of road accidents. He further said that the recovery cranes and 15 Ambulances have been provided for immediate rescue and emergency medical services to road accident victims under the National Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme.
The Minister said that Special anti-Encroachment drivers are being jointly launched by Municipal corporations, District Police and Traffic Department to remove the illegal encroachments on roads and footpaths. He said that surveys of the National Highway are conducted regularly and status reports are provided to the concerned executing agencies for undertaking necessary road safety measures. He further said that for establishing interface with various stakeholders, the Traffic Police Department has launched website www.jktrafficpolice.
He said that installation of Electronic Traffic Signal System (ETSS) in Srinagar and Jammu cities has yielded positive results in traffic management. He further said that Traffic Police has been pressing into service cranes and hydraulic workers for lifting of wrongly parked vehicles etc. in twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar. The Minister said that Traffic Police has been launching awareness campaigns to inculcate traffic sense, road discipline and avoiding rash driving.
The Minister said that the directions of the High Court and Supreme
Court regarding ban on the entry of heavy vehicles into the city limits of Srinagar and Jammu cities during day time are complied with in letter and spirit.
The Minister said that the macdamization programme has been taken up by the R&B Department in 2015-16 to improve the riding surface of the roads. He said that emphasis is being given on improvement of roads by way of protection work in the shape of crash barriers etc. He said that zebra crossing have been provided on major crossings so that vehicles can slow down and allow the pedestrian to cross the road smoothly.
In addition to that four lanning of National Highway from Qazigund to Srinagar, taken up by the National Highway Authority of India the Minister said, “State Government has also taken up the six lanning of road from Sonawar to Gallander, which will further ease the pressure on the stretch and reduce traffic jams particularly at Pantha Chowk and Pampore. He said that the DPR for the said road stands prepared at an estimated cost of Rs 342.60 crore.” He said that the process of tendering has been initiated and work at Drangbal, Pampore to Kadalabal, Pampore has also been initiated on ground.
Mr. Zulfkar further said that Flyovers are under construction both in Srinagar and Jammu cities.
The Minister informed the House that Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) is in the process of replacing its old fleet of vehicles with new fleet, so as to progressively reduce dependence on private transport. He said that JKSTRC also intends to improve its services in rural and urban areas in future.
Surinder Kumar Choudhary raised supplementary to the main question