Chhatrapur: There is no let-up in deaths on roads in Ganjam district with the region witnessing a 1.31 per cent rise in accident related deaths from January to June this year as compared to the corresponding period of last year, a report said. There has been no improvement in road accidents despite awareness campaigns, enforcement of road safety rules and meetings of road safety committee being held at regular intervals in the district. The Supreme Court led road safety committee has also expressed concern over the rising road fatalities in the district. The secretary of the road safety committee set up by the Supreme Court attended a review meeting in Ganjam district and directed to take some steps to reduce road accident deaths. The meeting was held in the first week of this month.
Reports said there has been a 1.31 per cent rise in road accident deaths from the start of this year till the month of June in comparison with that of the last year. On the other hand, there has been a 12.27 per cent decline in number of road accidents from January this year till the month of June. The rising deaths amid decline in accidents have raised concern among the residents as well as road safety enforcement authorities of Ganjam. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) authorities not abiding by the decisions taken in the meeting of the district road safety committee is said to be the primary reason behind rising road fatalities. For instance, though the committee had decided to install a signage on Khallikote ghati on National Highway-16 and issued necessary instructions to NHAI authorities in this regard at a meeting held February 27, 2023, the NHAI authorities, despite their assurance, are yet to execute it. The Supreme Court led road safety committee also expressed its displeasure over the issue.
Meanwhile, directions have been issued to conduct an audit of the NH-16 and complete it within three months. Engineering errors in highway construction and necessary places to put up signage will find place in the audit with special focus on Khallikote ghati on the highway. The meeting also directed to put up necessary signage on national and state highways and mark accident-prone zones as black spots and take necessary steps. The review meeting found plantation alongside the NH-16 as quite discouraging. The NHAI and PWD officials were asked to install streetlights on busy stretches and ghati roads of the highways. The meeting also decided to work out a standard operating procedure and take necessary steps accordingly to reduce road accidents and deaths. The meeting decided to intensify enforcement activities as deaths involving two wheelers are increasing by the day