Jajpur: Although the Supreme Court appointed committee has directed the state government to reduce road mishaps by 50 per cent, the incidents have increased by 12.02 per cent till October 2021, as per a report available with the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Crime Branch (CB).
According to the report, the state has earned a bad name for itself by going up from the rank of 16 to 12 in the list of states with road fatalities.
Among the districts, Nuapada tops the chart with 40.74 per cent rise in road fatalities while Gajapati and Rayagada districts have secured the second spot by registering 40 per cent rise in such cases.
The matter came to the fore after Commerce and Transport department principal secretary Bishnupada Sethi directed the district Collectors, SPs, DCPs of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack Commissionerate Police (Traffic), regional transport officers (RTOs) to form joint enforcement squads comprising RTO and police officials and crack down on traffic violators, speed driving and illegal roadside parking.
However, there is some silver lining as Subarnapur district has created a record by reducing road fatality rate to 21 per cent. Road mishaps have increased in mines and industrially rich districts like Jharsuguda, Jajpur, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Angul, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar.
This has sparked a major concern. The SC had directed to form a road safety committee headed by a retired judge to suggest measures to reduce road accidents. However, there is relentless rise in road accidents as the directions of the committee have been thrown to the winds.
According to reports, while 3,931 persons had died in road mishaps in 2014, the number stood at 4,738 in 2019 – an increase of 21 per cent. During January to April 2021, the death toll in road accidents increased by 27.60 per cent as against the corresponding period of 2020.
Malkangiri topped the list while Jagatsinghpur came second and Jajpur third. However, during January-April 2020, the state reported 7,619 accidents, 3,637 deaths and 6,977 injuries in road accidents. In 2021, the state reported 8,922 road accidents, 4,074 deaths and 8,087 injuries.
An analysis of the death tolls in these mishaps reveals that death toll have slightly decreased in Puri, Nayagarh, Koraput, Deogarh, Kendrapara and Subarnapur districts.
Similarly, road fatalities in Nuapada, Gajapati, Rayagada and Jagatsinghpur districts have shot up by 33.87 per cent, Boudh 32.08 per cent, Malkangiri 28.89 per cent, Jharsuguda 28.57 per cent, Mayurbhanj 26.60 per cent, Bhadrak 26.58 per cent, Jajpur 25.64 per cent, Kandhamal, 23.08 per cent, Bargarh 21.88 per cent, Cuttack 16.74 per cent, Balasore 5.09 per cent, Khurda 13.61 per cent, Bolangir 11.11 per cent, Sundargarh 9.86 per cent, Dhenkanal 6.56 per cent, Sambalpur 6.29 per cent, Kalahandi 5.98 per cent, Angul 4.86 per cent, Nabarangpur 4.61 per cent, Ganjam 3.38 per cent, Keonjhar 2.59 per cent and Puri 1.02 per cent. However, there is a decline in such fatal mishaps in Nayagarh (1.4 per cent), Koraput (3.13 per cent), Deogarh (4.76 per cent), Kendrapara (6.82 per cent) and Subarnapur (21.43 per cent).
Expressing concern over the rising road fatalities, the state Commerce and Transport department has directed for regular meetings of district road safety committees and necessary measures to this effect.