11 Sep :The Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways has requested all the States to furnish proposals for providing retention walls, parapets, storm water drainage facilities and proper signage facilities in hilly roads.
The request is a sequel of Thiru. T.R. Baalu, Hon’ble Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways advice after his recent visits to hilly roads in various States where the minister observed the deficiencies like Absence of retention wall on hill side; Absence of parapet on valley side; Lack of proper storm water drainage which should be constructed on the hill side and Absence of proper signage.
Accordingly, the State Governments have been advised to furnish the estimates within a period of one month. These proposals would be cleared on fast track by the Ministry under the Central Road Fund Scheme in a major campaign to meet the safety requirements of hilly roads. It may be recalled that this issue was also highlighted by the Union Minister in both the Highways Ministers’ Conference held on 24th June, 2008 and the Transport Ministers’ Conference on 6th August, 2008.
In another innovative initiative, the Department of Road Transport & Highways is mooting the idea of a Road Safety Accident Fund for making reimbursement to the accredited hospitals and trauma care centers. This would ease providing of medical care and allay apprehensions regarding payment in respect of road accident victims in the golden hour. A common pool would be created in which various stakeholders, namely, insurance companies, motor companies, motor owners, road users, various road development and road maintenance agencies, such as National Highways Authority of India and the Government would contribute. The General Insurance Company or any other designated company would be the Fund Manager for the pool. A suitable mechanism like escrow account with appropriate checks and balances would be devised for payment of medical treatment charges from this pool. A meeting was convened by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways with corporate hospitals, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and various Transport Associations in order to sort out these issues. The proposal is being taken up with Ministry of Finance.