Shri Oscar Farnandes, the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways launched emergency care initiatives today on Gurgaon – Jaipur stretch of NH-8. In order to give a boost to emergency care of the accident victims, the Union Minister launched a pilot project for cashless treatment of accident victims on Gurgaon – Jaipur stretch of NH-8, in presence of Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, and Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana, Dr. Tushar A. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shri Sarvey Sathyanarayana, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways.
Shri Fernandes flagged off six new Advance Life Support ambulances, for urgently transporting accident victims to the nearby hospitals. The ambulances have been supplied by the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Shri Fernandes also flagged off a crash investigation vehicle deployed by National Automotive Testing research and Development Infrastructure Project(NATRIP) for scientific investigation of serious accidents on this stretch by a team headed by Professor Anoop Chawla of IIT, Delhi. Shri Fernandes also released on this occasion the National Ambulance Code developed by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways by utilising the expertise of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, with the active participation of the automobile industry, the vehicle testing agencies and other stakeholders.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Fernandes expressed hope that the two steps initiated by his Ministry – development of the National Ambulance Code and cashless treatment of road accident victims would make a major impact on the road safety scenario of the country. He expressed deep concern over the high incidence of road accidents and resultant fatalities. Reiterating Government of India’s commitment to make roads safer for the public, the Minister recounted steps being taken by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to promote road safety, like educational campaigns on road safety, supply of cranes and ambulances to States, establishment of model Institutes of Driving Training & Research and fully automated vehicle inspection and certification centres, administrative measures like enforcement of provisions relating to installation of braking systems in agricultural trailers, improvement in construction of bus body building by notification of procedure for accreditation of bus body builders, steps to check overloading of vehicles etc.
Shri Fernandes appealed to the audience to voluntarily observe the rules of the road like adherence to speed limits, helmet wearing, use of seat belts, not to mix drinking and driving, respect pedestrians’ right at zebra crossing, never to jump red light, avoiding use of high beam and keeping cool to avoid road rage. “Let us resolve to follow these simple rules of road safety strictly from today; let all of us become Road Safety Volunteers from this day” the Minister said. He said that on the basis of the experience gained from this pilot project and the investigation by the team of IIT Delhi a more comprehensive scheme may be launched for the entire country in phases. Shri Fernandes profusely thanked the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Rajasthan for the active help and support of the two State Governments in the launch and implementation of the pilot project.
Welcoming the chief guest and the dignitaries, Shri Vijay Chhibber, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways brought out the unique features of the pilot project – a Toll free No.1033 to report accidents; a 24X7X365 call centre to receive information about accidents and deploy the nearest ambulance by tracking through GPS device; local youth nominated by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan as Road Safety Volunteers who were got trained in First Aid by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways at All India Institute of Medical Sciences; cashless treatment of road accident victims at Gurgaon – Jaipur stretch at 44 empanelled hospitals and 7 government hospitals located on the stretch; scientific investigation of serious accidents by a team headed by Prof. Anoop Chawla of IIT, Delhi, under a project sanctioned by Ministry of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprises in association with NATRIP, the data from which would be used for enhancing mechanical safety of vehicles, improving road geometry, designing driving training courses etc. Speaking about the National Ambulance Code, Shri Chhibber said that the Ministry had taken action for formulation of this Code in order to improve the quality and safety of ambulances on Indian roads. Certain minimum standards and guidelines have been laid down for constructional and functional requirements of ambulances so as to ensure care and comfort to the patients. The category of First Responder, which also includes two wheeled ambulances, has been specially introduced for the first time in India to cater to the need for providing prompt medical care in congested by-lanes and high traffic areas. He announced that the Ministry has already initiated action to make construction of ambulances as per provisions of the Code mandatory under Central Motor Vehicles Rules.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Rajasthan thanked Shri Fernandes for choosing this stretch for the Pilot project in view of the high rate of accidents and fatalities on this stretch. Both the Chief Ministers assured their full cooperation to ensure success of the project.
A host of local representatives, large section of other dignitaries from the Media, Ministry of Health, Department of Heavy Industries, Nehru Yuvak Kendra etc had assembled to witness this initiative of the Government of India.