More than 1.30 lakh people killed in 2020: Gadkari

A total of 3,48,279 persons injured in 3,66,138 road accidents across the country during the calendar year 2020, causing 1,31,714 deaths, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that as many as 4,51,361 people were injured in road accidents in India during 2019, while the total number of accidents stood at 4,49,002.

According to the minister, the road ministry has formulated a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on education, engineering (both of roads and vehicles), enforcement and emergency care.

Replying to a separate question, Gadkari said, construction works on National Highways were delayed to some extent due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the loss of time was estimated to be generally in the range of 3-9 months depending upon the project parameters.

The government has taken several steps under Atmanirbhar Bharat, like granting time extensions for 3 to 9 months, relaxation in contract provisions for ensuring cash flow, direct payment to sub-contractors and release of retention/security money to augment cash flow, waiver of penalty in case of delay in submission of performance security (for new contracts), to make up the loss and regain the lost speed in highways construction, he added.

Responding to another question, Gadkari said 61 State Transport Undertakings (STUs), which are members of Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU), are operating 1,45,747 buses, out of which 51,043 buses have facility for boarding and deboarding for persons with disabilities.

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Roy Walsh

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