Wednesday, 11 November 2020

MISSION SAFE LUDHIANA 2020 Safety on Ludhiana Must be Ensured : Dr Kamaljeet Soi

By 121 News
Ludhiana 11th Nov 2020

Government of India has approved RS 500 Cr for correction of black spots in the state of Punjab . Ludhiana has 92 Identified Black Spots .

Ludhiana is losing one precious life every day & more than  350 people every year & more than 600 are seriously injured in road accidents. The fatality rate is as high as 69% making Ludhiana one of the most dangerous city on the roads in the country.

Disturbed, pained & shocked at the state of affairs on Road Safety, Dr Kamaljeet Soi Chairman of the NGO Raahat - The Safe Community Foundation & President – Global Society of Safety Professionals GSHP has decided to take it on, this very serious Socio, Psycho & Economic issue in a big way by undertaking following activities after Corona  and "MISSION SAFE LUDHIANA 2020" will be pursued more aggressively now.

Dr Kamaljeet Soi & his NGO Raahat - The Safe Community Foundation have been taking up the issues of road safety from last about 20 years and has been recognized at State, National & International level for the work done in this field.

Addressing the media persons he said that Ludhiana is regarded as City of Jams & City of Deaths , in the in last three years only 1100 Deaths have occurred in road accidents leading to a loss of precious human lives as well as financial loss of approximately 500 crores  due to fuel wastage , man hours loss , loss of productive hours & frequent traffic jams etc.

He said that Although there are various reasons for this high fatality rate but presence of 92 Black Spots he considers poor as one of the main reasons, and the same can easily be improved with little effort. He added that Ludhiana road infrastructure is bad from road or traffic engineering point of view, the design of roads are inherently unsafe (there is very little separating opposing traffic flows, eliminating cross traffic, and providing wide shoulders and traffic lanes and poor visibility compounds the problem), this we can find on Jagraon flyover, Gill flyover, apart from just separating the traffic no effort is being made for a safe infrastructure .

He emphasized that No road safety audit is done & roads are laid without proper planning . You will not find road markings & road furniture is absent from most of the roads. Everywhere in World we talk of crash barriers here in Ludhiana you will find big concrete blocks spread everywhere like a Static Death Trap on the roads. If a car/two wheeler driver hit these concrete blocks death is certain . Is it the poor knowledge & understanding of civic authorities or is it the lack of money for safe road furniture or scant respect for human life.

Dr Soi enunciated that SPEED is the single biggest factor contributing to road deaths in India & more particularly in Ludhiana. Over 40% of fatal collisions are caused by excessive or inappropriate speed. We don't have any mechanism to enforce speed limits in Ludhiana. And the famous FOBC- Fear of being caught over speeding in Ludhiana is not there . People drive at reckless speed endangering their own & others lives. A 5km/h difference in speed could be the difference between life and death for a vulnerable road user like a pedestrian.

He highlighted that existing roads infrastructure can be Improved by realignment, improving vision, and resurfacing slippery surfaces , having safe road furniture , road markings / zebra crossings , freeing footpaths from encroachments, regulating traffic movement by installing traffic signals, traffic islands, road markings, and regulatory signs such as "stop" and "give way" signs; Assisting the driver with warning and destination signs to avoid danger and confusion can reverse the situation a bit.

Dr Kamaljit Soi thanked the Local Police Commissioner Rakesh Aggrwal & Punjab Government for implementation of HSRP in Ludhiana. We have witnessed a very good momentum in the last 5 months towards the implementation of HSRP. State Transport Department in May 2020 came out with a time bound notice for the implementation of HSRP, he further urged government to expedite the process on new as well as old vehicles as this is a issue of National Security issue.  He informed that Govt has already restricted any transaction without affixation of HSRP and the process of applying is now being made easier as customer can now apply HSRP online for old/existing vehicles in addition to implementation of appointment system for affixation of HSRP, Around 100 HSRP affixation centers have been opened in the State. Now people don't need to travel all the way to District headquarters as most the SDM locations have affixation centers locally available. The facility of affixing HSRP at the vehicle owners residence was a  great and unique initiative which was launched by the State Government specially at the time when the entire state and the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking a cue from the State of Punjab, the neighboring States such as Delhi and UP has launched similar facility in their state as well. . Temper proof HSRP plates are affixed with non-removable and non-reusable snap locks and their Reflectivity index improves vision especially at night and during foggy season. He appealed to all vehicle owners in the State that they should get their vehicles affixed with HSRP without any further delay. This joint effort by all of us will help in curbing vehicle borne crimes in the State to a very good extent.

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