To arrest the trend of traffic accidents and ensure effective traffic management in the state, the State Government for the first time released Rs 8 crore under Road Safety Fund.
This information was given at a high-level meeting chaired by Principal Secretary Transport, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon.
The meeting was attended by IGP Traffic, Alok Kumar, Additional Transport Commissioner, Ajaz Abdullah, Additional Secretary Transport, Ashok Kumar, Additional Secretary Technical (Police), R K Bhat, Additional Secretary, PWD Technical Mushtaq Ahmed, Director Finance Transport, Mahesh Kumar, RTO Jammu, Deep Raj, and other officers.
RTO Kashmir AhmudullahTak, ARTO Kathua, R K Thappa also participated in the meeting through video conferencing.
The initiative is in tune with the directions of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety which has called for the establishment of the non-lapsable Road Safety Fund in the States.
Threadbare discussion was held in the meeting regarding the effective utilization of fund for different activities and purchase of equipment for road safety measures.
The meeting decided to release Rs 2.5 crore for establishment of a traffic and design wings in Transport Commissioner’s office at Srinagar and Jammu for effective planning of traffic management in Kashmir and Jammu regions.
For mobile checking of pollution standards of vehicles, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for purchasing smoke meters/ gas analyzers, tyre depth gauges, route survey etc.
To create awareness regarding traffic rules, Rs one lakh has been released to each Regional Transport commissioners, Assistant Transport Commissioner for conducting activities and programmes regarding road safety in their respective areas.
For enforcing traffic discipline and checking violations on the roads, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for fabrication of interceptor on a vehicle. The other accessories and equipment which would be part of the vehicle include roof light bar with a siren, cordless mike, One KVA with light bar with a siren, cordless Mike, Speed hunter -III plus-speed laser gun, breath alcohol analyzer, and others.
Stressing on the digitization and promptness of law enforcement, Dr Samoon called for equipping traffic and MVD personnel with the latest gadgets for checking violators. He called for including heavy duty torches/ warning lights, reflective jackets, breath analyzers, speed guns, Pollution checking mobile man, portable weighbridges and other items.
He also directed for release of Rs 12.8 crore to IGP traffic for the purchase of Hill recovery cranes for use at Zojila, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal-Ramban, Ramban- Nashri, Nashri-Udhampur, Rajouri-Poonch, Mughal Road, Leh, and other places.
For effective regulation, traffic management in Srinagar, Jammu cities Dr Samoon also directed for hiring a sufficient number of towing cranes, e-challaning machines, interceptive vehicles fitted with modern gadgets.
He also reviewed the construction of RTO and Transport Commissioners office in Srinagar and called for speeding up the works.
During the meeting, Dr Samoon called for enhancing the capacity building of the transport department besides strict enforcement of traffic rules to minimize the road accident deaths.
Expressing concern over the deaths on the highways, DrSamoon called for a survey of vulnerable spots on these roads and directed for measures to avoid accidents at these places.
Dr Samoon was also informed that 20 engineers have been trained on the construction of roads keeping in view road safety.
It is pertinent to mention that Governor’s administration has recently notified the rules for operationalization of the Road Safety Fund to ensure effective implementation Jammu and Kashmir State Road Safety Council Act-2018.
Road Safety Fund has provision for allocation of expenditure for implementation of road safety related schemes, programmes, projects, purchase and installation of equipment and devises connected with road safety, the conduct of studies, projects and research on matters relating to road safety, trauma-care programmes or activities, etc.