Minister Gadkari blames engineers, poor DPRs for rising road accidents

  • With road safety a top priority, the government aims to reduce accident rates by 50% by 2030

Subhash Narayan
Updated16 Jan 2024, 06:05 PM IST
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. (File Photo: ANI)
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. (File Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, has blamed the increasing road accidents and fatalities in India on poor engineering and substandard detailed project reports (DPRs).

In his address at the CII National Conclave on Road Safety on Tuesday, Gadkari highlighted the urgent need for improved road safety measures and called upon the industry to develop strategies to enhance road safety, including campaigns for behavioural change and creating a pool of trained drivers and technical experts.

According to ministry's 2022 report, India witnessed 460,000 road accidents, 168,000 deaths, and 400,000 serious injuries. These accidents, occurring at a rate of 53 per hour and resulting in 19 deaths per hour, contribute to an economic loss of 3.18% of GDP. The number of road accidents and road accident deaths have risen 12% and 10%, respectively, over the previous year, Gadkari said.

Gadkari emphasized the four crucial 'E's of road safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services. He pointed out the dire quality of DPRs in the country, holding engineers largely responsible for the rise in road accidents due to poor planning and design. "…This gives me a feeling that basically the engineers are responsible for road accidents. So, the main problem is road engineering and defective planning, and defective DPRs,” he said.

The minister noted that 16% of road accident victims are young people aged 18-35, and while national and state highways comprise only 5.5% of India's road network, they account for 36% of road accident deaths. 

With road safety a top priority, the government aims to reduce accident rates by 50% by 2030, he said. 

Gadkari urged the industry and government to collaborate on solutions to prevent road accidents, emphasizing the importance of education in building safer infrastructure and promoting safer driving habits.

He also highlighted the need for stronger law enforcement and responsive emergency medical services. Addressing a driver shortage of 2.2 million in the country, the minister encouraged the industry to initiate training programmes for new drivers to enhance road safety.

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First Published:16 Jan 2024, 06:05 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaMinister Gadkari blames engineers, poor DPRs for rising road accidents

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