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JK struggling to execute policies framed for safety on roads

Srinagar, Apr 29: Even as the Traffic Department observes its ‘Road Safety Week’ every year, the state government has failed to implement various recommendations and policies framed to restrict ever-increasing number of road accidents.
In first instance, a House Committee, under the chairmanship of MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, submitted its report in April 2012, which called for various measures to prevent road accidents.
The report was not been implemented despite the state witnessed a surge in the number of road accidents and deaths due these years.
The committee at that period noticed that the increase in the number of vehicles, narrow and defective roads, negligent driving, and use of aged vehicles as main reasons behind the increasing road mishaps in J&K.
Official sources said the government later didn’t follow that report and ultimately left it unattended.
“The recommendations remained confined to just paper work as the government gave it a cold response later,” they said.
It was followed by the constitution of an agency in 2015 for State Road Safety Council, which also flopped due to government’s “non-serious attitude.”
“The government, in 2015, had set up a ‘Lead Agency’ to act as the secretariat for the State Road Safety Council and coordinate all activities relating to the road safety in the state. But it has remained confined to papers only,” sources said.
The “Road Safety Policy” also met the same fate, which couldn’t saw any headway even after bring approved by the Governor in 2016.
The draft of the first ever Road Safety Policy was prepared by the State Government through Transport Department and the same was placed before the Governor N N Vohra on February 8, 2016. The Governor, who was heading the state at that time, approved the draft of the policy with the directions to the Chief Secretary to elicit the views and comments from different stakeholders.
According to the policy, the government was supposed to adopt innovative features and modernise the public transport system by increasing operations of the JKSRTC and encouraging smart buses in a bid to reduce private transport.
“However, there is no further follow-up action on the draft policy despite lapse of several months. The policy after disposal of suggestions was required to be placed before the State Cabinet through General Administration Department for immediate approval keeping in view the fact that road accidents are increasing with every passing year claiming huge number of innocent lives,” sources said.
In JK hundreds of the deaths continue to occur annually due to the mishaps.
As per data, in last three years more than 2,500 people lost their lives in road accidents in the state, which is comparatively higher than the deaths due to violence in the conflict torn state during the same period.
Data says that there have been 15,996 accidents in the state during last three years, resulting in 2,666 deaths and injuries to 22,021 persons.
About 917 deaths were witnessed in the state during 2015, which in the following year increased to 958 deaths.
During last year more than 791 lives were lost due to the road mishaps in the state.
The Jammu and Kashmir has also recorded 100 percent increase in the violation of traffic rules since 2010, with around 1,800 traffic violators being fined on an average daily in the state.
As per the official figures, the Traffic Department has challaned 3,79,319 traffic violators in 2010, comprising 59,782 court challans and 319537 compound challans.
During 2011, the department issued 336360 challans though 94022 court challans and 242238 compound challans.
The number of traffic challans in 2016 reached to 662930 comprising 64610 court challans and 598320 compound challans.