Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson, National Green Tribunal (NGT), has urged the government and road safety experts to add environment as part of the road safety campaign as vehicular traffic on roads adds to air pollution, affecting human health.
“Travelling these days has become essential and demand for road infrastructure is increasing each day. The proportion of the capacity of roads in various states, including the national capital, does not match with the number of vehicles on roads, resulting in traffic jams and increase in air pollution, which affects public health.
“Apart from the number of deaths by road accidents, the deaths caused by pollution should also be a matter of concern for the concerned authorities and road safety expert,” Goel said while inaugurating a day-long conference on ‘Fast-tracking road safety through 5Es’, organised by the India chapter of the International Road Federation (IRF), a road safety body, as part of the ongoing road safety week which concluded on Tuesday.
“The question of number of vehicles to be permitted proportionate to the capacity of the roads in a city is a vital issue of planning on which a policy is required to be explored in the larger interest of the environment, especially for cities or areas where air quality is not consistent with the norms,” Goel said.
“Road safety and highway construction are interlinked. The growing menace has to be tackled and handled together. Due to the fast changing target of road development in the country, road safety is taking a back seat. Moreover, most of the road construction projects in the country are retrofitting except some greenfield projects,” said P.V.V.S.S Ravi Prasad, Director General, Road Development, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), while speaking at the conference.
“The India chapter of the International Road Federation (IRF), as part of its initiative to reduce accidents, is organising this seminar as there has been tremendous development and continued growth in the expansion of road networks and evolution of transports in the country. It has become increasingly important to find solutions and set new policies and strategies to overcome traffic related issues through smart traffic management, road safety initiatives and accident prevention measures,” said Satish Parakh, President, IRF’s India chapter.