To make the roads in Punjab safer and smoother for commuters, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan on Monday directed the departments concerned and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to rectify all black spots identified on the highways so that lives, being lost in accidents, could be saved.
Besides, she also asked the Principal Secretary, Finance, to explore the modalities to procure hand-held machines for the traffic police to issue e-challans on-the-spot to the traffic violators.
The Chief Secretary issued these directions, while chairing a meeting of the high-powered committee for identification and rectification of black spots on the National Highways and other state roads in the state.
It was on the directions of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that the ‘Safe Punjab’ programme had been launched as a joint initiative of the Punjab Police, the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Transport Department, besides involving all the district administration to make the state roads safer and smoother.
The Director General, Road Safety, a lead agency constituted by the state government, R. Venkat Ratnam, apprised the Chief Secretary that 391 accident-prone black spots spread across 12 districts had already been identified as a part of the scientific study based on the accident severity index.
Of these black spots, 264 killer locations were found on the National Highways, 64 on the state highways, six on the link roads and 54 on the roads within municipal limits in the state.
The meeting was informed that the NHAI has accepted presence of 257 black spots, of which 159 have already been rectified.
The Chief Secretary asked the departments to conduct an audit of the rectified and re-designed black spots to check the fatality rate after rectification.
Reaffirming the commitment of the state government that there was no dearth of funds for the public welfare works, Mahajan also directed the PWD and the Local Government Department as well as Mandi Board to accelerate the works for rectifying the remaining black spots falling under their respective jurisdiction.
The Chief Secretary was informed that 17 patrolling vehicles and 36 ambulances have already been stationed on the toll plazas located on the National Highways.
With an aim to further decrease fatality rate in the accidents on the roads and to further streamline the challaning system in the state, she stressed on the need for strict action against traffic violators, including those involved in wrong parking, red light jumping, over-speeding and drunken driving offences.
Expressing concern over the fact that 70 per cent road accidents were reported due to stray animals on the National Highways, the Chief Secretary asked the Local Government and Rural Development Departments to paste reflective radium bands on the horns of stray animals.