A total of 47,984 people died due to road accidents on National Highways, including on expressways, during calendar year 2020, Parliament was informed on Thursday.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said as many as 53,872 persons died due to road accidents on National Highways, including on expressways, in 2019.
Gadkari said the major causes of accidents on the National Highways (NHs) are vehicle design and condition, road engineering, over-speeding, drunken driving/ consumption of alcohol & drug, driving on wrong side, jumping the red light, use of mobile phone, etc.
He also said the ministry has issued guidelines for improving the road safety through road safety audits at all stages (design stage, construction stage and O&M stage) by engaging independent road safety experts.
Replying to a separate question, Gadkari said during the oxygen crisis in March-April 2021, shortage of technically qualified trained drivers to handle Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Tankers was reported.
“Taking into account the continuous rise in requirement for transportation of liquid oxygen (LOX), extended period of oxygen management, addition to the inventory of cryogenic tankers and high fatigue/ attrition rate due to 24X7 operations, the Ministry issued advisory to states to create a pool of trained drivers for transporting hazardous cargo,” he said.
Guidelines Issued for Republic Day Function: Check Details
People attending the Republic Day parade must be fully vaccinated against Covid and children below 15 years of age will not be allowed to attend the function, a set of guidelines issued by the Delhi Police stated.
Police also said that people will have to adhere to all Covid protocols, such as wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, at the programme on Rajpath on January 26.
“It is necessary to have both doses of anti-coronavirus vaccine. Visitors are requested to bring their vaccination certificate,” the Delhi Police tweeted.
It said that children below 15 years of age are not allowed in the function.
The national Covid vaccination programme, which initially started with health care and frontline workers on January 16 last year, was gradually extended for all those above 18 years of age.
From this month, children in the age group of 15-18 years started getting vaccinated, and healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities are being given ‘precaution’ doses, amid a spike in cases due to the Omicron variant.
Listing the guidelines, the Delhi Police tweeted that the seating blocks will open for visitors at 7 a.m. and requested them to arrive accordingly.
Since parking is limited, visitors have been advised to use a carpool or taxi. They are also requested to carry a valid identity card and cooperate during security checks, it said.
“There will be a provision for depositing remote-controlled car lock keys in each parking area,” police tweeted.
On January 23, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had said over 27,000 police personnel have been deployed for security duties in the national capital and anti-terror measures intensified in view of Republic Day.
This personnel, include deputy commissioners of police, assistant commissioners of police and inspectors, sub-inspectors. Police personnel, commandos, officers and jawans of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have also been deployed, he had said.
On Republic Day security arrangements, Mr Asthana had said 27,723 Delhi Police personnel including 71 DCPs, 213 ACPs and 753 inspectors have been deployed in the capital for the parade. They are being assisted by 65 companies of CAPFs.
He had mentioned that the anti-terror measures taken include blockades (nakka bandi) at various places, checking of vehicles, hotels, lodges and dharamshalas and various verification drives like that of tenants, servants, labourers.
In the last two months, the anti-terror measures have been intensified, the Commissioner has said.
Counter drone technology is being used for air space security. The security in and around the area where the Republic Day celebrations will take place has also been secured with the help of the Delhi Police and other agencies, Mr Asthana had said.
To create awareness, he had said that through social media, police are also putting out facts and important information so that no anti-social element runs a misinformation campaign.
About traffic arrangements, Mr Asthana had said an advisory has already been issued stating specific restrictions on routes so that no inconvenience is caused to the general public.
According to a recent order, operation of sub-conventional aerial platforms, including UAVs, paragliders and hot air balloons, over the national capital have been prohibited in view of the Republic Day celebrations.
The order came into effect on January 20 and would remain in force till February 15.
India logs 3.06 lakh new Covid cases, 439 deaths in a day
Dr Jitendra reviews Pandemic, other issues with DDC Chairpersons, DCs
In the wake of Pandemic related restrictions and weekend shutdown, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today virtually reviewed pandemic and other related issues with DDC Chairpersons, Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of the Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha constituency, which is represented by him in the Parliament.
In addition to the Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of the six districts, the meeting was attended by DDC Chairman Udhampur, Lal Chand, DDC Chairman Reasi, Saraf Singh Nag, DDC Chairman Doda Dhanater Singh Kotwal, DDC Chairman Kathua Col (Retd) Mahan Singh, DDC Chairperson Ramban, Shamshad Shan and DDC Chairperson Kishtwar, Pooja Thakur.
Dr Jitendra Singh enquired about the availability and functioning of Dashboard in districts for real time updates and also issued fresh instructions to deal with the surge in cases. District Collectors, SSPs, DDC Chairman of Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Reasi, Kishtwar, and Ramban joined the review meeting along with other district officials. The Minister was informed that most of the positive cases in the third wave have remained asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with flu-like symptoms which lasts for 4 to 5 days and then dissipates. The Minister, however, underlined that there is no room for complacency and all COVID norms and protocols must be followed in the strictest possible manner. He also lauded the efforts of DCs for completing the vaccination process in his Parliamentary Constituency, barring a few far-flung pockets in districts like Kishtwar.
Dr Jitendra Singh today also received an update about the “Sansad Khel Spardha” programme or the Parliamentary Sports Competition Programme in his constituency to promote sports, sports talent and also identify young budding as well as hidden talents in village, Panchayat, Block and District level. The Minister said that sports competition will be organised in coming days at Panchayat, Block and the Constituency level as a whole to tap hidden talents in sporting activities like archery, wrestling, boxing, badminton, table tennis, athletics, cycling, and swimming and in games like hockey, football, volleyball and cricket.
Dr Jitendra Singh announced the formation of Steering Committee comprising all the DCs, SSPs, DDC Chairpersons and District Sports officials to organise Indoor and Outdoor competitions for boys and girls under 17 Years and identify the sporting talent to catch them young.
He said, the budding stars in the individual category will be provided an opportunity to get the best of the training facilities at National Sports Coaching Institutes and Academies. He also asked DCs to nominate Sports Ambassadors for each District. Dr Jitendra Singh said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched several Flagship Schemes in the country to promote and encourage sports in India.
He said, PM Modi is himself an epitome of fitness and someone who leads by example and suggests fellow citizens to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Dr Jitendra Singh also asked the DCs to come out with a niche sporting event for each district to build brand and promote the same with the help of corporate sector, local influencers and civil society. He, for example, pointed out that Winter Sports and Archery can be popularised in Doda, while Wrestling and Cycling are popular sporting activities in Reasi. The Minister also expressed his desire to promote Doda District as a Hub of Winter games in coming days, which will also give a fillip to tourism.
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