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Rural Roads In Madhya Pradesh To Become Safer With World Bank’s Rs 1,300 Crore Loan

With 17,000 road accident related deaths in 2016 alone, Madhya Pradesh accounted for the state with second highest number of road accident fatalities after Uttar Pradesh

Written By: Saptarshi Dutta | Edited By: Sonia Bhaskar | April 25, 2018 10:38 AM | News

Rural Roads In Madhya Pradesh To Become Safer With World Bank’s Rs 1,300 Crore Loan
  • The World Bank loan will help improve rural roads in Madhya Pradesh
  • 10,000 kms of roads will be repaired and 510 kms of new roads will be built
  • With 65,000 accidents in 2016, MP is second most accident prone state

New Delhi: Not limiting road safety to cities and urban areas only, the Union government, along with the Government of Madhya Pradesh signed a loan agreement with the World Bank to improve rural road conditions in the state. The loan amount of $210 million (Rs 1,300 crore) has been sanctioned to work on rural roads in the state as poor rural road conditions result in accidents and subsequent deaths in Madhya Pradesh. With little above 65,000 accidents and 17,589 deaths in 2016, Madhya Pradesh accounted for 11.2 per cent of India’s road accidents and 11.4 per cent deaths, the second highest after Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh respectively. The loan is expected to help Madhya Pradesh transform all its roads from gravel based to bituminous based, enhancing road safety in the state’s rural areas.

The loan amount is expected to help Madhya Pradesh repair 10,000 kilometres of roads and mark them with dividers, which will be upgraded from their present gravel based state. Gravel based roads are known to cause accidents, as their weak structure is often washed away during monsoons, making vehicles plying on them prone to serious accidents. 510 kilometres of new roads will also be constructed under the project.

Whenever road safety is spoken about, programmes and awareness campaigns are mostly restricted to cities. Under this project, we are looking to transform rural road network across Madhya Pradesh. Rural road safety is a high concern given the large number of accidents that have taken place in the state.  Better roads will help us in reducing the number of accidents and deaths, said Pankaj Jhawar, Chief General Manager, Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development.

Road safety will be a key component of the World Bank project and along with road construction, the project will also work on strengthening road safety mechanisms in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. Improvement of data collection with regard to road accidents is an additional focus for the project. Of the total loan amount, some of it will also be spent in installing CCTV cameras across roads in rural areas, speed detectors and make the Road Accident Database Management System (RADMS) more accurate in terms of data entered. Funds will also be utilised to design and launch a Road Safety programme in some of the state’s worst affected districts in terms of road accidents.

“In districts which recorded the worst road accident numbers we will arrange for training camps to make people better aware of traffic laws. Local communities and self-help groups will be consulted on what could be the best solution to tackle road accident in a particular area,” said Mr Jhawar.

The repairing and construction of roads is also expected to generate considerable employment opportunities in the state’s rural areas. At a time when India is engaged in road safety week celebrations, the World Bank project comes as a positive announcement for Madhya Pradesh which will look to reduce the high number road accidents and related deaths, once the implementation of the project begins.

Also Read: Better Safe Than Sorry: Loss Of Lives Outside College Premises In Bengaluru Prompts Authorities To Begin Road Safety Awareness Drive

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