Citizens' Issues
Death on India’s roads — same as 2 daily plane crashes
About 350 people die every day on India’s roads - more than any other country - with those under 18 and two-wheeler riders most vulnerable, according to various data.
 
 
An Airbus A-320 carries roughly 180 passengers, so the daily death toll on India’s roads is almost double that figure. “If (two) planes full of people crashed every day, wouldn’t the situation get more attention,” asked Piyush Tiwari, founder and president of Save LIFE, an advocacy that has used Right-To-Information queries to disaggregate traffic-death data.
 
Indians under 18 years constitute 11.93 percent of traffic fatalities, according to a 2014 Save LIFE RTI query. The toll primarily stems from rash driving, below-global-standards roads and a shunning of safety - either deliberately or through ignorance.
 
It was in February that union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told parliament that 130,000 people die in 500,000 mishaps on Indian roads.
 
In 2015, a World Health Organization (WHO) study said India did not meet international standards of road safety, the areas of vulnerability being over-speeding, not using helmets, not using or misusing seat-belts (mandatory for the last 28 years) and the lack of child restraints.
 
The study rated India’s enforcements in these critical areas as 4/10.
 
“Even those who strap themselves in when seated in front often are not concerned when seat belts are not used by passengers at the back,” said Tiwari. “They overlook the fact that in case of an accident, people in the back seat are often deadly projectiles, hitting the windshield and harming those strapped in front too.”
 
Children suffer most in accidents, holding baby in arms is unsafe
 
A year-old baby was cradled in its mother’s arms, as most babies travelling in Indian cars are. When the driver slammed on the brakes, the child flew out of the window and died instantly.
 
Mohammed Imran narrated the death of a relative’s child to illustrate the widespread ignorance across India about using a car seat for children.
 
“While it’s true that a car seat is expensive, (a basic model can cost Rs.4,000, most are imported), I always feel that money is not the issue here,” said Imran, founder of the Safe Road Foundation, an advocacy. “When you can afford a car, why not a car seat?”
 
Car seats, he said, are not enough. You must know how to use one. For instance, infants should use rear-facing infant seats, toddlers front-facing seats and older children booster seats.
 
“One must first challenge the attitude that a child is safer in his mother’s arms and make car seats readily available across the country instead of selling these only in select stores,” Imran said.
 
Two-wheeler riders most accident-prone, as the tide of vehicles grows
 
Two-wheeler riders are clearly most vulnerable, according to 2013 WHO data. As many as 34 percent of two-wheeler users who died in accidents - nearly three times the number who died in car accidents - did not wear a helmet.
 
India’s rising, chaotic traffic makes them even more vulnerable. India had 15 million cars in 2014, or 13 per 1,000 people, according to 2014 report from The Energy and Resource Institute. Overall, that is not a lot - Brazil had 249 cars per 1,000 people, Thailand 206, China 83 and the US 797, according to the data.
 
But the density of cars is higher in burgeoning metropolitan cities: Delhi had 157 cars per 1,000 people, Mumbai 35, Bangalore 85 and Chennai 127.
 
The rise of distracted driving makes things worse
 
Apart from traffic density, distracted driving is becoming commonplace, despite the four-fold increase in crash risk when you drive while speaking on a mobile phone, Tiwari said.
 
Distractions and over-speeding without police checks explains why India is rated 3/10 on enforcement, according to the 2015 WHO report. Controlling and setting speed limits requires a nationwide upgrade, now that roads are better and vehicles faster.
 
“Many of the current speed limits are based on road parameters that existed in the 1960s and 1970s,” said Tiwari. “So, even if you do stick to the speed limits, often, these are impractical and unviable.”
 
Battling addiction, a new challenge on highways
 
Harman Singh Sidhu has been battling the state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan - and liquor vendors in these states - for three years in courts to prevent liquor sales on India’s national highways.
 
“There is no specific law that prevents liquor vendors from selling along India’s highways,” said Sidhu, president, ArriveSAFE, an NGO based in Chandigarh. “And this is despite evidence that 40 percent of India’s accidents occur from drink driving.”
 
There were as many as 185 unauthorised liquor shops along a 291-km stretch of the Panipat-Jalandhar National Highway linking Haryana and Punjab, according to an RTI response filed by ArriveSAFE in 2012.
 
Drivers along these highways battle other addictions too. In an effort to stay awake, many consume a stimulant called poppy husk, an issue that requires greater awareness and advocacy and which ArriveSAFE is engaged in addressing.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

India's first monorail in red by Rs.1.59 billion in two years
 India's first monorail here become an unviable venture notching a loss of Rs.159 crore (Rs.1.59 billion) in the past 26 months, besides a cost escalation of Rs.220 crore since the project was conceptualised, an RTI query has revealed on Friday.
 
According to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's reply to the query posed by activist Anil Galgali, the first phase of the monorail between Chembur-Wadala opened on February 2, 2014 and till March 2016, saw 1.21 crore commuters travel on it, generating a revenue of Rs.9.24 crore. 
 
"But, during the same period, the expenditure on operations and maintenance was Rs.168 crore, thereby leading to a loss of Rs.159 crore, or Rs.6.11 crore per month which is borne by MMRDA," said Galgali, citing the authority's answer.
 
Added to this was the project cost escalation to the tune of Rs.220 crores mainly due to poor planning.
 
Initially, the project cost was pegged at Rs.2,460 crore and the MMRDA already paid Rs.2,310 crore to the contractors, Larsen & Toubro and Scomi even before it was completed, Galgali said.
 
"Some 81 percent of the funds have been disbursed, showing undue favours to the contractors," he noted.
 
The project completion deadline itself was extended five times - November 22, 2012, December 31, 2013, June 30, 2014, September 26, 2015 and now the latest August 19, 2016, when the second phase from Jacob Circle to Wadala is expected to be completed.
 
During the past 26 months, there were 10 accidents which led to six deaths and seven injuries, for which the MMRDA shelled out a compensation of Rs.36.50 lakh, recovered penalties of the same amount from the contractors and withheld Rs.50 lakh from their payments.
 
"The monorail is becoming extinct all over the world. But the politicians and bureaucrats have made a mockery of Mumbaikars by planning the monorail through a low-population area, mainly to facilitate some builders' lobbies," alleged Galgali.
 
He demanded an enquiry into the planning of the expensive project which has helped builders and recovering the losses from those concerned to ensure such favouritism does not occur in future projects.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

User

COMMENTS

Abhijit Joshi

1 year ago

Wait for Mumbai-Ahmadabad Bullet train project. It will suck huge capital to enrich few corporates & will remain unviable showpiece.

Ford India recalls 48,700 EcoSport vehicles
Ford India on Friday said it is recalling around 48,700 EcoSport vehicles to fix potential safety concerns.
 
In a statement, Ford India said it is issuing two voluntary recalls. "The first recall covers approximately 48,000 EcoSport diesel vehicles, made between April 2013 and June 2014, to install a new bundle clip on the fuel and brake lines," the company said.
 
The company is also writing to owners of around 700 EcoSport vehicles made between January 2016 and February 2016, and fitted with a 60/40 rear folding seat.
 
On certain vehicles, the 40 percent rear seat backrest might have been assembled with bolts that do not meet Ford's material specification, potentially causing the bolts to break, the company said.
 
Ford India is asking owners of the affected EcoSport vehicles to contact their local Ford dealer so that the necessary rework can be carried out, free of charge.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)