NEW DELHI: The phase 3 of the lockdown, which was extended from May 4 to May 17, resulted in the death of 118 migrant workers, the highest among all other lockdown periods, data from SaveLife Foundation has revealed. The phase 3 contributed to almost 60 per cent of all migrant worker deaths during the lockdown, while phases one, two and four witnessed 25, 17 and 38 deaths respectively.
"With COVID-19 still very much around, we simply can’t afford to burden our already over-burdened healthcare system with road crash related trauma. The data collated by us suggests that there has been a surge in road crashes with lifting of the restrictions across the states in phase 3 and phase 4. It is critical that states enhance enforcement to prevent road crashes and the citizens inculcate essential safety habits for the road like they did for personal hygiene during the lockdown," Piyush Tewari, founder of SaveLife Foundation said.
In terms of states, Uttar Pradesh saw the maximum deaths of migrant workers with 94 deaths, while Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Telangana saw 38, 16 and 11 deaths respectively. The cause of deaths in maximum number of cases was found to be vehicle to vehicle collisions in which 70 migrants lost their lives. Speeding resulted in the death of 49 migrant workers while vehicle overturn resulted in the death of 32 migrant workers.
"The government had a great chance to reduce these types of accidents by fixing faults - design and structural - during the lockdown period. Unfortunately nothing was done and the result is there for everyone to see. Once the relaxations were announced, the number of deaths of migrants skyrocketed. This was a golden opportunity missed for long term solution of road crashes," an official of the Road Safety Network said.