BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to make roads safer and prevent accidents, the State Government is set to launch an extensive drive to identify black spots on highways and keep close watch on the vulnerable zones.
Collectors have been instructed to conduct surveys of the roads in their districts with the help of Works Department, NHAI and other agencies concerned to identify the black spots. They are also required to adopt customised safety measures for the black spots along with strengthening enforcement of road safety laws along the stretches passing through their districts.
In a review meeting on Road Safety held recently, the Chief Secretary directed the Collectors to take immediate steps to remove encroachment and obstructions near the black spots. The whole stretch near the spot would be free from any hoarding or installation.
They should prepare an action plan in consultation with SP and road departments for removal of encroachment from National Highways (NHs) and State Highways (SHs) and action would be initiated accordingly.
While the road departments concerned have been instructed to immediately correct engineering defects following identification of dangers at the black spots, vehicular speed should also be regulated through installation of rumbles and stop boards.
Enforcement teams would be deployed at the site to regulate vehicular movement and road safety volunteers engaged for raising awareness among the users.
Expressing concern over increasing road accidents even on rural roads, the Chief Secretary directed for adopting traffic calming measures on vulnerable locations along with traffic regulation during busy hours.
The Works Department has already identified around 247 black spots on NHs and 258 on SHs which contribute majorly to the road accidents and consequent fatalities in Odisha.
The State has been witnessing fast rise in accidents which rose from 9,398 in 2011 to 9,648 in 2014. As many as 19,333 persons lost their lives in the last five years with property loss estimated to the tune of `188 crore.