It may appear surprising that Andhra Pradesh recorded a marginal decline in the number of fatal road accidents in the last two years though there was a spate of mishaps on highways in recent days. In fact, the State stands third in the fatalities on the road.
To check the bloodbath, the State government has finalised a World Bank funded project on two demo corridors – Hyderabad – Bijapur and Renigunta – Kadapa – in coordination with roads and buildings, police and medical departments.
A major portion of the Rs. 90 crore budget would go to roads and buildings to improve road geometrics in a bid to cut down accidents. The work will start in a couple of months, said the Transport Commissioner G. Ananta Ramu.
A number of steps taken to ensure road safety notwithstanding, the highways in the State have become dangerous as not a day passes without a major accident somewhere. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has identified 25 black spots where accidents took place frequently. The accident prone areas were categorised into A, B and C on the roads of national highways, roads and buildings and panchayat raj for the purpose of taking preventive steps. A matter of concern for the road users was that they pay heavy amounts towards toll fee but it had little component for road safety measures.
The accidents continued despite ban on movement of auto rickshaws on highways, suspension of driving licenses of erring drivers and prosecution of overloaded vehicles. The police were also given speed laser guns and breath analysers to test drivers.
The national highways in East Godavari accounted for the highest number of fatal accidents last year. Among State highways, the toll was high in Karimnagar where the Rajiv highway runs for a long distance. Other roads in Cyberabad claimed over 600 lives. As many as 24,263 driving licenses were cancelled, Mr. Ananta Ramu said.