CAG: Karnataka Road Managing Agencies Have Failed To Reduce Accidents

by Arun Kumar Das - Mar 17, 2022 12:00 PM +05:30 IST
CAG: Karnataka Road Managing Agencies Have Failed To Reduce AccidentsRoad accidents in Karnataka.
Snapshot
  • The CAG findings highlighted failure to detect black spots and the absence of any action plan for the establishment of trauma care centres in 22 districts of Karnataka.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) highlighted lapses in the timely detection of black spots by Karnataka's road managing agencies, in its report tabled before the state legislature on Wednesday (16 March).

Failure to detect black spots has resulted in repeated fatal accidents.

Also, the absence of any action plan for the establishment of trauma care centres in 22 districts of Karnataka is among the major findings of CAG.

The report of the CAG on the functioning of Karnataka State Road Safety Authority (KSRSA) highlighted that the accident victims did not receive timely medical care in 90,000 instances.

According to the report, joint inspection of sampled road stretches revealed that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) roads were the most hazardous for road users.

The report dealing with objectives and functioning of KSRSA including its stake holding departments such as police, PWD, transport, education and health has pointed out certain lapses which need to be addressed.

CAG has observed that there was no reduction in the number of accidents till 2019 but reduction was seen during 2020 on account of lockdown restrictions that prevailed during the year.

However, the targets set in the policy were not realised as fatal accidents increased in 2020 when compared to 2015.

The audit covered the period from April 20l4 to March 2021 and records maintained by KSRSA, the data related to issue of driving licences and periodical testing and issue of fitness certificates to vehicles in the state, data related to road accidents, road inventories maintained by the agencies as well as that of the '108 Ambulances' connected to road accidents were analysed.

The audit has found that rules required for carrying out the functions of KSRSA were not framed till October 2021 by KSRSA for implementation of the provisions of the KSRSA Act, 2017. Guidelines to prepare action plan for working of District Road Safety Committees (DRSCs) were also not issued by KSRSA which made the DRSCs directionless.

Though Rs 480.50 crore accumulated during 2017-18 to 2019-20 from the cess collected for Road Safety Fund, the amount was transferred to the fund only during 2020-21. The authority approved works related to the police and transport for Rs 100 crore during 2020-21, the report said. However, utilization certificates had not been obtained from the grantees.

The road managing agencies concerned had also failed in timely identification and rectification of the identified black spots, where repeated or fatal accidents occurred.

Driving licences and fitness certificates were issued without following due process as huge vacancies existed in the cadre of Inspector of motor vehicles.

Highway patrolling introduced by the Police Department with multi-tasking responsibilities in the state, though a good initiative, did not function as envisaged and was diverted for other purposes.

The Health Department did not prepare any action plan for establishment of trauma care centres (TCCs) in 22 districts. The accident victims did not receive timely medical care in 90,000 instances attributable to either base location of ambulances being situated far away or pre-trip delay being more than 30 minutes in 6,000 cases which indicated shortage of ambulances.

In order to make roads safer, the government of Karnataka brought out the Karnataka State Road Safety Policy in 2015 and followed it by enactment of the Karnataka State Road Safety Authority Act, 2017. The act provided for establishment of Karnataka State Road Safety Authority (KSRSA) to give impetus to road safety measures and to realise the objectives of the Road Safety Policy.

The foremost objective of the 2015 policy was to reduce the accidents and mortality by 25 and 30 per cent respectively by 2020 through a coordinated effort among various agencies and government departments.

The act also stipulated the establishment of a dedicated fund for road safety to take care of expenditure on matters connected to road safety.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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