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‘Self-discipline key to bring down road fatalities’

SHOAIB SHAIKH | NT
Staff Reporter
PANAJI
Even as the public works department is working to improve road spots which are prone to accidents, top government officials have emphasised that traffic discipline is the only solution to reduce rising deaths caused due to road accidents.
PWD principal chief engineer D J S Borkar said that road widening is not the ultimate solution to the rising road accident casualties. People will have to discipline themselves while on the road and follow traffic rules.
Road widening within city limits is not possible in the state, he said.
The Union ministry of road transport and highways has in-principle approved four-laning of the national highways running through Goa.
The state government has also approved widening of state highways and district roads.
The Goa police have identified spots that are vulnerable and prone to accidents, and the PWD has been working to improve the condition of these deathtraps.
Some of these spots will also be part of the four-lane road, but since safety is a priority works on the spots will be carried out first and later they will be integrated into road widening, Borkar said.
Responding to a question during the budget session of the state legislative assembly last month, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said the state police identified 55 accident-prone spots of which 22 are in South Goa and 33 are in North Goa.
There has been heightened focus on road safety due to the rising road accident fatalities in the state. At least 297 people lost their lives in 2013, while the number of road fatalities rose to 304 in 2014. In 2015, some 316 people lost their lives in road accidents.
In 2016, till February-end, 59 people were killed in road accidents.
The road engineering cell comprising officials from the PWD, transport department and the police traffic cell was to audit, identify the accident-prone zones and recommend remedial measures. However, the road safety audit of state highways, district roads and other important roads which was to begin in December last has been delayed as there were no takers for the task during the bidding process.
The detailed project reports for the four-laning project are ready and have been under process for the approval from the central government for execution.
The DPRs include segregation of traffic at all the spots, wherever necessary, by connecting the roads by service lanes. The proposals also include cross-junctions, grade separators, over-bridges and clearing all junctions at grade levels.

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