Keen on reducing the number of accidents on roads by half by 2019, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has decided to reach out to the corporate sector, seeking their help in inculcating a culture on road safety in society and take up road safety as a part of their corporate social responsibility programme.
The minister will send out his plea to the corporate sector in a conclave being organised by the industry association CII during the course of the week-long Road Safety Week starting Monday.
The ministry will ask the Indian Inc to teach their employees and their families imbibe a culture on road safety and use their logistics and carriers to propagate the message of road safety and thirdly, to make a certain commitment from their CSR spends on projects of road safety advocacy.
“We will not ask them to give a mandate on that. We will just request them to take up road safety as a voluntary activity. But, we expect that a large number of corporate join in our initiative,” said Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary, MoRTH.
According to the rules, companies with at least Rs 5 crore net profit or Rs 1,000-crore turnover or having net worth of Rs 500 crore need to spend at least 2 per cent of their three-year’s average net profit on CSR in each financial year.
Educating the masses and promotion of road safety awareness in all facets of road usage, drivers’ training, training of enforcement personnel and promoting awareness through print, audio and visual media could be good medium to utilise the CSR fund for the corporate.
Talking to media recently, Gadkari also said that he would request religious and spiritual trusts to also contribute for creating awareness on road safety. With 1.4 lakh deaths on roads in 2015, India accounts for 11 per cent of all road traffic fatalities in the world. As per a World Bank study, road deaths have gone up by 53 per cent in India in the last 10 years starting from 2005. (With FE inputs)