Between 2011 and 2013, road accidents injured 20,706 people and killed 5,796 more in Delhi, according to government data. With casualties continuing to mount, road accidents have found a place in the draft disaster management plan of the Delhi government.
While the document examines in detail natural disasters like earthquakes, flood, cloudbursts, heat and cold waves, it also examines manmade disasters like fires, industrial hazards, water shortage, environment pollution and road accidents.
“We have included road accidents in the draft disaster management plan because they cause a significant number of deaths every year. We will have to work together with the traffic police and create awareness among citizens to prevent road accidents,” Ashwani Kumar, Secretary (Revenue and Disaster Management), said.
From 2011 to 2013, road accidents claimed more than 1,800 lives each year. “While one accident may not result in too many deaths, the cumulative toll as a result of the frequency of road accidents is as much as that of a major natural disaster or, in some cases, greater than that,” an official said.
Based on the data, the draft plan maps the most vulnerable locations for road accidents in each of Delhi’s 11 revenue districts. Work on the report had begun in 2014 but the process was accelerated after tremors of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal were felt in Delhi on April 25.
The draft plan has also identified nine causes of road accidents in Delhi and enlisted them by priority. Some of them are – rash and negligent driving, lack of pedestrian facilities, heterogeneous traffic with no segregation of slow and fast moving vehicles, high-speed movement of non-destined heavy vehicles in the city and poorly planned road network not upgraded to the needs of users.