Written by Pallavi Singhal
Haryana Vision Zero project, a long term project launched by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, carried out trials at two accident-prone zones of Panchkula, Majri Chowk and Sector 20 intersection, Thursday night. The project, which has been on in various cities of the state for last two years, made its way to Panchkula in January 2019, when a road safety associate and civil engineer, Simranjeet Singh, was appointed to identify ‘black spots’ or the most accident-prone areas in the city.
Simranjeet said he was appointed on December 16, 2018. then studied statistics, including the number of road crashes over past three years, after which 24 ‘black spots’ were identified in Panchkula. A lot of variables like where, when, why and the specific time period in which these road accidents took place, was studied to identify these spots. Singh said that maximum black spots are on the Highways.
Out of the 24 black spots, trials were specifically conducted at Majri Chowk and Sector 20 intersection as highest numbers of death were reported from these two areas over last three years. Eight accidents (3 fatal and 5 serious ) took place at Majri intersection, resulting in the loss of three lives and seven seriously injured. Meanwhile, 13 accidents (5 fatal and 8 serious ) took place at Sector 20 intersection, resulting in the loss of five lives and11 seriously injured.
Manisha Bhatotia, state coordinator of the Haryana Vision Zero project, said that since the initiation of the project, mortality rate in road accidents all over Haryana have decreased by 6.7 per cent, thereby saving 230 lives. After the successful implementation of the project in its first phase in 10 districts of Haryana including Panipat, Karnal, Ambala, Sonipat, Kurukshetra, Gurugram, Riwadi, Jhajjar, Rohtak and Hisar, the project was launched in Panchkula.
The twenty-two road safety experts, deployed for identifying these black spots, are to provide recommendations to reduce mortality rates in road accidents to bodies like NHAI, HUDA, PWD, on the basis of their inspection of these black spots.
The term ‘Vision Zero’ is a globally accepted term which means ‘towards zero traffic deaths’ and was initiated in Sweden in 1997.
The Government of India adopted the project in 2015, while Haryana became the first state to begin the project in 2017. It also remains the first state to initiate the project on a central level all over its cities, while everywhere else in the country, the project remains city-specific.
The Haryana Vision Zero project aims at achieving zero traffic deaths by 2030. The project is being made functional through three levels, wherein the first level consists of state-level persons and bodies like the CM, state coordinator, NHAI etc. The second level includes clusters and seven such clusters (each including 4-5 cities) of cities would be governed by program managers. The final level has road safety associates working on the ground to identify and provide reports regarding remedies to solve the problems at the black spots so as to reduce the rate of road accidents.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, on the basis of a survey conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Haryana in 2017, included only 58 black spots, while under Haryana Vision Zero projects, 400 such spots have been identified. Manisha Bhatotia says that once these black spots are taken care of, almost 50 percent of the work towards making Haryana an accident-free zone would be done.
The traffic SHO of Panchkula, Mahabir Singh, talking specifically in relation to the city, says the successful implementation of the project would help the city and its residents. The pedestrians and cyclists would get ample space to walk and ride and the speed of traffic would also decrease, thereby reducing the death rates in road accidents in the city.
The 24 black spots in Panchkula are, Morni T-Point on NH, T-Point in front of Moginand, Ramgarh Chowk, near Nagal village and Alipur, on Barwala Byepass, in between Tabra and Mauli village, near Swami Devi Dayal College in Bagwali village, Majri intersection, Old
Panchkula lights intersection, Sector 2/4 diving road on NH, Sector 20 light point below flyover, Amartex Intersection sectors 14/19, sectors 11/15 intersection, sectors 8/9/16/17 intersection, sector 5/6/7/8 intersection, sectors 8/9/5 Light points, near Rampur Seroi village on NH, infront of Mamu dhaba near HMT gate Pinjore, Mallah intersection near Berghati village, infront of Kalka bus stand, infront of Lohgarh village in Pinjore, infront of Gill Dhaba near Kiratpur village, near Charnia village cut and T-point near Nawanagar village.