Manali: The killer roads of Himachal have 682 black spots that have continued to claim thousands of lives every year and with average accident count of 27 per day most road accidents are being reported on Sunday, according to figures provided by 108 National Ambulance Service (NAS).
Of the 682 black spots which are prone to accidents, 239 spots are very prone where accidents happen repeatedly. The 108 NAS, that received 8,67,763 emergencies including 49,430 road accidents since 2011, had conducted an analysis and discovered that most of the road accidents in Himachal happen on Sunday. The figures show that 40,091 men and 9,339 women became victim to road accidents where men and women ratio has huge difference.
With average accidents of 27 every day, Sunday records the maximum accidents followed by Saturday and Monday when average accident count is 25. The study shows that this could be the reason of partying in weekends. With 9,205 reported road accidents since 2011, Kangra is topping the list followed by Solan (6,823), Una (6,781) and Shimla (5,645). Lahaul-Spiti (214) and Kinnaur (281) reported the lowest accident cases.
As many as 5,963 people became victim to road accidents in 2011. In 2012, the victim count increased to 6,715 and it was 6,650 victims in 2013. 2014 witnessed sudden increase in number of victims at 8,858 and it was 8,875 in 2015 and 9,542 in 2016. This year, 2,811 people had become victim to road accidents till April 30.
Mehul Sukumaran, state head of 108 NAS, being run by Himachal government and GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), said the state has many black spots on the roads which are very prone to accidents. “We have saved 70,862 precious lives during emergencies in Himachal since 2011. Our responding time is just 9 minutes and 40 seconds in urban areas and 20 minutes and 35 seconds in rural areas. We request people to call and wait for 108 ambulance in case of emergency and wait for its arrival rather than transporting victim in other vehicles which can not provide pre-hospital care to patient,” he said.
The experts of EMRI suggest that the accidents in Himachal can be lowered by making black spots on roads in Himachal safer. Mehul adds, “Warning signage and speed breakers can be developed at such spots. Deploying traffic police at such spots is other option. Road condition can be improved and edges of road can be protected by railing and parapets. Avoiding drunken driving can avoid so many accidents.”
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.
The words ” victims of road accidents” usually means fatalities in this context. I am sure that the figure of 49430 given in this report does not refer to fatalities, but it does convey this impression. This could be misleading. The reporter should clarify this point. Having said this, however, the figure is still far too high and the state PWD should take immediate steps to improve road engineering, especially on the ” black spots.” Its a general rule that the better the road ( in terms of speeding capability) the more the accidents: the much lower figures for Kinnaur and Lahaul- Spiti ( where the roads are relatively worse) prove this point.
I am planning to do the Manali-Leh highway on a motorbike.
Could you publish or email me a drilldown of this report just for mototorbikes and classified by fatalities, heavy injuries and light injuries.