The Fact News Service
Ludhiana, December 7
In reply to a question about amount allocated for NHAI Projects in Punjab raised by Sanjeev Arora, MP (Rajya Sabha) in winter session of the Rajya Sabha today, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has replied that there is no such state-specific allocation made to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The Minister has stated that the budget is allocated project-wise, as per project requirements, within the sanctioned project costs. He further stated that total utilization of funds on National Highways projects in NHAI for the State of Punjab is Rs.13749.42 Crore from financial year 2019-20 to 2022-23 (till date). Majority of this spend has been made in last 2 years. Keeping in view the spent trends in 2022-23 spend will touch around Rs. 6000 Crores.
Arora also asked another question related to Road Safety Initiatives in the House today. In reply, Gadkari informed the House that the Ministry has formulated a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency Care. He said accordingly, various initiatives have been taken by the Ministry.
Arora said Gadkari informed the House that to create effective public awareness about road safety, Ministry undertakes various publicity measures and awareness campaigns on road safety through social media, electronic media, and print media. Further, Ministry implements a scheme to provide financial assistance to various agencies for administering Road Safety Advocacy.
He said the Union Minister also informed the House that road safety has been made an integral part of road design at planning stage. Road Safety Audit of all highway projects has been made mandatory at all stages i.e. design, construction, operation and maintenance. High priority has been given to identification and rectification of black spots (accident prone spots) on National Highways. Guidelines for pedestrian facilities on National Highways for persons with disabilities have also been issued to all States / UTs.
The minister has further informed the house that The Ministry has notified regarding mandatory provision of an airbag for the passenger seated on the front seat of a vehicle, next to the driver. This Ministry, vide notification dated 15th February, 2022 has prescribed norms related to safety measures for children below four years of age, riding or being carried on a motor cycle. Further, it specifies use of a safety harness, crash helmet and restricts speed to 40kmph.
Gadkari also informed the House that a total of Rs.147.53 crore has been spent by the Ministry in the Financial Year 2021-22 on various activities for the promotion of Road Safety.
He said the Union Minister apprised the House that as per the data received from police department of all States/UTs, the total number of 7,36,129 deaths and 21,24,481 injuries on all roads in the country during the last five calendar years 2017 to 2021 have occurred.