Cuttack, Mar 4: Road safety fund worth Rs 10 crore sanctioned to Odisha police has remained unutilised since the two years.
The fund was allocated by the Transport Department in order to crop up road accidents on the National highways.
Rising mortality due to road accidents in Odisha has stood as a challenge. Road mishaps claimed around 35 thousand lives in Odisha during the last 10 years bringing huge loss to national wealth. Out of which, 71 per cent accidents were caused due to speedy and reckless driving.
Taking stock of the road mishap scenario in the state, Transport Department had allocated Rs 10 crore to the state police to beef up enforcement on the national highways to check speedy and reckless driving.
This fund was earmarked for provision of 24×7 hour interceptor vehicles along the national highways of Odisha.
As many as 36 intercepting vehicles fitted with ‘speed laser gun device’ should be purchased. In addition, 119 trained operators should be hired to scan the speedy vehicles on road.
As on date, only 18 hired interceptors are at work. Significantly, they are having no inbuilt speed laser guns to scan the speeding vehicles. Similarly, essential manpower has not been recruited for this purpose within the two years.
In this situation, a few number of trained hands are conducting irregular patrolling on the national highways.
On the other hand, reckless driving causing more accidents.
As per a survey of State Transport Department, Odisha National Highways has seen almost 26 per cent rise in road mishaps during September-December of 2019 as against 2020. Similarly, accident rate has peaked high in the month of January and February, this year.
Provision of proper interception and 24 hour patrolling on the NHs could check the toll of road mishaps, said a senior official of Transport Department.