NEW DELHI: In the next couple of months, all victims of road accidents occurring on Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch of NH-8 would get free medical treatment, including hospitalization, for first 48 hours after any crash.
High number of road deaths and injuries on this stretch has prompted the Centre to zero in on this area, though earlier it had identified the corridor between Amritsar and Pathankot to launch the scheme. The 40-km stretch between Gurgaon and Rajasthan border on NH-8 had reported as many 260 accident deaths in 2011. In 2012 (till October), the Gurgaon portion of the highway had recorded 121 fatalities.
Road transport and highways minister C P Joshi will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private insurance major on Tuesday to start the one-year pilot project, which is likely to be replicated on other corridors of NH network later. Government’s move to formally announce the scheme comes just three days ahead of the minister fielding questions from people on road safety using social media.
Delhi-Jaipur stretch is one of the busiest NH corridors in the country and in recent years large scale habitation has happened along the highway, but safe pedestrian crossing facilities are missing.
While the 27.7km Delhi-Gurgaon border to Kherki Dhaula has been developed as an expressway, the rest of it is being widened to six lanes.
As per the plan, Centre will provide Rs 20 crore for the cashless project. There would be a maximum cap of Rs 30,000 for free treatment of accident victims.
The ministry will identify local volunteers for the project who would also double up as first responders. They would be trained in consultation with AIIMS, Delhi. As soon they come to know or see an accident, they would inform the central control room. The control room would be linked to ambulances for speedier transfer of injured to hospitals. NHAI would place signboards at every 500m which would provide details of whom to call, contact in case of an accident to make reporting of incidents more effective.
The recent global report on road safety by the World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned that only 11%-49% seriously injured victims are rushed to hospital by ambulances in India, whereas 70% of crash victims make it to emergency facilities in China. The corresponding figure is over 75% in Brazil. Large number of country’s have reduced road fatalities by improving ambulance facilities and immediate medical care to crash victims. In India, about 1.43 died in road crashes in 2011, which was highest among all nations.