**Bhubaneswar: ** Rate of fatal road accidents has alarmingly increased in Odisha as evident from the official figure since 21,549 persons have been killed in 51,257 road accidents reported during the last five years, i.e. from 2013 to 2017.
This was revealed by Transport Minister Nrusingha Sahu in the ongoing Budget Session of the 15th Odisha Assembly.
As per the data placed in the Assembly by the Minister, 4062 persons were killed in 9680 road accidents in 2013. Similarly in 2014, the death toll was 3931 in 9648 accidents, 4303 deaths in 10542 accidents in 2015, 4463 deaths in 10532 accidents in 2016 while 4790 persons were killed in 2017’s 10855 road accidents across the State.
In his written reply tabled in the House during Question Hour on Saturday in response to a written question asked by Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, the Transport Minister categorically denied that Odisha is a leading State in the country so far number of road accidents and deaths.
He, however, admitted that the figure of deaths is ahead in some of our districts here in the State.
On the remedial measures, the Transport Minister stated that the cause behind the road accidents is being analysed and the State Government is undertaking several steps to curb it.
He explained that ‘driver’s mistake’ is one among the reasons behind the road accident. For this purpose, the State Government has opened driving centres with adequate facility. He, however, replied the Jeypore MLA that there is no proposal under consideration at present to open any driving training centre in Jeypore of Koraput district. Nevertheless, Koraput district has four private light motor vehicle driving training centres and two for heavy vehicles. They are all approved by the State Government.