Bhubaneswar: To prevent road accidents and related casualties, the state government will observe ‘Zero Fatality Week’ from April 1 to 7 in Odisha. The Commerce and Transport Department has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to all the stakeholders including government departments, district Collectors and SPs /DCPs for smooth observance of the drive.
Odisha witnessed 11,663 road accidents with 5,467 fatalities in 2022. The number of fatalities in road accidents went up by 7.60 per cent in 2022 in comparison with the figure in 2021. Many lives could have been saved if these accident victims were rushed the nearest health care facility in the Golden Hour.
Describing road accidents as a big challenge for Odisha, Commerce & Transport Department Principal Secretary Usha Padhee said, “Every life is precious. Road safety is a high priority area for our government and we are taking lot of initiatives for reduction of road accidents in the state. The state government has adopted a fourfold strategy-Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Emergency care to ensure zero death during the week. There is nothing more important and pious than saving the life of a person who has met with an accident.”
In the SOP, the department has specified the responsibilities for all the stakeholder Departments: Home (Police), H&FW, Works, Rural Development, Housing & Urban Development and urged them to take all possible measures to achieve zero casualty during the week.
The Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) Department has been requested to sensitize the people concerned who would support the drive with arrangement of blood for the accident victims. Trauma Care Centres have been instructed by the H&FW Department to remain prepared for round the clock service.
While the H&FW Department and NHAI will ensure deployment of ambulances in accident prone areas and highways, Works Department and road owning agencies have been requested to install adequate signage and repair potholes and roads in the state. They have also been requested to ensure proper traffic control measures.
Housing and Urban Development (H & UD) Department has been requested to restrict movement of stray animals on the road and removal of encroachments from NH and SH to ensure non parking of vehicles.
Enforcement wing of RTOs along with Police personnel will conduct stringent enforcement throughout the week. Besides, OSRTC, Bus Owners’ Associations and Truck Owners’ Associations, Auto Rickshaw Owner’s Associations have been asked to sensitize drivers about good driving behaviour and help accident victims if they come across on the road.
NGOs and first responder groups (Rakshak) have been requested to stay alert and help in the zero fatality mission. With the cooperation and coordination of citizens and all the stakeholders we can reduce the number of deaths due to road accidents significantly, said an official of the department.