Wokha District Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WDCCI) undertaking ‘Mission Operation Potholes’ at Traffic Point Area, Auto-rickshaw stand and Tsumang Colony, Wokha on November 30. According to the MoRTH, Nagaland figured with one of the most deaths as a result of pothole related accidents in 2017 and 2018. (Representative Image)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | December 2
Potholes are permanent features of roads in Nagaland. Not surprising then, among the North East States, Nagaland was among the states with highest road accidents related to potholes in 2017 and 2018, according to official figure given to Rajya Sabha on December 2.
In a written reply to a query regarding road accidents due to potholes on National Highways (NHs), the Ministry of Transport and Highways, Nitin Jairam Gadkari informed that there were 61 and 33 accidents in 2017 and 2018 respectively under the category of potholes in Nagaland.
The accidents resulted in 3 fatalities in 2017, though there were none in 2018. A total 27 persons also suffered injuries in 2017, while in 2018, it increased to 29, the Minister said in the reply posed by Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, a member of the upper house from Assam.
Among the NE states, only Assam, with much bigger roadways and geographical area, had higher accidents than Nagaland at 196 and 182 cases respectively in 2018 and 2019. It resulted in the deaths of 53 and 68 persons respectively in 2017 and 2018 in Assam.
In comparison, the data provided by MoRTH showed that Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Sikkim had ‘0’ (Zero) road accidents due to potholes in 2018.
Across India, the ministers informed that a total of 4,869 accidents took place on roads with potholes in 2018 and 2015 persons were killed on these roads. In addition, there were 4108 injuries.
The data, according to the MoRTH’s reply, was based on information received from the police departments of all States/UTs, number of accidents, persons killed and injured under the category of potholes on all roads including National Highways.
Regarding the query about the government’s immediate measures for repairing potholes, the Minister said that “National Highways are being designed, constructed and maintained as per Indian Roads Congress(IRC) codes/guidelines and Ministry’s specifications.”
Various safety measures are made as an integral part of the highway development projects depending upon the site requirement and availability of lands. The work of development and maintenance of National Highways are carried out by executing agencies viz NHAI/NHIDCL/State PWDs, he said.
In the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) document, there is “a provision that the contractor shall at all-times maintain the project highways in accordance with the provision of contract agreement in time bound manner,” he added.
“In Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects the Concessionaire are liable to maintain the roads (NHs) for the concession period/ which may varies from 15-30 years in general. However, in EPC mode the contract is liable to maintain/repair the defect for 5-10 years (depending upon type of pavement) as per Ministry’s guidelines. In case of any discrepancy during execution stage, concessionaire or contractor is penalized as per the conditions of contract.”
Meanwhile, in reply to another query, the Minister informed that pedestrians killed in road accidents has increased in the country from 13894 in 2015 to 20457 in 2017. It further rose to 22656 in 2018. In Nagaland, ‘Pedestrian Deaths in Road Accidents’ were 5 and 7 in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
In addition, while the total number of road accidents (in numbers) decreased from 4, 80,652 in 2016 to 4, 64,910 in 2017, the figure increased slightly to 4, 67,044 in 2018.