Alarming rise in road fatalities casts shadow over tourism hotspot Goa

By Sanjay Borkar

Panaji, Feb 26 (IANS): An alarming spate of fatal accidents on Goa's roads, around 50 since January, have forced the state government to take measures to prevent accidents by taking action against traffic violators and analyzing road engineering.

The Goa police have held a number of meetings and the police across the state is taking action against traffic violators, taking photographs of the violators on the roads in mufti. However, the Congress has objected to this initiative saying the government is only trying to generate revenue.

Director General of Police (DGP) Jaspal Singh said that an analysis of the accidents was carried out and it was shown to the concerned officers. "Particularly in those areas where the accident rate is very high and accordingly we have formulated strategies on how we can prevent occurrence of accidents," Singh said.

He said that strict enforcement of the Motor Vehicles Act, with a crackdown on overspeeding, drunken driving, riding a two-wheeler without a helmet and driving without seat belts is being carried out.

"At the same time there is an urgent need to create awareness among people. They should follow traffic rules. Considering the population of the state, the accident rate is quite high," he stated.

He said that the police will write to the National Highways Authority, Transport department and the PWD about road engineering. "Wherever it is required that should be done. It should be carried out so that accidents are not caused due to defects in road engineering."

Sources said that the concerned departments have been told to examine the road engineering wherever the accidents have occurred in the past. Government officials across the state are working on this issue.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that three departments of the government are taking measures to reduce road accidents, which are on the rise since the last one month.

Sawant said that drunken driving, not following traffic rules and overtaking are the main reasons behind the accidents.

"Compared to other states the proportion of vehicles per population is more in Goa. People should cooperate with our departments to reduce accidents. They should follow traffic rules," Sawant said.

"The Traffic Cell, Transport department and PWD are taking regular meetings to implement the measures to reduce the road accidents," the CM added.

He said that these three departments will work on short-term gain and long-term improvement to reduce road accidents.

"The road accident numbers from 2017-2021 are horrifying. In 2017, the number was 333, then 262, 297, 223 and 226 respectively. We can reduce accidents by traffic management and taking other measures," Sawant said.

"We have taken several steps under the Motor Vehicles Act 1989. Also, we are working on the suggestions of the National Road Safety Board, National Road Safety Council, Transport Development Council, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 to reduce accidents," he informed.

According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Jivba Dalvi, the public is violating the Motor Vehicles Act by not wearing helmets, not wearing seat belts.

"Whenever people see policemen in uniform, they either over speed or take another route to escape punishment. Hence police in plainclothes have started taking photographs on the streets to crack down on violators of the Motor Vehicles Act," Dalvi said.

He said that fatalities and major head injuries can be prevented by wearing helmets.

However, Goa Congress General Secretary Vijay Bhike has strongly condemned Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for 'misusing' the police against the people.

"The Chief Minister's recent brainwave to use plainclothes police and traffic department personnel armed with smartphones to click photos of traffic violators is clear evidence of the government's anti people policies," he said.

"The roads are in bad condition. Highway work is going on at a snail's pace. The departments are not functioning smoothly and even ministers have become clerks. They convene meetings only when problems occur," Bhike said.

He said that undercover operations are carried out against terrorists and dangerous criminals, not against ordinary citizens.

"This government is misusing the police force, that should be stopped for which people need to oppose this move," he said.

"Targets are given to the police to impose fines on people to generate revenue, so that the government can organise events using that money," Bhike said.

Dr Madhu Ghodkirekar, associate professor of forensic medicine, said that immediate steps should be taken to prevent road accidents. "The number of victims' bodies in the forensic department is increasing. Most of the cases are of victims dying on the spot in road accidents. Hence measures should be taken to prevent accidents," he said.



Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Alarming rise in road fatalities casts shadow over tourism hotspot Goa

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.