SOS number, state contest — inside Modi govt’s $1 bn push for safer roads with World Bank, ADB

Other News Materials 18 July 2022 10:47 (UTC +04:00)
SOS number, state contest — inside Modi govt’s $1 bn push for safer roads with World Bank, ADB

A unified emergency number for reporting road accidents from across the country, a contest to encourage states to bring in innovations to improve road safety, and monetary incentives to states that push institutional reforms. These are among a host of measures the Modi government is initiating in collaboration with multilateral agencies to make Indian roads safer by 2028.

The measures are part of a $1 billion programme undertaken by the government to strengthen road safety, which the Union road transport ministry, with support from World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), will implement in 14 states across India, senior officials in the road transport ministry told ThePrint.

The 14 states — including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, among others — are those that account for 85 per cent of the total road accidents and fatalities in India, said Arnab Bandyopadhyay, World Bank lead transport specialist.

“The idea is to reduce road crashes and fatalities in these states by 30 per cent by June 2028,” Bandyopadhyay said.

He added: “This is a unique programme because it is the first time a road safety scheme is fully incentive-based… If a state achieves results then money gets disbursed among those states.”

While the World Bank on 27 June approved $250 million in financing — to support the programme in seven states — the ADB will give $250 million to implement it in the remaining seven states. The remaining 50 per cent of the fund will come from the Government of India, a senior road transport ministry official said.

ThePrint reached ADB over email for comment, but hadn’t received a response until the time of publishing this report.