Why Spike In Accidents In Maharashtra? Minister Says “Few Straight Roads”

Why Spike In Accidents In Maharashtra? Minister Says “Few Straight Roads”

Maharashtra witnessed 11,900 accidents just between January to March. (Representational)

Mumbai:

The number of accidents in Maharashtra have gone up in the first three months of 2022 when compared to the corresponding period last year, and these may have been the result of “fewer straight roads” and “rash driving on highways”, state transport minister Anil Parab said on Thursday.

This year, Maharashtra witnessed 11,900 accidents just between January to March, as compared to 29,493 accidents in all of 2021 and 24,971 accidents through 2020.

Speaking at an event where the state government’s ‘faceless RTOs’ scheme was launched to provide people six services related to the sector online, Mr Parab said a meeting had been called to discuss this rise and enforce mitigating solutions.

“Maharashtra, sadly, has a higher accident rate. There are a few reasons that we have found out. Maharashtra has very few straight roads. Secondly, vehicles are being driven rashly on new straight roads or big highways that have built,” he said.

“In order to reduce accidents, every taluka has been given targets to identify black spots, take corrective measures. We will come to know about the outcome of these steps after three months,” he added.

Mr Parab said the state government had received a report on stopping the issuance of autorickshaw permits, but will need the Centre’s nod to do so.

The minister, who is also chairman of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), said the state run entity will induct 3000 new buses, comprising 2000 electric and 1000 CNG-run, as many existing vehicles will need to be scrapped.

Queried about taxi and autorickshaw unions seeking fare hikes due to rise in fuel prices over the past few months, Parab said the subject of giving fare hike to autorickshaws and taxis in Mumbai Metropolitan Region is under active consideration and talks with unions are underway.

Speaking on the ‘faceless RTO’ scheme, Mr Parab said services comprising driving licence renewal, change in driving licence address, duplicate driving licence, duplicate vehicle registration certificate, change in address, and NOC for transferring driving licence or vehicle to another state will be given online and people need not visit RTOs.

“Nearly 20 lakh people used to visit the offices of the transport department for these services. Henceforth, people won’t need to visit transport department offices. These faceless services will be Aadhar based so there is no chance of duplication or cheating,” he added.

The minister said Maharashtra’s transport department has been providing 118 different services to citizens, of which 80 are online and now six have been added.

Transport commissioner Avinash Dhakane said the Union government has asked that 18 online faceless services be provided, of which a few like online learning license facility and vehicle registration at dealers point started in June last year itself.

He said his department had received some complaints about online learning licence, and discussions are being held with NIC to address the issue.

Also, an online portal has been developed for giving permission for over-dimensional consignments.

“Today, the system we tested is fool-proof and it has been checked several times,” Mr Dhakane asserted.

Assam Press