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Pradeep Pattanayak

Road accidents are being reported from different parts of the State on a daily basis. The nagging fact is the fatality rate in road mishaps in State is higher than the national average.

In order to curb preventable deaths, the Odisha government has inked an agreement with Save Life Foundation, an organisation working on road safety.

Only recently, in order to curb accidents at the black spots, the State government has launched the ‘Project Rakshak’ programme. In the coming 30 weeks, 300 master trainers and 30,000 street vendors, who will act as first responders or ‘Rakshak’ will be given training.

 As per State Transport Commissioner, Arun Bothra , “There are 335 black spots on state and national highways, with 120 alone on national highways. We will repair the roads, increase the enforcement and keep ambulances ready. Out holistic action plan will curb the road mishaps in the State.”

Sayad Maqbul Alli, ex-member of National Road Safety Council, put emphasis on training. “All Jeevan Rakshaks will be given training in phases. Technology will also be used to the hilt to minimise the accidents,” he opined.

Elaborating about the training being given to first responders, Gulshan Kumar Das, master trainer, Project Rakshak, said, “We are sharing some knowledge with the responders about how bleeding can be checked and how the patients with fractured limbs can be treated.

The State's blueprint to curb road fatality is given below.

•             In order to reduce the number of road mishap deaths, immediate medical attention should be made available to the victims. Before being shifted to hospitals, they must receive first aid treatment at the spot itself. In a recently concluded training camp at Bhubaneswar-1 regional transport office, first responders and master trainers were given training on first aid treatments.

 Odisha Road Mishap Scenario

According to the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India report of the National Crime Records Bureau, in 2019, as many as 11,064 road accidents were recorded in the state which claimed 5,333 lives. This translates into 30 mishaps per day and took 14 lives every day.

The number of accidents came down substantially in 2020, thanks to the pandemic. In that year, the State reported 9,817 accidents and 4,738 deaths. The State's fatality rate is above the national rate. While the national rate is 33 percent, the State rate is 48 percent.

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