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Mrunal Manmay Dash

An alarming 14 deaths occur in Odisha every day due to road accidents, revealed State Commerce and Transport Minister, Tukuni Sahu in the Odisha Assembly on Thursday.

As per the data provided by Sahu in the Assembly, more than 25,000 people have died in road accidents in the last five years in the State.

Answering a query by BJP’s Mohan Majhi, Sahu said that 4790 people had died in road mishaps in 2017, 5315 accident deaths occurred in 2018, 5333 deaths in 2019, 4738 in 2020 and 5081 people have died in road mishaps in the year 2021.

49.81 per cent of deaths out of the total deaths in road accidents in Odisha during 2021 are motorcyclists.

Similarly, 11.84 per cent of deaths of road users due to road accidents in the State are pedestrians, followed by 10.52 per cent car users, 8.48 per cent truckers, 3.50 per cent cyclists and 2.49 per cent bus users, Sahu mentioned in the Assembly.

She also quoted a report by WHO, saying that the annual road accident death in India is around 1.5 lakh and in Odisha, it is around 5,000.

The Opposition Chief Whip also wanted to know how much of ex-gratia was announced for payment from the Solatium Fund to road accident victims, to which Sahu replied, “About Rs 49,50,000 were paid from the Solatium Fund to as many as 29 road accident victims in 2019, Rs 1,11,00,000 to 63 beneficiaries in 2020, Rs 2,93,50,000 to 164 such beneficiaries in 2021 and Rs 7,40,50,000 to 116 persons in 2022 (up to June),”

Odisha government has formed a Solatium Fund from which the road accident victims killed after being hit by unknown vehicles or legal heirs of the victims are eligible for compensation of Rs 2,00,000 and Rs 50,000 in case of death or grievous injury, respectively.

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