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Home > India > News > Report

The case of rising deaths on Karnataka roads

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | February 21, 2008 16:57 IST

Karnataka has earned the distinction of the being the state with the third highest accident rate in India behind, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Statistics with the National Crime Records Bureau indicate that at least 23 people die everyday in Karnataka out of which five are in Bangalore.

Statistics further reveal that in the year there were 43,280 accidents in 2006 and in the year 2007, the figure rose to 45,284. In 2007, there were 18,686 deaths in the state while in Bangalore alone there were 11,663 deaths.

The traffic police are now re-thinking their strategy on how to avoid road accidents in Karnataka. A conclusion has been drawn that lack of proper infrastructure such as narrow roads, increase in the number of vehicles are the main cause for accidents in Karnataka and especially in Bangalore.

There has been an extraordinary rise in the number of vehicles in Bangalore, especially in the past few years. The fact, according to traffic experts, that Bangalore is incapable of handling so much of traffic.

The roads in the city are no properly maintained and are extremely narrow in certain parts. It is over the issue of proper infrastructure did IT giants threaten to walk out of Bangalore a couple of years ago.

It is a nightmare driving to Electronic City during the peak hours. The road is flooded with trucks headed towards Tamil Nadu and an equal number of two wheelers that make the road very unsafe.

The police say that the completion of the elevated highway connecting to Electronic City will solve a majority of their problems.

Bangalore, at present, has 21.1 lakh two wheelers and 5 lakh cars. Even if this number was half, Bangalore lacked the required infrastructure to handle traffic of such a magnitude, traffic experts say.

The rise in the number of accidents has set the cops thinking and as a first step they intend to identify accident prone spots and rectify the problem. As of now there are 94 accident prone spots in Bangalore city alone while in the state there are around 3000.

Moreover, the police department is also planning to better its highway patrol system. At present there are just 10 in the state while the required number would be at least 60 to ensure that the problem is sorted out to a large extent.

Another worry on hand is the nightmarish kind of traffic that would now be present on the road to the new airport. The connectivity issue to the new airport is not sorted out as yet and the dedicated lanes are yet to come up. Travel time during peak hours from the city to the airport is well expected to be over 2 hours. This would only ensure that people speed up and the number of accidents could also rise.