Govt to give cashless care worth `30,000 to accident victims

The government proposes to provide free treatment worth Rs 30,000 for accident victims on national highways all over the country in a phased manner. Currently the pilot project is running on 226 kilometre Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch and has now been extended to Mumbai- Baroda and Ranchi-Jamshedpur link, a top official said on Saturday.

‘Under the pilot project on the busy Gurgaon-Jaipur NH-8 stretch, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had provided financial assistance of Rs 30,000 for the victim of road accidents for medical treatment,’ road secretary Vijay Chibber said.

He was speaking at a seminar organised jointly by the ministry and International Road Federation (IRF) here. He said that the government had earmarked Rs 20 crore for the first pilot project, but that the cost in the first year did not exceed Rs 5 crore ‘Seeing the success and data compiled by IIT, Delhi, the ministry has extended it to two new corridors,’ Chibber said.

After completion of the two new projects on Mumbai-Baroda Highway and Ranchi-Jamshedpur Highway, it is proposed to be extended to the entire stretch of National Highways in the country at an annual cost of Rs 500-600 crore, he added. This will work as insurance for using highways for the road users, he said while calling on the health and motor vehicle insurance companies to come out with packages for the new projects. Chibber said these insurance companies served as important key stakeholders for road safety. Under the Gurgaon-Jaipur pilot project, the road accident victims are taken to the nearest hospital and for the next crucial 48 hours, their medical cost upto Rs 30,000 is taken care of by the government. The cost above this limit is borne by the victim or their families.
‘India leads the world in road accident deaths, with around 1,50,000 people being killed each year. There is one fatal accident every 3.7 minutes,’ KK Kapila, chairman, International Road Federation (IRF) said.

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