New Delhi/Gurugram [India], Dec.14 : With a vision to improve road safety and reduce road traffic fatalities in Gurugram, Haryana, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), UNITAR, CRRI, AIMTC, SRF, IRSC, DLF and OLA Cabs today announced the launch of the #SaferRoadsForGurugram initiative.
A working group of representatives from these eight organisations will lead this initiative - bringing together government, industry associations, academia, research, NGOs and corporates to tackle road safety in India with an initial focus on Gurugram.
The first focus of this working group will be to conduct a baseline study and analysis of existing road safety data, which will be used to define a clear roadmap and action plan to improve road safety in Gurugram.
Ben Verhaert, President-India, Anheuser-Busch InBev, said, "We are delighted to bring together a group of stakeholders with such diverse expertise to develop an integrated approach to improve Road Safety in Gurugram. We look forward to collaborating with our partners to develop innovative programs that will have real-time impact on road safety."
Prof. (Dr.) Satish Chandra, Director, Central Road Research Institute, (a national laboratory of CSIR on Road Research) congratulated the partners and said, "We are extremely proud, and motivated to be a part of this initiative, and hope to build strength into the campaign by providing robust research support on various aspects of road safety such as insights on road design and engineering."
"Road Safety is a quintessential part of DLF's vision to make Gurugram a sustainable city. We are glad to extend our support in making Safer Roads For Gurugram initiative a roaring success, in conjunction with all the partners." said Col. Prakash Tewari, Executive Director, DLF CSR.
According to a report published by WRI, Gurugram is at the helm of this initiative as it is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and commercial hub for Indian and foreign companies. From the perspective of road safety, most number of road accidents in the state of Haryana takes place in Gurugram as it also provides passage to two of the most important highways, NH8 and NH48.
Echoing the sentiment of commitment towards the initiative, S K Mittal, President, All India Motor Transport Congress, said, "In alignment with its aims, AIMTC extends its commitment to this campaign to reach-out to the truckers and tour bus operators, who form an integral part of this stakeholder spectrum. We look forward to working together with all partners to achieving the common target towards increasing road safety in Gurugram."
Mohammad Imran, Founder, Safe Road Foundation, expressed his opinion, "Safe Road Foundation is pleased to show its support, in partnership with other like-minded organizations, to raise awareness around the issue of road safety among various stakeholder groups. We hope to garner more citizen partnership to make Gurugram roads safe for all."
Road safety is one of the greatest global challenges in public health and well-being in the 21st century. According to the World Health Organization, injuries caused by traffic accidents are increasing, being one of the main causes of death in the world, and representing a heavy burden on families and the national economy.
Speaking at the occasion, David Braunstein, President, Together For Safer Roads (an international consortium on road safety) said, "Safer Roads are a shared responsibility for all of us, and by striking the strategic partnerships Safer Roads for Gurugram has taken an important first step in the right direction. We are pleased to see this coalition gaining momentum and encourage other organizations to partner in improving road safety and in reducing road traffic deaths and injuries in Gurugram."
Congratulating the partners on this first step, Alexander A. Mejia, Director, Social Development Programme, UNITAR (UN Institute for Training and Research) said, "UNITAR is committed to strengthening capacities to improve road safety, through the implementation of capacity building initiatives that contribute to achieving SDG 3.6 and to reduce road fatalities. We hope to make road safety a top priority in the agenda of decision makers and private sector leaders. In this context, this partnership will be of strategic significance to us."
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways 2016 report, 4,80,652, road accidents occur in India resulting in 1,50,785 deaths and 4,94,624 injuries. Haryana, in particular, has one of the highest fatality per capita in road accidents in India with an average of 43 fatalities in every 100 accidents
Amar Srivastava, Founder, Indian Road Safety Campaign, (largest Indian student lead movement on road safety) said, "We believe in the power of youth and is committed to support this cause by leveraging its vast network of college youth to be the carriers of change. We also look forward to bringing value to this campaign by suggesting relevant technical innovations."
Safer Roads For Gurugram initiative will also contribute to the Haryana government's 'Haryana Vision Zero' campaign.