In an effort to reduce the number deaths due to road accidents, the Union health ministry plans to create 30 additional trauma centers close to the national and states highways at a cost of more than Rs 550 crore.
These centers will add to an existing network of nearly 100 trauma care centers, where traffic accident victims are being taken within the golden hour. But the requirement is much more because of the size of the country.
In the 11 Five Year Plan, the government identified 118 hospitals for developing trauma care facilities.
"Of the 116 trauma care facilities funded by the government, nearly 100 are reported to be functional," Union Health Minister J P Nadda said inaugurating a transport ministers' forum on road safety, organized by the International Road Federation.
In the subsequent plan, as many as 85 more trauma care centers were approved. "Under the national program for prevention and management of trauma and burn injuries, the plan is to establish 30 new trauma care facilities at a cost of Rs 554.41 crore. This has been approved by Expenditure Finance Committee (under the Finance Ministry) and is placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for approval," said Nadda.
The government has also identified more than 700 black spots in the 5.3 million km road network, where bulk of the accidents take place. Nearly 120 of these spots have been rectified and the rest would be done in another two years.
Going by the Union Ministry of Road Transport's latest report, there are nearly 500,000 accidents in India every year, killing close to 1,50,000 Indians and maiming several thousands more.
Globally, the number of people killed in road accidents each year is almost 1.2 million and the number injured is 50 times higher. These deaths and injuries are forecast to rise by some 65 percent by 2020, the year 2000 being the base.
In low and middle income countries, the road related deaths were likely to rise by 80 percent, the majority of which occur among vulnerable road users, Nadda said. - Deccan Herald