Govt works on assistance for crash victims on all highways

India—home to the world’s deadliest roads—plans to extend its marquee Incident Management Services (IMS) to all national highways to reduce road fatalities and improve safety for road users.

The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) plans to seek request for proposals (RFPs) from companies to supply, operate and maintain IMS on national highways. As part of this initiative, highways would be equipped with ambulances, cranes, round-the-clock patrol vehicles and skilled workers capable of providing quick post-crash response, critical in saving lives of accident victims.

Indian roads are among the most dangerous globally. Road accidents claimed 156,000 lives in 2021—or 457 lives per day, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. National highways have emerged as one of the biggest killers, accounting for more than 40% of road accidents every year.

As per official estimates, Indian roads report one accident every minute, and one fatal accident every four minute. There are as many as 35 accidents per 1,000 vehicles and often delays in providing post-accident relief results in loss of life. The ministry has sought comments on the draft RFP, which will be followed by more deliberations before the service is finalized and rolled out across states in this fiscal year, an office memorandum issued by MoRTH said.

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