The Bold Voice of J&K

J&K’s loss

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The increasing number of accidents in Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of serious concern especially with hardly any insurance coverage for the passengers in public transport. Though Union Government has rolled out a ‘cashless treatment scheme’ for road accident victims of the Golden Quadrilateral and North-South and East-West corridors covering over 13,500 km of National Highway there is no coverage in Jammu and Kashmir as such.  In fact insurance companies have been the driving force behind providing immediate medical care to road crash victims in developed countries. The envisaged project is introduced on experimental basis in areas where toll tax collection is high and traffic flow is heavy. But here again the politically alienated Jammu and Kashmir stands to lose the benefits. On an average the State’s roads claim more lives than militancy or the calamity. The conditions of the roads are really bad and connectivity is poor, except the National Highway stretch, and more accident prone. The vehicle population is outdated and increasing, poor awareness and lack of road sense among the drivers is common. There is no toll tax collection except for few points on the National Highway. The issue had seen protest and at one point near Samba the politically motivated crowd damaged and rampaged the toll tax point. Today the State stands to lose more than the gains from all the protests and demonstrations against the toll tax collections. Blame for such poor record goes to policy makers and politicians who just  for few votes have surrendered all  safety norms to be implemented. Under such a circumstance  it is  the people  who stand to  lose in terms  of life  and facilities and not the politicians. At present Road Transport Ministry  receives  over Rs 17,000 crore as road cess from users annually  as part of toll  tax collections.

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