New Delhi: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors have approved the financing of $250 million to support the Government of India’s Program for Strengthening Road Safety. The World Bank project will help participating states reduce road crash fatalities and injuries through improved road safety management and institutional reform, and results-based interventions on high-risk roads. It will also strengthen emergency medical and rehabilitation services for post-crash care.
With only 1 percent of the world’s vehicles, India accounts for almost 10 percent of all crash related deaths. The poor households bear a higher proportion of the socio-economic burden of road crashes due to loss of income (over 70 percent of crash victims in poor households), high medical expenses and limited access to social safety nets. According to a World Bank study, road crashes are estimated to cost the Indian economy between 5 to 7 percent of GDP a year. Official government data show that each year road accidents in India kill about 150,000 people and injures another 450,000. More than half of the victims are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists and almost 84 percent of all fatalities are among road users between the working ages of 18-60 years.
“The World Bank’s India Road Safety Project will support the Government of India’s efforts to reduce incidents of road crashes by creating efficient institutional mechanisms for safer roads, vehicles, and enforcement in the country and strengthening efforts to provide better on-the-spot care to victims of road crashes,” said Hideki Mori, Acting Country Director, World Bank India. “This will help in reducing the impact road crashes have, especially on the poor, and the economy and human capital.”
The India State Support Program for Road Safety, financed by the World Bank, will be implemented in the states of Andhra Pradesh (AP), Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh (UP), and West Bengal.
Road safety interventions face a unique challenge in India as the management is spread across different tiers of government. The project will focus on strengthening and streamlining the management capability of the lead agencies for road safety in these states.
To reduce incidents of road crashes, the project will establish a national harmonized crash database system, the analysis of which will be used to construct better and safer roads.
Women face the indirect brunt of road accidents. Recognizing this challenge, the project has a special focus on gender and will promote women’s representation in management roles in the road safety sector. The project will also provide employment opportunities for women especially, in post-crash care command and control centers.
To better manage post-crash events, the project will help strengthen pre-hospital emergency care services for road crash victims. This will include setting up a single accident reporting number, increasing the network of basic and advanced life support ambulances and, training first responder caregivers to road crash victims on the spot.
“The project will also provide incentives to states to leverage private funding through Public Private Partnership (PPP) concessions and pilot initiatives.”
“The India State Road Safety Project will help the Centre and the state governments better design, coordinate and execute road safety programs in a results-oriented approach “The program will drive key reforms in institutional mechanisms, road safety engineering, enforcement, and emergency care using a results-based approach.” – Dipan Bose, Arnab Bandyopadhyay and, Suresh Kunhi Mohammed, task team leaders for the project.
The $250 million variable spread loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 18 years including a grace period of 5.5 years.