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HomeNewsWorld Bank approves $250 mn loan for India's road safety programme

World Bank approves $250 mn loan for India’s road safety programme

New Delhi: The World Bank on Monday approved a $250 million loan for the Indian government’s road safety programme that addresses the high road accident fatality rate in the country. 

The 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.

The programme is aimed to 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, the multilateral institution said in a release.

With only 1% of the world’s vehicles, India accounts for almost 10% 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% and 7% of GDP a year.

Official government data show that each year road accidents in India kill about 150,000 people and leave 450,000 injured. More than half of the victims are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists and almost 84%of all fatalities are among road users between the working ages of 18-60 years.

Hideki Mori, acting country director, World Bank India said that 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. “This will help in reducing the impact road crashes have, especially on the poor, and the economy and human capital,” said Mori.

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, and West Bengal.

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, the release said.

The project will also provide incentives to states to leverage private funding through public private partnership concessions and pilot initiatives.


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