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The Roads Of Tomorrow

Our children, the young of the world, the people who will live in this world tomorrow, and next generation. It is on them that the future of the world will depend. But before that, the onus is on us to provide them a world that is nurturing and helps them develop it further.

Unfortunately, by the looks of it, this itself is in jeopardy. In every sense, be it the planet & its environment, the world economy, and not in the least, the state of our roads; its is all in shambles! Is this the state of degradation that we will have our future generations inherit the planet?

The roads in India alone will present the biggest challenges & threats to progress for our future generations. In fact progress is a long way off, that ensuing generations can be guaranteed safety on our roads is in itself a big question mark. And sadly, the current state of affairs, and projections, do not bode well at all.

Indian roads today host more than 48 types of transport modes, with the vehicle count exceeding a staggering 10 crore. In a developing economy with a progressively wealthier middle class, this number is going to inflate manifold in the coming years. More vehicles, no roads, extreme danger! If not a vehicular accident, the increased pollution levels from the growing number of vehicles will cause irreversible damage to the planet & to the next generation!even the social cost of accidents on Indian roads that has been currently estimated at 11,000$ will rise substantially

Worst of all, road fatalities will become an ‘epidemic’ by the year 2030, with 90% of deaths on world’s roads occurring in low and middle-income countries exactly like India!

The condition of our roads is already at breaking point. Traffic jams & snarls, safety issues, rash driving, flouting laws & lawlessness, and an increasing load of vehicular traffic with no commensurate progress in infrastructure. Its a very very critical situation.

We need a Road To Change, and we need it now. Drastic steps have to be taken immediately to correct the state of our roads; and a healthy, joint collaboration is needed between the authorities and the civilian population. Co-operation, patience, and urgent action are the needs of the hour, if we are to give our next generation, a road-system that is usable, safe & viable!

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Indian Road Accidents

Despite just 1.5% of the world’s vehicle population, India manages to top world road accident charts with a disturbing 10% of all road-accidents! And this is a result of the lawlessness that prevails on our roads. Both from the authorities, and the people; road-ethics are ditched in favor of ‘short-cuts’, impatient behavior, and convenience. Its an extremely grim scenario, and one that needs urgent & crucial attention.

The fact of the matter is, nowhere is it safe on Indian roads. Be it the rural areas, our big cities, not even national highways. Everyone, on all types of roads, is constantly vulnerable to road accidents, that are in many cases, lethal! Such is the adverse impact of road-accidents, that the WHO estimates this menace to become the 3rd largest cause of injury, and the 6th largest cause of death, by 2020.

No user type is spared. Each road user type is subject to fatalities and the figures tell a rather bleak story. Topping the list are two-wheelers with 22%. Next up we have Cars/Taxis and Trucks with 13% & 11% respectively. And the scariest part, owing to a general lack of civic sense on our roads, even pedestrians are faced with road-accident fatalities amounting to 13%!

But while figures tell one side of the story, it is actual recorded incidents that portray the complete horror of loss of lives on our roads. With this are three such videos that encapsulate the extent of road-accident tragedies to some degree. In the first video, a sleepy part of Kerela witnesses an accident in broad day-light. The reason, an unmanned junction that the police seems to have ignored, and the civilian population is too callus to be careful about.

In the second video, we hear about the devastating end of a would-be pedestrian lady, that too in the nation’s capital no less, who has been marooned to death by large commercial vehicles reportedly continually driving over her! And the 3rd video tells the case of a happy holiday group, who crash to their deaths out on the open highway!

Is really no place safe? No one secure? Some serious thought is solicited by the dismal state of our roads & the impending calamities across them. Its high time, for a road to change!

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TERROR INDIAN ROADS

Despite having the world’s second largest roads network of 3.2 million kilometers; the condition of Indian roads is appalling. Burdened with the responsibility of 70% of the country’s freight & cargo,and an astonishingly high 85% of the nation’s traffic; the roads are far from safe. They are in urgent need of attention, quality-control, and safety regulation.

The accidents that take place on an alarmingly high rate on our roads spell some very scary figures.For instance, Personal Injuries sustained across Indian roads occur too frequently. The number of fatal road accidents in India is 1.8 lakh every year and increasing. Further, 350 people die &7000 people are injured everyday due to road accidents. That translates to 1,27,750 and 25,55,000 each year respectively. The ratio of Injured to Killed 1: 20. The most disillusioning part, more than half these fatalities are of people between the ages of 15 & 44 years, making them the family bread winners!

Aside from the unquantifiable emotional loss owing to people-related accidents, the sorry state of the road network also witnesses a huge amount of monetary losses. Traffic snarls, a common occurrence across towns & cities in India, causes loss of productivity. The loss of man hours and productivity runs into thousands of crores of rupees. The loss in GDP is estimated at Rs 75000 crores, being 1% of the GDP of India!

The road network conditions have reached a critical breaking point. Cities are swelling with traffic, inter-city roads are do not see proper up keep and have increasing accidents, both personal & property, and our dependence on the road network itself, for lack of other robust & efficient transport systems, despite ironically having the world’s largest rail-network; are all causes for grave concern.

One never feels safe. Be it a child going to school, an elderly grandparent taking a walk on the street, a husband driving back into the city after a meeting at an off-site, or pregnant home-maker returning from her groceries shopping. Much less, if one is moving cities and is on an inter-state highway, with family, bag & baggage in tow.

We need to delve deeper into the road-conditions and take it upon ourselves to come up with an urgent & effective set of solutions, and then enforce them.


Champion the cause for safer roads for ourselves, by ourselves. It is time to become the voice of change, on the road to change!

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