ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided technical assistance to Pakistan amounting to $15 million for establishing a centralised road accident reporting system across the country.
A team of foreign experts will help the transport sector in this regard.
A senior official of the ministry of communication, who wished not to be named, said that the accident reporting system would be set up under a road safety programme to be executed by the ministry.
He said that the road safety programme would be part of a four-year plan and ADB had already sent experts to Pakistan.
“The ADB will not provide any cash for this purpose but will assist by providing consultancy service for improving road safety measures via creation of this centralised system and public awareness,” he said.
“Currently, Pakistan lacks a centralised system for consolidated data on the number of accidents on highways and motorways across the country,” said the official.
“Due to the absence of background information on road accidents across the country, there are many loopholes which need to be addressed,” he said.
The official said that under this programme, road safety awareness campaigns would also be run on public and private media.
“Hopefully, the Road Safety Plan will help reduce the number of road accidents in the country,” said the official.
According to him, accidents caused annual losses of Rs100 billion to the national exchequer.
Meanwhile, referring to a National Road Safety Programme, which is altogether separate from the above mentioned plan, meant for motorways and highways under federal jurisdiction, he claimed that it was already implemented.
“However, the Ministry of Communication is short of funds to organise a ceremony to publicly announce its implementation,” he said.
The official launching ceremony was planned to be held in January this year but then postponed. It is now planned to be launched in February, said the official.
According to the Grievance Commissioner Hafiz Ahsan Ahmad Khokhar, who is also the Senior Advisor Law/Registrar at the Federal Ombudsman’s secretariat, the National Road Safety Plan for ICT would soon be approved by the law division.”
This plan would not only ensure safer roads but also offer a platform for introducing modern technology in domestic public transport manufacturing.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2017.