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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued new guidelines to State governments for identifying accident ‘black spots’ on national highways and rectifying them and has urged them to give “special attention in a strictly time-bound manner” to the issue.

The guidelines detail the process for inspecting the spots, framing a proposal and obtaining sanctions for rectifying them, suggest a timeline for submitting an inspection report and completing the civil works.

“Based on site inspection, preliminary survey etc., the type of interventions required may be identified and accordingly the action for taking corrective measures i.e., short-term measures and long-term measures may be initiated at the regional office level,” states the letter from the Ministry’s Superintending Engineer Varun Aggarwal to Chief Secretaries, Prinicipal Secretaries, Engineers-in-chief of PWD, Director General of Border Road and the Managing Director of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation. The letter was sent on August 26.

A black spot is defined as a stretch not more than 500m in length where five accidents have taken place or where ten fatalities have happened in the last three years.

Once the correction has been made, authorities will also monitor whether accidents have declined.

Recently, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said the government had prepared a Rs. 14,000-crore plan to identify black spots. The Ministry has reached out to the World Bank for funds after approval from the Ministry of Finance.

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