Friday, January 1, 2010

Accidents deadlier than militancy in J & K this year

Jammu, Dec 30 : Road accidents claimed more lives than militancy in mountainous Jammu and Kashmir in 2009, official statistics show. According to Jammu and Kashmir Traffic Police statistics, a total of 1,031 people died while 7,562 were injured in 5,496 road accidents in the state during 2009. And official records say that 85 civilians were killed and 235 injured this year in 485 militancy-related incidents. The number of road accidents and deaths caused by them have risen this year as compared to 2008, when 5,326 road accidents killed 950 people. Mohammad Amin Shah, inspector general (IG) of traffic, Jammu and Kashmir, said: “The causes of the accidents are drivers’ negligence, rough and bad roads, poor geometry of roads, hilly terrains, overloading, weather conditions and the drivers’ state of mind besides some other factors like inadequate maintenance of roads.” He pointed out that roads were insufficient for the ever-increasing number of vehicles, adding that Jammu and Kashmir was the only state in the country that does not have traffic signal lights. He said the department was taking preventive measures to bring down the number of accidents. “We are adopting safety measures, recommending widening and smoothening of roads, erecting crash barriers and parapets.” He informed that the traffic police had initiated a drive against the violators and had handed out 422,179 challans, collecting over Rs.six crore (Rs.60 million). As against road accidents, the number of militancy-related incidents reduced in the state. The year 2009 witnessed least number of militancy-related incidents (485), least civilian killings (85), least security personnel killed (75) and least number of militants killed (238 as against 340 in 2008). Highest number of 5,946 militancy-related incidents happened in 1995, highest number of civilians - 1,424 - were killed in 1996, highest number of 485 security personnel were killed in 2000 and highest number of 2,020 militants were killed in 2001.

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