IRF condoles demise of Jaspal Bhatti
Geneva-based International Road Federation (IRF) condoled the demise of satirist-cum-actor Jaspal Bhatti who died in a road accident near Shahkot in Punjab early this morning after his car hit a tractor trolley.
The global body for improving road safety said the sad demise of Bhatti (57) has once again brought up the issue of fatal road accidents in India.
IRF said India with more than one death and four injuries every minute has the dubious distinction of reporting the highest number of road fatalities in the world.
"Total 10 per cent out of more than one million fatal road accidents across the world happen in India," IRF chairman K K Kapila said in a statement.
He said during 2009, there were around 4.9 lakh road accidents, which resulted in deaths of 1,25,660 people and injured more than five lakh people in India.
Mr Kapila claimed India accounts for about 10 per cent of the total 1.3 million road accident fatalities worldwide, despite having only one per cent of the world's vehicle population.
"Estimates of the Planning Commission and the World Bank have put social cost of accidents between 2 to 3 per cent of the GDP every year," the IRF chairman added.
He said in 2002-03, the Planning Commission reported that road accidents cost the country Rs 55,000 crore, about three per cent of the GDP, that figure has now doubled.
Mr Kapila expressed that as India has accepted UN Assembly resolution proclaiming 2011-2020 as the 'Decade of Action for Road safety' with a global goal of reducing road deaths by 50 per cent, the state governments have a major role to play in reducing the road accidents.