Deaths due to road accidents

                 Driver’s fault accounted for about 75 per cent of deaths caused by road accidents in the period 2004 to 2007. As per the information made available to the Rajya Sabha during the question hour by Shri Mahadeo Singh Khandela, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, while driver’s fault was responsible for 75.2 per cent accidents deaths in 2004, it accounted for 74.0 per cent in 2005, 73.3 per cent in 2006 and 75.1 per cent in 2007.

                The Minister also informed the House that about 45-49 per cent deaths caused in road accidents were due to over speeding i.e. exceeding lawful speed limit of the driver. Over-speeding was the main reason for the death of 48.7 per cent (45,106 people) killed in road accidents in 2004, 46.7 per cent (44,346 people) in 2005, 45.5 per cent (48,123) in 2006 and 48.8 per cent (55,883) in 2007.

                As per the data available, the maximum number of accidental deaths in the year 2007 occurred in Andhra Pradesh (11.8 per cent of the total) followed by Tamil Nadu (10.5 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (10 per cent) and Maharashtra (9.8 per cent).


National Policy on Safety Health and Environment at Workplace

                   The Government of India has declared a National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Workplace on 20th February, 2009. The salient features of the National Policy are as under:-

(i) It recognizes safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental human right.

(ii) It aims at enhancing the well-being of the employees and the society at large by eliminating work related injuries, diseases, etc.

(iii) It enumerates the goals to be achieved and brings into focus the objective of continuous reduction in the incidence of work related injuries and diseases.

(iv) It describes the action programme with nine key strategies i.e. Enforcement, Development of National Standards, Compliance, Awareness, Research and Development, Skills Development, Data Collection, Practical Guidance and Incentives.

(v) It also provides for regular review at least once in five years.

             The Government has taken up with all concerned Ministries/Departments to work out their detailed action plan relevant to their working environment as per the guidelines contained in the Policy. The Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes an attached office of Ministry of Labour & Employment is organizing four Regional Workshops to create awareness about the National Policy and to formulate action plan for implementing the National Policy. Besides, the general guidelines and details for development of a safety culture and ensuring safety and health and general environment are available in the form of comprehensive legislations enacted by the Government of India, for the workers employed in factories, mines and port sectors namely, Factories Act, 1948, Mines Act, 1952 and the Dock Workers (Safety, Health & Welfare) Act, 1986. The Statutes stipulate a systems approach to identify, assess and prevent hazards at the workplace so as to reduce injuries and diseases.

          Shri Harish Rawat Minister of State for Labour And Employment gave this information in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

74 Missing Defence Personnel are believed to be in Pakistani jails.

                 According to available information, 74 Missing Defence Personnel are believed to be in Pakistani jails, including 54 since 1971.

              Government has repeatedly taken up the matter with the Government of Pakistan through diplomatic channels and during high-level contacts for their release. However, Pakistan does not acknowledge the presence of any Missing Defence Personnel in its custody. During the visit of External Affairs Minister to Pakistan in January 2007, Pakistan Government was persuaded to receive a delegation of relatives of Missing Defence Personnel to permit them to visit prisons in Pakistan, where they are believed to be incarcerated. A delegation of relatives, accordingly, visited 10 jails in Pakistan from June 1-14, 2007. The delegation could not conclusively confirm the physical presence of the 74 Missing Defence Personnel. Pursuant to the visit of the delegation of the relatives of Missing Defence Personnel, a Tri-Service Committee for monitoring matters on the subject has been formed in the Ministry of Defence. Under the Simla Agreement, the Government is committed to resolving all issues with Pakistan through peaceful negotiations and bilateral dialogue.

             This information was given by Shri S. M. Krishna, Union Minister of External Affairs in reply to a question by Shri Naveen Jindal in Lok Sabha yesterday.

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