Alarmed by the increasing number of road accident deaths in India — the highest in the world at 1.18 lakh — the World Bank has decided to carry out safety investigations on various patches of state and national highways totaling 3,000km and fund retro-fitting to make them safer.
Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), which is anchored in the World Bank, will contract out the project to International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP). The project budget, about $8 million, will be used to cover highways in eight states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Assam. iRAP will videograph state and national highways and investigate different road safety aspects on them including road engineering features like curvature of road, pedestrian safety features and road signages. iRAP would then recommend ways to retro-fit these highways to improve their safety quotient.