Vijayawada, 24 February 2016 PA-CN/16/05
Australian Expertise Helps Make Andhra Pradesh Roads Safer
“The safety of Andhra Pradesh roads took an important step forward in today courtesy of advanced Australian technology and Australia’s world’s best practice expertise,” said Australia’s Consul-General for South India, Mr Sean Kelly.
Mr Kelly joined the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Thiru N Chandrababu Naidu, and the Minister for Roads, Transport and Buildings, Thiru Sidda Rao, to flag off the Australian Road Research Board's Hawkeye 2000 high technology road survey vehicle. Under a project supported by the World Bank, ARRB will conduct a structural survey of 20,000 km of Andhra Pradesh roads and provide analysis to inform decisions by the government on the maintenance, upgrading an future design of the state's roads.
“Doing everything possible to improve road quality is of critical importance,” Consul-General Kelly asserted. “Not only is it essential to save lives – the World Health Organisation estimates that India has 207,000 road fatalities per year,” he explained, “but it is critical to India’s economic development - road traffic accidents are estimated to cost the Indian economy about 3% of its GDP.”
“The Andhra Pradesh Government, and in particular Chief Minister Naidu, is to be commended for its vision and commitment to applying the best technology and world’s best practices to the development of the state,” the Consul General continued. “As Andhra Pradesh moves forward with the development of its new capital at Amaravati and building more and more smart cities across the state, incorporating the most advanced road design and safety features from the beginning is the key.”
The Consul-General also joined Trade Commissioner Dr Grayson Perry to open a Workshop on Road Safety in Vijayawada presented by renowned Australian expert Martin Small. Mr Small is already providing technical assistance to a number of Indian state governments to help improve road safety systems.
“Australia stands ready to share its road safety experience and expertise in India to help improve the environment for road users through the Australian Trade Commission’s ‘Integrated Road Safety Initiative’ in India,” Dr Perry said.