India loses $35 billion each year in road accidents, which is slightly less than the nation's defence budget, a road safety expert said here on Thursday.
According to Kamaljit Soi, member of the National Road Safety Council of the ministry of road transport and highways, India is "losing a little less" than its defence budget each year on road accidents.
"This is about Rs. 1 lakh 70, 000 crore in road accidents every year. Human life has become very cheap, " Soi told the media here.
Emphasising the gravity of the situation, he said: "65 percent of the people who are causing accidents are illiterate. Number of deaths is more in the 15 to 44 age group. "
Queried on the Kolkata hit - and - run case in which an Indian Air Force officer was killed during the Republic Day Parade rehearsal, and subsequent arrest of prime accused Sambia Sohrab, whose father was a leader of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, Soi said it's a "good step if action has been initiated in the matter. "
"Nobody is above the law, " Soi, who is also the chairman of Raahat (The Safe Community Foundation), asserted.
In the same vein, he said the Bombay High Court ruling in the Salman Khan hit - and - run case, in which he was acquitted, was a "bad example" for the nation.
"Everybody should be treated in the same manner. I had vehemently opposed this during the time, " he added.