Gadkari says road accidents cause 3 percent GDP loss

#dailynews60 : Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday warned that officials behind faulty engineering and road designs will not be spared as road accidents are causing a loss of 3 per cent of the GDP of the country every year.

The minister also exuded confidence that the number of accidents will decline sharply on the back of stringent traffic rules post enactment of the new Motor Vehicles Act and massive steps undertaken to curb accidents including correction of “black spots” or accident spots at a cost of Rs 14,000 crore.

More people in India die annually in road accidents than those killed in militant operations or extremism which is unfortunate, the minister said addressing the 18th Meeting of National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and 39th Meeting of Transport Development Council (TDC) here.

“Road accidents cause a loss of 3 per cent to the GDP…I am hopeful that the accidents should decline by 50 per cent in five years on the back of stringent traffic rules after the implementation of Motor Vehicles Act…At the same time officials behind faulty road engineering and DPRs (detailed project report) will not be spared,” the minister said.

He said massive efforts were on to rectify faulty road designs besides correction in accident spots at a cost of Rs 14,000 crore.

He urged state governments to join hands in efforts for curbing accidents.

Gadkari called upon transport ministers from all states to prepare a roadmap in this direction without bothering about expenses.

He said, there is no dearth of resources for infrastructure development in the country and “the need is only for a coherent approach to serve the larger public.”

The minister said that black spots are being identified and repaired at a fast pace. District-level committees have been formed to examine and suggest such spots which need immediate attention, he added.

He stressed on including NGOs and engineering students in conducting road audits.

“Work on improving road engineering will be undertaken with available resources worth Rs 14,000 crore,” he said.

Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways V K Singh said road discipline should begin from family, school, and society level.

Transport ministers and senior officials from various states participated in the meeting and discussed different road safety aspects, including the MV (Amendment) Act 2019; tourist vehicles authorisation and permit rules 2019; bus port guidelines; digitisation of transport and abolition of border check posts and inter-state transfer of vehicle registration and driving licenses among others.

The issues regarding harmonisation of road tax across States One Nation One Tax; vehicle scrapping policy; guidelines for setting up, authorisation and operation of vehicle scrapping facility and implementation of vehicle tracking platform under Nirbhaya framework were also discussed.