Mangaluru: Getting a driving license in India is most easiest in the world, said Minister of Road Transport and Highways-Government of India, Nitin Gadkari, while speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a meeting that was held at Hotel Gateway here, on 15 December.
“In our country, every year we have 5 lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths related to roads. There are a lot of problems that cause this, the main problem being driving licenses. It is the easiest thing in the world to get a driving license in India. We have 30 percent bogus licenses. So we are going to form new driving centres where a computer will take the driving test and certify it,” said Gadkari.
Explaining his plans to reduce accidents in the country, he said that the license issuing system needs to be improved first. “Secondly, we need to improve the road engineering. We are identifying accident prone spots and improve these segments. And thirdly, comes the vehicle safety. We have decided to form a Road Safety Authority to work on these three fronts. The proposal has been placed in the cabinet and work will be started when the proposal is passed. We are giving priority to saving lives of the people.”
He also said that any decision on the new Motor Vehicle policy is upto the Parliament. He further said, “Our national highway is 96000 km of road. We have decided to increase it to 1.5 lakh kilometers to diversify traffic. Earlier for 4 lane roads, the minimum PCU limit was 15,000. We have decided that roads can be converted to a 4 lane if the limit is 10,000 PCU.”
New express highways have also been planned by the ministry. The work for the express highway bypassing Delhi has been started. The project has been undertaken at a cost of Rs 13000 crores. Similar express highways are being worked on for Mumbai-Pune, Hyderabad-Bengaluru, Bengaluru-Chennai, Amravati-Bengaluru and Delhi to Srinagar.
Six tunnels and 10 bridges for the Shiradi Ghat road at a cost of Rs 12000 crores has been proposed. Currently, the DPR is being worked on and the project is slated to begin before December 2016. He also assured to solve majority of problems concerning the roads connecting Mangaluru.
Speaking on the battery operated buses for Delhi, he said that on 21st December, the 1st fully Indian made electric bus will be donated to Parliament. “Our policy is to have all automobile companies give priority to make vehicles that run on ethanol, bio-diesel, CNG and electric power. This is an import substitute, cost-effective and at the same time pollution-free,” he added.
He declined to comment on the odd-even policy of the Delhi government.
When asked about the RTO Department’s reputation for being one of the most corrupt departments in the country, he replied, “By making new laws, we will solve the problem. We will make the system corruption free, transparent and we will use maximum e-governance for that.”