Give priority to entities having Int'l JVs to improve road safety: Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that there is a need to onboard best global practices for road engineering projects by giving priority to entities that have joint ventures with international consultants. Speaking at an event, the minister said that he also used to insist on "swadeshi and Indian" consultants for preparing detailed project reports but feels the need to revisit the same.
India witnesses the highest number of road accidents in the world with around 1.5 lakh fatalities a year, also being the highest in the world and thus, the minister said that road safety needs to be prioritized. "I used to insist on Swadeshi and Indian DPR (Detailed Project Report) makers, but I told our secretary yesterday that for improvements in road engineering, we should give priority to those who have joint ventures with international players so that world's expertise comes with us," Gadkari said.
Concerned authorities have been prioritizing road engineering in India of late, especially after the death of former Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry in a road crash earlier this year.
The minister said that his department has spent ₹40,000 crore to identify 'black spots' on highways and conscious efforts are being made to improve the same. He is also targeting to halve the number of deaths and accidents by 2024.
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He blamed the high growth in motor vehicles and people's attitudes for the dismal record in this aspect. People have no fear or respect for the law, and at the same time, there is an explosion in the number of motor vehicles, he rued. "India's automobile growth is so high… we have 17 crore vehicles. A family of three has seven cars in the home. How will the roads be made (to accommodate so many vehicles)," the minister said.