October 29, 2014 1:30:21 am
The Road Transport and Safety Bill (2014) is likely to be presented in the Winter Session of Parliament, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. He was speaking at the meetings of the National Road Safety and the Transport Development Councils.
“The Bill will be sent to the Cabinet soon. Almost 5 lakh road accidents happen in India annually with over 1.5 lakh deaths. With this Bill, we hope to bring down road accidents by 50 per cent in the next two years,” Gadkari said.
The Bill, an update on the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, proposes heavy penalties such as Rs 5 lakh for faulty manufacturing design or cancellation of licence for rash and negligent driving, and Rs 3 lakh along with a minimum 7-year imprisonment for death of a child in certain circumstances. It also proposes penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment upto one year or both in case of using vehicle in unsafe conditions.
The Bill has provisions for a unified driver licensing system and unified vehicle registration system linked with insurance across the country, in addition to automated testing to eliminate human bias.
Gadkari also said that a National Waterways Scheme, along the lines of National Highways Authority, to govern the waterways will be brought into place by the ministry.
“Additionally, we will enhance road infrastructure with Rs 5 lakh crore worth of investment planned for four-laning of the national highways under the PPP mode. Also, we are working on developing a multi-mode public transport system in addition to promoting environmental-friendly technologies such as ethanol friendly or electricity operated buses. We will request the finance minister to give us concessions …as they will help us cut down on the Rs 6 lakh crore import bill,” he said.
According to Vijay Chibber, secretary (MoRTH), in order to facilitate seamless travel for tourist buses across states and Union Territories, the ministry has also proposed payment of an annual consolidated fee instead of taxes or fees levied by different state governments.
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