New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday announced formation of an empowered group of state transport ministers (GoM) to advise on making the country’s transport sector modern and efficient.
“As many state road transport corporations are incurring losses, the problem has to be addressed with an integrated approach to the transport sector across the country,” Gadkari said at the 16th meeting of the National Road Safety Council and 37th meeting of the Transport Development Council here.
The GoM will be headed by Rajasthan PWD and Transport Minister Yunus Khan.
“The centre does not want to encroach upon rights of states; it rather wants that revenues of states should increase,” Gadkari said.
Stressing on the need to improve road safety, the minister said 720 black spots were identified on national highways across the country and Rs.11,000 crore have been allotted to take remedial steps for preventing road accidents.
“As five lakh accidents occur with 1.5 lakh casualties across the country every year, our target is to reduce mishaps 50 percent over the next five years,” he noted.
To ease traffic jams and check accidents, Gadkari advocated a road traffic control system on the lines of air traffic control and river traffic control, with satellite-based navigation technology.
The national highways will also be strengthened by increasing their length to two lakh kilometres) from 96,000 km, besides providing access controlled express ways across metros and cities in the country.
Promoting use of eco-friendly fuels such as electricity, ethanol, bio-CNG and bio-diesel, the minister said as Euro-VI emission norms would be mandatory from April 1, 2020, every stakeholder should prepare for the transition.
“We are soon introducing e-tolling at all toll places across the country to ensure vehicles don’t have to halt at toll plazas for entry payment,” Gadkari added.