Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha said that the government is working on the plan to develop India’s road infrastructure at par with the USA by the end of 2024.
Responding to a question in the Upper House, he said it was really unfortunate that nearly 1,50,000 people die in road accidents every year and this figure is higher than the deaths due to Covid-19 or in any war.
He said that expanding road infrastructure is not the only problem but also includes other aspects such as road engineering, automobile engineering and education. He also admitted that India has one of the easiest methods to obtain a driving licence despite all the mandatory provision of the motor driving training institutes and other measures.
Gadkari sought more efforts to create awareness among the public about road safety.
Replying to a question of BJP lawmaker Kirodi Lal Meena, he said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has identified over the ‘black spots’ on the national highways and has empowered Regional Officers (ROs) to immediately rectify the design in the road network.
The Minister also said that ROs have been instructed that if more than two accidents occur at one spot, they will mend the infrastructure of the road. He also asked the Members of the House if they find such spots in their areas, they must inform the concerned ROs.
Noting that the faulty road engineering is also responsible for the accidents, Gadkari said that while making a Detailed Project Report, the international standards are incorporated to prevent road accidents.
Replying to a question by Congress Member L. Hanumanthaiah about the number of accidents on National Highways and also about enlarging roads connecting to the National Highways, he said that expansion of the road is not the problem and the government has taken up projects worth over several hundred crores of Rupees.