Road safety govt.'s utmost priority: Gadkari

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

By Anshul Rana Washington D.C. (United States), July 12 (ANI): Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is on a week-long visit to the United States with the aim to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the infrastructure sector, on Tuesday said road safety is the government's utmost priority, adding that the Road Safety Bill is at the final stage. Speaking to ANI, Gadkari said every year many people die in road accidents and that is one of the reasons why they have already taken up the issue with U.S. Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Road safety is the highest priority for our government because every year five lakhs accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths take place. That is one of the reasons we discussed these issues at a length with Transport Secretary Foxx when he came to India last year. Our Road Safety Bill is already in the final stage," he said. Gadkari pointed out that India is critically facing the problem of road accidents. "We have 96,000 km of road length as national highway and 40 percent of our national traffic is on just two percent of this road - one of the reasons of accidents on the national highway," he added. He further said that the government is soon going to implement an Intelligent Traffic Management System in India. "Regarding the rules and regulations of the road sector in India; India is a federal system. The state governments are equally responsible for that. So, making unanimity on this subject is a big task. So, I have decided to appoint a committee under the leadership of Younus Khan, who was transport minister of Rajasthan," he added. Talking about the Road Safety Bill, Gadkari said the agenda of the bill was prepared by considering the rules and regulations in the U.S. Canada and Singapore. "A group of state ministers also discussed the issue. Finally, they recommend me the draft. On that basis we prepared the bill," he added. Expressing confidence, Gadkari said the government will be successful in passing the Road Safety Bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament. "I am expecting that with the cooperation of all the parties, we will succeed to pass this bill in the Parliament," he added. He said he has discussed all the problems related to road safety with the U.S.A Transport Secretary. "There was interactions with different secretaries belonging to different transports, particularly the road sector, inland waterways, aviation. The good thing is they are ready to cooperate with us. In India, we are going to plan it in detail and we are going to take cooperation from the U.S. Government in the road safety issue," he added. Reports state that Gadkari would be looking to deepen the scope of the Indo- US cooperation in innovative technologies, including improvement of highway development, road engineering, road safety and development of green fuels in the automobile sector and electric vehicles. During his week-long visit, Gadkari is scheduled to visit Washington and Los Angeles, with in between stops in New York, St Louis and San Francisco. (ANI)