Friday , 19 July 2019

Strengthening Systems, Sensitising States and Setting up Training Schools

I want to make a difference: C P Joshi

The traffic scene in the country is exploding with too many foreign companies wanting to make their presence felt here. Yet, as the technology needs to be customised to suit the Indian conditions, have you put in place a proper set of rules and regulations for manufacturing?

As far as motor vehicles are concerned, the standards of various parts/components as well as processes have been notified under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989. These standards are upgraded from time to time in line with ECE regulations. As per rule 126 of the CMVR, every manufacturer or importer has to submit the prototype of the vehicle to be manufactured or imported for test by any of the testing agencies notified by the Government for granting a certificate by that agency as to the compliance of the provisions of rules. Thus, a foreign vehicle manufacturer shall have to manufacture the vehicle as per the rules and regulations applicable in India.

India tops in road accidents in the world. In this Decade of Road Safety, are you planning to take some measures towards this?

The main thrust of accident prevention and control the world over has been on four Es, viz. (i) Education, (ii) Enforcement, (iii) Engineering and (iv) Environment, and Emergency care of road accident victims. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, while formulating and implementing road safety, is giving due emphasis on these 4 Es of road safety. In the recently concluded meeting of the National Road Safety Council, it has been decided to set up separate working groups on each of the four Es to lay out the macro and micro dimensions with potential solutions to road safety and to suggest short term and long term measures to curb road accidents in the country. We have already notified the constitution of five separate working groups headed by eminent experts with members from different sections of the society across the country. All these working groups have already commenced working on their respective subjects.

Despite so many system integrators, infrastructure companies and expertise in the country, traffic situation seems to be in a chaos in nearly every state. Where did we, as a nation, go wrong?

It is true that there has been enormous increase in the number of vehicles in the country in the last few years. This has led to traffic congestion, pollution and other related problems. The Government of India has been sensitising the State Governments from time to time to take appropriate measures to discipline the traffic on roads, and has also been providing financial assistance to the state governments to strengthen the public transport system by using the latest technologies to regulate and control the traffic scenario.

The transport and traffic staff (of the government) feels the government listens to the manufacturers’ lobby while framing policies instead of asking them, i.e. the people associated with ground realities, what the requirements are. They are also annoyed with the Sunder Committee recommendations as they find its recommendations unrealistic. Your comment please.

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is the principal legislation to regulate motor vehicles in the country. The Government is, therefore, aware that the comments/views of all the stakeholders must be taken on Board before taking any decision to amend the Act. Since Road Transport is in the concurrent List of the Constitution, the recommendations of Sunder Committee have been forwarded to all the States for their considered opinion on various recommendations. Before taking the final decision, the Central Government would definitely take into account the concerns of all the stakeholders including staff of Transport Departments of the States / UTs.

Once the National and State Registers are in place, data would be available on the portal with secured access. This would enable the authorities to provide a number of online services to the public as well as to verify the genuineness of driving licences, payment of taxes, etc. Other stakeholders such as security agencies and insurance companies will also benefit from such electronic database.

It is extremely essential to have traffic and transport courses in colleges and universities. Are you planning to do something about it?

It is a very good suggestion and to begin with, workshops/seminars on traffic management can be organised in schools and colleges as part of the awareness programme.

What are your focus areas? What targets have you set yourself in these areas?

My focus areas in road transport sector are:-