Road Ministry to continue with its digitization push despite resistance from states -Sanjay Mitra, MoRTH secretary

The Ministry of road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) will continue its digitalization push including establishing automation of vehicle fitness centres across the country and digitalization of its records despite heavy resistance from state transport authorities in the country.

“we are getting heavy resistance from State transport authorities against automation of vehicle fitness centres which are all set to be opened during current year 2017 in various states including Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. The focus of Road ministry this year is towards road safety and digitalization” said Mr Sanjay Mitra, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways while inaugurating a day long seminar on ‘Pursuing 4Es for Road Safety – in the Mission Mode’ organised by the International Road Federation, a global body working for better and safer roads world wide.

“Even recent increase fee of driving license, driving test and fitness is being opposed by various organisations and states . The fee has been increased for the first time after 1989 and this is the reason that there is a huge gap between the old fee and the new fee. A learning licence that was earlier issued with a fee of Rs 30 has been increased to Rs 150 with an extra charge of driving test fee of Rs 50” he said .

“As part of making roads safer in the country the Road ministry has released a fund of Rs 500 crore to rectify engineering faults on national highways . Around 800 black spots have already been identified across the country. Similarly 10 per cent of central road funds about Rs 800 crore will be spent on road safety by the state governments “ he added.

“The road ministry has also sanctioned installing of crash barriers and parapets in hill areas particularly Char Dham yatra route in Uttarakhand to curb accidents and make hill rods safer “ Road secretary said.

“The Ministry of road should focus on building engineering safe roads rather than more roads as rectifying faulty designed roads with black spots is more expensive than building safe roads. Similarly the stress should also be on safe vehicles with safety as higher visibility features including ABS brakes, reflective tapes on commercial vehicles and mandatory fog lamps on all vehicles ” said Mr K K Kapila, Chairman International Road Federation (IRF) speaking on the occasion .

The subjects that were discussed at the seminar to reduce road accidents in capital and rest of country included safe urban ,rural and hill roads, trauma care management ,emergency care, role of traffic management through Intelligent Transport System ,vehicle inspection and retrofitting and road safety education in current curriculum in schools .

The speakers at the seminar included Mr. Anand Kumar, IAS, Managing Director – NHIDCL, Mr. Ratan Watal, Advisor, Niti Aayog, Mr. Abhay Damle, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways Dr. Tanu Jain, ADG, Directorate of Health Services, MoH&FW, Dr. Subodh Kumar, Professor Dept. of Surgical Disciplines, AIIMS, Mr. Sanjay Beniwal, Spl. Commissioner – Operations , Delhi Police, Mrs. Punya Salila Srivastava, Secretary, Director of Education Delhi and Mr. Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, IAS, Chairman, CBSE