Group of Ministers on transport to meet on 12-13 June

The committee will look at improving mechanism for helping accident victims and trauma care facilities


A file photo of transport minister Nitin Gadkari who formed the Group of Ministers in April to find solutions to the various problems plaguing the road transport sector. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
A file photo of transport minister Nitin Gadkari who formed the Group of Ministers in April to find solutions to the various problems plaguing the road transport sector. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by the transport ministry to suggest reforms on road transport sector will hold their final meeting on 12-13 June at Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) to finalize their report.

The committee, headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yunus Khan and comprising state transport ministers, will look at major issues like higher compensation in cases of hit-and-run cases, improving mechanism for helping accident victims and trauma care facilities along with concerns on facilitating barrier free movement of freight transport and review of contract carriage permit system.

Apart from it, the committee would also deliberate on issues related to taxis like liberalizing intra-city taxi permit system and review of taxis and other automobile aggregation policy.

“After this session, a final report would be presented before the transport minister Nitin Gadkari and based on these recommendations ministry would initiate amendments in the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act,” said a road ministry official on condition of anonymity, adding that the committee will also suggest ways to strengthen public transport system and low-cost last mile connectivity solutions.

The GoM was formed by transport minister Nitin Gadkari in April to find solutions to the various problems plaguing the road transport sector in the country and to improve road safety and facilitate ease of transport in India. The committee have already submitted two interim reports to the road ministry.

The interim reports suggest various amendments in traffic laws and rules such as inclusion of Good Samaritan guidelines under MV Act, allowing license after 16 years for gearless scooters below 100cc and doing away with dress code for the truck drivers.

The GoM also suggested creation of National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, especially keeping in mind deteriorating road safety in the country. In 2015, the road fatalities have increased steadily and stands provisionally at 146,000 deaths.

The committee also suggests that Indian transport sector still has archaic rules and practices that need urgent reforms to support the high growth rates of Indian economy. These include stricter penalties for violations of MV Act provisions and double penalties for those entrusted with enforcement of laws. Another recommendation is to give powers to the state to fix the fees and charges for administering the provision of MV act.

The GoM also recommended that all powered vehicles whether electric or mechanical, should be included in the definition of motor vehicles. (So as to include e-scooters and any other powered vehicle)

With these suggestions, the road ministry plans to introduce the new Road Transport and Safety bill to strengthen road safety in India and improve ease of transport across the country. Under the proposed law, the transport ministry also wants to make optimal use of technology to cut down delays.

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