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Monday , 22 July 2024

No Speed Limits

You want to make the highways green and user friendly

Bridge-systemGreening of highways is being initiated under Green Highway project. Plantation and transplantation are already being carried out for 1500km which may go up to 3500-4000km. At the same time, we are not just planting trees but are also involved in beautification of Delhi and the Eastern & Western bypass. A coastal road with abundance of natural scenic spots on the route to Goa from Mumbai – Sagari Mahamarg – similar to the west coast highway in the US is also on the cards.

When it comes to providing highway amenities, 1300 sites have been identified and tenders are released for 70 sites. There will be helipads, restaurants, hotels, provision for stalls to promote local cuisine/food, fuel stations, washrooms, preliminary medical facilities, some arrangements for entertainment and ample space for parking.

When you are talking about highways, you are thinking global

The BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) Motor Vehicles Act has already been signed and Asian Development Bank has sanctioned the loan for some projects. The agreement would promote safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the region and the BBIN countries would be benefited by cross-border movement of passengers and goods. We are now going up to Myanmar and through Myanmar to Thailand. The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, which is expected to become operational by 2018, could bring about a sea change in international connectivity.

Coming to the road safety, black spots, vehicle worthiness, driver training…

Nitin-Gadkari-with-managala-chandranWe have already identified 720 black spots on national highways and `11000Cr would be spent on the improvement work. In new roadconstruction, we would be very cautious and very sensitive about black spots and would be improving the road engineering system also. During the tender process, we will select only the best technology in the world. Our department has taken a decision that in the road construction cost, one percent of cost of construction will be for plantation, transplantation and beautification. And one percent will be for road safety measures like surveillance cameras, signal systems and road marking. And all these come to Rs5000Cr.

We have also taken a move to reserve 10% of central reserve fund for safety.

Slowly, we are moving from building highways to better highway corridor management and providing experience to commuters. We are also moving on to technology for improving efficiencies, reducing hassles to the users and by bring in transparency.

We are giving Rs9000Cr every year to the state governments under the Central Roads Fund for removing accidentprone black spots. So naturally we are giving priority to road safety.

The new Transport Bill proposes hefty penalties for drunken driving, over speeding and not wearing seat belts. The bill will help make Indian roads safer and bring in transparency in the transport sector.

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