Union Minister for Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that more people have died in road accidents than in all the wars India has fought.
In an interview to a leading news channel, Gadkari said the traffic system in the country needs an overhaul because over the years the volume of vehicles has increased and the road infrastructure has not expanded as much as needed.
“We have increased the road infrastructure to two lakh kilometers,” he said at the Diageo Road Safety Conclave.
Gadkari revealed that 30 per cent of the driving licences in India were bogus. “It is embarrassing for me to state this as a Minister.”
The minister also said the current Motor Vehicle Act was outdated and the government was “pushing for amendments” that would be discussed in a cabinet meeting on January 27.
“We are pushing for intelligent traffic system which will enable us to immediately track, real-time, when there is a traffic violation. I need to take it to the cabinet and then to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Gadkari said the government was trying to decongest Delhi’s roads by building a road network around the city covering Rajasthan and Punjab that will ensure a lot of the vehicles travelling on inter-state routes do not have to enter the city.
He also said that penalties for not following the traffic rules was likely to have a positive impact because people would hesitate to violate rules “if the penalty is hefty”.
“Without penalties, it is tough to get people to take road safety norms seriously,” he said.
Gadkari said the government aimed “to modernise and computerise our systems with the latest technology” that would let people get “automatically informed about their violations and the fines to be paid, digitally, reducing interface with officials.”
“This will also help end corruption.”