A meeting of Transport Ministers of States and Union Territories (UTs) was chaired by Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi today. The meeting saw participation from Ministers for Transport from 15 States and Union Territories (UTs) including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Punjab, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Secretary (RT&H), Senior Officers from Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), NHAI and Principal Secretary/ Secretary (Transport) & Transport Commissioners from all States and UTs also attended the meeting.
Shri Nitin Gadkari discussed in detail the various initiatives taken by MoRTH and requested active support from the State and UT authorities for their effective implementation.
Ministers of Transport from State and Union Territories supported and appreciated the initiatives taken by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. They also spoke about various initiatives taken by the States/ UTs authorities and provided their suggestions and inputs for further strengthening the policies and strategies for transformation of road transport sector.
The objective of the meeting was to discuss a range of road transportation related issues including Review of Speed Limits, Vehicle Fitness Testing Infrastructure, Financing of Electric Buses & Automation of Learner’s License, and find new & innovative solutions through mutual cooperation and consultation.
Secretary (MoRTH) Smt. Alka Upadhyaya highlighted the various initiatives taken by MoRTH for the development of future ready road transport in the Country. Shri Mahmood Ahmed – Additional Secretary (MVL), Shri Paresh Goel – Director (Transport), Shri Piyush Jain – Director (MVL) and Mr. Mohammad Athar – Partner, PwC gave the presentations on Review of Speed Limits, Vehicle Fitness Testing Infrastructure, Automation of Learner’s License and Financing of Electric Buses respectively.
Considering the improvement in road technology and advancement in vehicle engineering, MoRTH had constituted a Committee to review the speed limits for various motor vehicles and road stretches in the Country. The recommendations of the Committee were discussed in detail and comments/ suggestions were invited from stakeholders.
In the meeting discussions were held on the status on implementation of Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernization Program (VVMP) across States, specifically on the development of ATS infrastructure critical for the implementation of mandatory automated fitness testing regime and the support required for the success.
An important point of discussion was related to strengthening the procedure for issuance of learner’s license. It was suggested to provide greater emphasis on driver education to create awareness about road traffic rules and responsible driving behaviour. Discussions were held on having online tutorials on road safety as a prerequisite for learner’s license, and States/UTs were encouraged to implement such tutorials expeditiously.
It was informed that the Government of India has launched many initiatives for the adoption of electric buses as a measure to reduce emissions in the transport sector. Discussions were held on the need to explore new business models for reducing the financial risks of the Bus Operator/ OEMs and to improve the private participation in adoption of the electric buses. The discussions also covered the need to develop innovative financing mechanism for the procurement and operations of electric buses.