New Delhi, Jan 03 (UNI) Confronted with the dubious statistics of over 90,000 people perishing annually in road mishaps, the government today said it would set up a suitably designed inspection and maintenance system throughout the country for rigorous inspection of motor vehicles and to remove the defects before they are allowed to ply on road.
Addressing the National Convention of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) here, Road Transport and Highways Minister T.R. Baalu said the Government was also in the process of creating a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board through an Act of Parliament.
Mr Baalu said the Board would have powers to set safety standards for design, construction and operation of National Highways and to set standard for safety features of motor vehicles.
He said his ministry had already embarked upon a plan to design a model of inspection and maintenance centres.
''The scheme has been included in the Road Transport Department's development plans during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan,'' Mr Baalu added.
The minister said a Working Group had been set up to formulate the rules for The Carriage by Road Act, 2007, which was notified in October last. He hoped that the new Act, once operationalised, would cater to the need of the modern day trade and transport by road and also introduce transparency in the transport system.
''The Act will modernise the systems and procedures of the transportation trade through registration of common carriers and provide scope for apportionment of liability between the common carrier and the consignor,'' he pointed out.
Mr Baalu said the already notified rules for setting up of Accreditation Boards for giving accreditation to bus body builders would come into effect on March 23.
''Once the accreditation system for bus body builders is established, this would be extended to truck body builders also,'' he said, adding that it would bring uniformity in body building.
The Code of Practice for bus body design lays down dimension for floor height, gangway and footsteps for different categories of bus, minimum specifications for seats, seating lay out and illumination, driver's workplace and special provisions for persons with disabilities.
Regarding the menace of overloading, he said it is being proposed in the Motor Vehicles (Amendments) Bill, 2007 that the consignor and the transport company, besides driver or owner of the vehicle, would also be responsible.
He said overloading was mostly done with the knowledge of transport companies. Now, the officials of the Motor Vehicles Department in the states would necessarily have to weigh the vehicles suspected to be overloaded, off-load the excess load, and not allow the overloaded vehicle to move further without payment of fine, he added.
Mr Baalu said the government has recently approved the proposal for establishment of an integrated network of Trauma Centres along the Golden Quadrilateral and North-South and East-West Corridors of the National Highways by upgrading the trauma care facilities in 140 identified state government Hospitals at a cost of Rs.732.75 crores during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period.
He said this would ensure that accident victims on these corridors were provided efficient medical assistance within the shortest possible time, thereby saving precious lives.
UNI SKS YA DS1400