Prague [Czech Republic], October 2 (ANI): Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that India has the second largest road network in the world. He also stated that India is the third largest automobile manufacturing hub in the world.
While addressing the 27th World Road Congress in Prague, Gadkari called accidents a big challenge for India.
"We are the second largest road network in the world and now at the same time, we are the third largest automobile manufacturing hub in the world. These are the two strength. But at the same time, we are facing highest number of accidents and that is to be a big challenge for the country," Gadkari said.
Speaking about the steps taken by government to tackle the challenge, Nitin Gadkari said that India has taken a lot of decision related with automobile engineering, road engineering, emergency, education, and enforcement.
"We have taken a lot of decision related with the automobile engineering, road engineering, emergency, education, and enforcement. We have taken special measures as the law in the parliament for making stern action against the people who are violating the law. But, at the same time, we are not getting reasonable success in it," he said.
Calling human behaviour "important," Gadkari said, "the most important point which I feel that the human behavior is very important. But, we will never continue to change the mindset. And this education of masses and creating awareness in the mind of the people is very important. We have road safety council.""We have already introduced the road safety agenda into the preliminary education system, trying to change the mindset of the small student people children. And at the same time, it is important that we are taking help from educational institutions, universities, social organization to create awareness in the mind of the people," he added.
He stressed that changing the mindset of the people in India is important, adding that India is losing 3 per cent of the GDP due to the accidents. He stated that they have involved celebrities, filmmakers and celibrities to educate the people. Gadkari said that India has decided to reduce the accidents by 50 per cent in 2030.
"We are trying our level best, but still it is a big challenge for the country. Three per cent of the GDP we are losing because of the accidents. And now I feel that already it is a mission for the government and for the people and the society that 2030 we have decided to reduce the road accident by 50 percent. It is a big challenge... A lot of initiative we have taken, and this is to be one of the big problem. But regarding the experience from the lot of good experience and successful stories from here. We will inspire and motivate and we will try our level best to reduce the accident in our country," Gadkari said.
Notably, Nitin Gadkari was received in a traditional 'Maharashtrian way' at Prague airport on Sunday. India's Ambassador to Czech Republic Hemant Kotalwar received Gadkari in Prague.
Earlier in July, Gadkari in the Parliament said that central government has set a provisional target for the construction of about 13,800 kilometre National Highways (NHs) in 2023-24.
Against the set target for the year, 2,250 km has already been constructed till June 2023, he said. Gadkari was asked whether the construction material used for road construction was of better quality than that used earlier.
"Construction materials used for road construction work now is of better strength/quality as compared to those used earlier. A few examples are the soil of higher CBR, bitumen/modified bitumen of higher modulus, high strength concrete, high strength steel, etc," Gadkari said in the written replyin Lok Sabha. (ANI)