In a bid to make the transport sector modern and efficient, the road transport and highways ministry has formed an empowered committee of state transport ministers headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yunus Khan.
Speaking at the joint meeting of the National Road Safety Council and Transport Development Council on Monday, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said several state road transport corporations are incurring losses and the problem has to be addressed by developing an integrated approach for the transport sector in the country.
Gadkari also asked the state transport undertakings to convert their 17 lakh buses to Euro VI compliant or bio-fuel friendly vehicles as part of implementing stricter emission norms from April 1, 2020, a move aimed at curbing high vehicular pollution. “You (states) have to convert buses to Euro VI norms. There are 17 lakh buses operated by state transport corporations. These have to be upgraded through refurbishing or other means so that they become Euro VI or bio-fuel compliant. These can also be converted into electric buses,” he added.
The conversion of these buses into higher-grade fuel compliant or bio-fuel, electric compliant could help the country save crude import bills to the tune of Rs 8 lakh crore a year.
Emphasizing on the need to improve road safety, he said 720 black spots have been identified on national highways and Rs 11,000 crore have been earmarked to take remedial steps. Presently, about 5 lakh accidents take place in the country in which about 1.5 lakh people die every year. The target is to reduce accidents by 50% in five years.