The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that seeks to address issues relating to road safety and strengthen public transport, automation, and computerisation.
The same Bill was passed by the Lower House in April 2017. However, that Bill did not get clearance from the upper house and got lapsed with the dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote after a reply by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who said that foreign investment was needed to bring in technology.
He stressed that neither the States nor the Centre has the resources to bring the kind of investments needed for the transformation of the transport sector.
Gadkari said the provisions in the legislation will help bring down accidents. The Bill was passed after amendments moved by the Opposition were negatived.
Gadkari alleged that the length of national highways had stagnated during the UPA regime and the BJP-led government had taken it from 96,000 km to 1,47,000 km.
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The minister said that the road length in the country was nearly 52 lakh km. He noted that although national highways constitute about two per cent of the road length, it handles a large volume of traffic.
Gadkari said if there is an expansion of national highways, there will be ease in traffic movement. “We have mentioned in the manifesto that we will double the road length,” he said.
The minister said that powers of states will not be encroached upon and the Centre had no intention of interfering with their Acts relating to the transport sector. “We will not take their rights,” he said.
(With ANI inputs)