The reforms that the Bill sets to introduce have far reaching ramifications for the common man. Among the changes the Bill proposes, one is about the design of roads. A common set of standards for paving of roads is mooted. Any contractor or consultant who is entrusted with the laying of roads will have to follow norms mandated by the proposed law. This is vital as many of us have been victims of bad roads. Presently, we have contractors cutting corners and giving us sub-standard roads. They got away with it by being hand in glove with local authorities. When standardisation is mandated, we will have better roads and that would lead to in better driving experience. It is also reported that the Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has blamed the ''corrupt RTO association lobby'' for stalling the Bill. It is surprising that he has not taken steps to dismantle this lobby.
As a country, we might be aspiring to be among the most progressive in the world, but our roads still belong to the dark ages. On an average, 17 lives are lost every hour in India due to road accidents and many of these can be attributed to the dismal quality of our roads. When a piece of legislation has been drawn up and passed by one house of Parliament, why the other house has not taken it up begs an explanation.
Will those in power wake up and ensure that this important piece of legislation is cleared without further delay?
K V Premraj
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