Suraj wrote:What is the point of that argument ? When we had bad roads, we had high accident rates. With much better quality roads now than we did 10-15 years ago, we still have high accident rates. Logically, that indicates that driver sense is not linked to state of road. If you're appealing to emotion, i.e. "It won't matter to the dead or family", maybe not, but that's a different discussion within the realm of legal and not road infrastructure discussion, which is the topic of this thread.
We are a federal republic. So there's an important distinction to be aware of here. We have a union ministry for road construction. But driver licensing falls within the purview of states, who run their own RTOs. So does law and order, which includes traffic policing (we do not have a federal highway traffic police). We have a system in place, with certain entities responsible for certain things. Improving driver culture, though effective implementation of testing and licencing, is a state-level task. It is not within the purview of Mr.Gadkari's work. He's doing what he has been empowered to do, extremely well.
Just putting out a thought that I have in mind. Readers with access to ears in corridors of power may make the word reach there. The idea is about creation of a separate Special Traffic Police Unit under Central Govt. Control with jurisdiction in NHAIs all over the country. A few details are as follows:
India has approx. 50,000 kms of highways under NHAI. Centre under Transport Ministry should institute a specially trained Traffic Police Unit wholly under it's control with working as follows. The calculation of Budget for 5 years is as follows:
> Out of 50,000 kms let's leave out 10,000 kms as low traffic > leaves 40,000 kms.
> Out of 24 hours in 2 shifts of different Drivers/Policemen the vehicle will be driven for approx. 12 hours at the avg. speed of 40 km/h > 480 kms ~ 500 kms one way/ 2 shifts = 125 kms both ways ~ 100 kms approx. distance for each vehicle one side twice a day.
> 40000 kms/ 100 kms = 400 vehicle units
required all over the country to comb 40,000 kms all over the country twice a day.
> Capital Costs:
a >> Vehicles : 400 x Rs. 10,00,000 mid range SUV = Rs. 4,00,00,00,000 = Rs. 400 crores.
b >> Equipment like Dash Cams, GPS systems, Reporting Systems, Emergency Response / vehicle : 400 x Rs. 50,000 = Rs. 2 crores.
c >> 5 Central Zone & Reporting Offices with GPS tracking, Admin etc. : 5 x Rs. 10 crores = Rs. 50 crores.
> Annual Running Costs:
d >> Salaries : 4 policemen / vehicle in 2 shifts with 2 in each shift : 4 x Rs. 30,000/month x 12 months x 400 : Rs. 57.6 crores. Admin Salary costs per Central Zone : 5 x 50 people average per zone x Rs. 25,000 average salary x 12 months : Rs. 7.5 crores
e >> Diesel : 500 kms / day with mileage of 15 km/L x Rs. 60/ Ltr x 365 days x 400 units : Rs. 29.2 crores
f >> Maintenance of Vehicles : Rs. 20 crores annually approx.
g >> Maintenance of Equipment : Rs. 5 crores annually approx.
Cost for 5 years : a + b + c + 5*(d + e +f + g) : 400 + 2 + 50 + 5*(65.1 + 29.2 + + 20 + 5) = Rs. 1048.5 crores for 5 years.This whole thing will cost us approx. 200-250 crores / annum annualised for the next 5 years.
Most of the accidents that happen in India are due to human error. Most of the reasons are :
> Driving on Wrong side of the Lane.
> Overloading. Riding in trucks etc. Like the accident in Pune recently.
> Slower vehicles like trucks/tractors driving on the right lane. Cars overtake zig zag from left & usually are part of accidents.
> Rash driving by cars/ buses etc.
> Not following lane discipline.
> Parking on roads, especially by trucks/trailers etc.
> Not using enough reflectors/ proper lights by slow moving vehicles.
I myself have had many near death experiences due to many of the factors above & countless people die/get injured daily all over the country.
The job of this Task Force Police would be to force discipline on NHs by warning/ challaning offenders of Road Rules. People do not fear Law but they fear Rule of Law. If anybody has been to Chandigarh they can witness how disciplined the traffic in Chandigarh is as compared to any other Indian city because of the tight fist of the Traffic Police. Even in Ahmedabad I saw bikers jumping Red Lights in front of the Traffic Policeman standing & watching there like a wimp. For a college boy 1st time our of Chandigarh to another major India city this was a shock. In Chandigarh I myself have been challaned for jumping on Yellow Light leave alone a Red light. Subsequently, the accidents are also low here. Same thing needs to be done on our NHs as well. These Patrol Vehicles patrolling 100 kms a day need to find offenders & punish them hard with challans. Because of Centralized National Database of this Police Force, repeat offenders will be forced to give up their Driving Privileges. Dashcams & Mic Technology linked to Central ZOne will eliminate or drastically decrease the bribe culture as well. Plus a decent earning of Rs. 5,000 per vehicle (easily doable on our NHs) per day from Challans will result in approx. Rs. 75 crores income per annum which can easily support 40% of the expenses of this project annually.