Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, said that the government is looking to increase the speed limit on highways in India as the road infrastructure in India improves. Gadkari believes that the current speed limits on highways are 'conservative' and with the state of highways improving and new ones coming up, the speed limits could be increased. In a recent release, the government said that road accidents in the first half of 2017 have dropped by 3 per cent and the fatalities have dropped by 4.75 per cent for the period of January 2017 to July 2017.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been working on various multi-pronged road safety programs and initiatives which include awareness, education and road engineering measures as well. For example, the ministry has identified 789 high-risk black spots on highways and roads across the country. Of these, the government has already rectified close to 140 such spots and work is going on 283 of them.
On a separate note, Nitin Gadkari also made a plea to the Indian auto industry to enter the waterways and public transport sector for bettering transport facilities along with exploring alternative fuels such as biofuels, Ethanol, Methanol etc. Talking about diesel as a fuel, he said that the days of diesel are close to getting over. Diesel as a fuel has no long term future and has to go.
In the end, Gadkari implored the Indian Auto Industry to have an integrated approach for development for the entire industry with respect to the disruption that is going on in the industry sector.