Nitrogen filled tyres may prevent such accidents, the government believes

New Delhi: The government is considering making it mandatory for manufacturers to mix silicon with rubber to improve quality of tyres and use of nitrogen in them to help prevent road accidents, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Replying to a supplementary question during the Question Hour, the minister termed today’s road accident on the Noida-Agra highway as unfortunate and said the Uttar Pradesh government has already set up a committee to look into reasons behind the accident.

The Yamuna Expressway was built by the Uttar Pradesh government and the said highway has no link with the central government. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is mandated with the task of constructing and maintaining National Highways in the country and the Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway is not a National Highway constructed and managed by NHAI or this ministry, Gadkari said.

The central government will ask the Uttar Pradesh government to implement the committee recommendations and take strict action against those responsible for the accident and the deaths of people.

Gadkari said the cement concrete highway led to 133 deaths in 2016, 146 in 2017 and 11 in 2018. “We are considering making it mandatory for tyre manufacturers to mix silicon with rubber in tyres and fill them with nitrogen instead of normal air,” the minister told the House.

As per international standards, silicon is mixed with rubber and nitrogen is filled in tyres to reduce the chances of tyre bursting due to excessive heat.

Gadkari said the central government has prepared a Rs 14,000 crore plan for preventing road accidents that could help save precious lives. He informed that road accidents have declined in Tamil Nadu while Uttar Pradesh tops the list.

The minister also favoured technological advancement in automobiles for preventing road accidents. He said a bill on road safety is pending before Parliament for the last year and urged members to pass the same soon. He informed the House that there were 30 per cent bogus licences in the country for which a bill on road safety is required to be passed soon.

The minister said that there was a shortage of 25 lakh trained drivers in the country and the government is setting up training institutes.

With regard to road safety, the National Road Safety Policy outlines various policy measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information database, encouraging safer road infrastructure including the application of intelligent transport, enforcement of safety laws, Gadkari said.

“The Ministry has formulated a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles), Enforcement and Emergency care. Further, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has constituted a District Road Safety Committee in each district of the country to promote awareness amongst road users under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from the district,” the minister said in his written reply.

Gadkari also listed a number of measures to prevent accidents and improve the condition of roads.