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Draft Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014

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Enforcement

A draft road transport and safety bill is posted on the MORTH website. Click here to see the draft.  It is a long, long piece of legislation by Indian standards, about 305 pages.  The law also appears to try and cover anything and everything connected to road transport in one, giant, omnibus legislation.

I have read through it very fast once.  THere seems to be an effort to start couple of authorities and one highway patrol force.  The other effort is to centralize and make uniform various aspects such as driver's licenses, vehicle registration, road taxes etc.  For our privatization fans, there appears to be an effort to open up competition in the road transport space. Penalties for offences are dramatically going up. For the cyclists, there is some regulation on safety equipments proposed.

Overall, the law is still a working draft.  There is no mention of what present laws will have to be replaced or what changes will come into place. Legislation is open to comment.  Therefore, this is a good time to influence the bill and have our voice heard.  However, reviewing this bill is a lot of work.  We will need help....  Plunge in folks and start commenting. There is no comment deadline posted.

 

Comments

vvr's picture

Executive Summary of the bill

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For those too lazy to read the entire bill or are too busy flying at 35,000 feet above ground, there is an executive summary:

http://morth.nic.in/write...

Of course, we will have to read the bill in its entirety to see if there is any connection between the stuff in it and the exec summary.

 

s_yajaman's picture

Thanks

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Thanks a lot for posting this.  I will go through some of the parts especially chapters III, IV, V , X and XIII over the next few days.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Sanjeev's picture

Its we citizens should read and ensure that its done properly

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Thanks Sanjay for sharing the info.

We should be read the draft bill and sned inputs  to below maiid and follow up with the to include whcih is correct thing and which have failed in present form due to lack of so any loose ends.

rtsbill2014-morth@nic.in

vvr's picture

Review of the bill

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There is a lot of stuff in this draft. At first glance it looks like a "catch all" for everything to do with road transport, not necessarily just road safety. So, I figured I would take a peel the onion type of approach to wrap my mind around this beast and consequently I plan to make multiple posts to present my understanding of the bill and the possible act.

As we know there are other laws and policies already in place governing road transport and safety. Just to give one example, the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 purportedly covers many of the aspects of road transportation and safety that the 2014 bill/act goes into. This document is available here:

https://olps.punjabtransp...

There is also a 2007 document called "The Report of the Committee on Road Safety and Traffic Management" which includes the 2007 version of the "National Road Safety and Traffic Management Bill". It is unclear what happened to this bill. This document can be seen here:

http://www.infrastructure...

I have not done a thorough search to find other acts/policies/documents that are part of the entire gamut of road transportation and safety. So, it would appear that all these pieces of legislation and policies will get subsumed by this "mega act".

So, I would summarize this latest bill as a "mother of all bills" which incorporates all aspects of road transport and safety into a single document. If enacted, the act could trigger the setting up a "Mother Of All Bureacracies" if not managed carefully.

There are sections of this bill that apparently do not have anything to do with road safety. For example, Chapter VI describes a National Road Transport and Multimodal Coordination Authority  while Chapter VIII prescribes a Public Goods Transport and National Freight Policy which will presumably make interstate commerce easier. So, I see these as elements of the bill that were shoehorned in to meet the Big Chief's "Make in India" mission and to make India globally more competitive. What we see here may be an exemplar of the "business first" posture of the new government.

There is also a recommendation to set up another authority (didn't I say something about MOAB?!) called the Infrastructure and Multimodal Facilitation Authority. I am sure it is clearly differentiated from the National Road Transport and Multimodal Coordination Authority but the devil as they say is in the details. I hope these two authorities don't step on each others toes. I am sure there is a provision for a higher authority to resolve any disputes that may arise between various minor authorities.

So, where is the meat with respect to road safety? Chapter X is devoted to road safery and traffic management and provides for enactment of safety rules. Chapter XIII describes a National Highway Traffic Regulation and Protection Force (thankfully, this is just a Force not an Authority) provides for enforcement of rules and Chapter XIV describes offences and commensurate penalties. I am yet to find out what is new here that we don't already have.

My apologies for getting carried away -- heavily influenced by the 303-page bill, what I intended as a mere preamble to my analysis of the bill took on a flavor of the bill.

VVR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sanjayv's picture

exactly, covers too many aspects

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The first impression formed upon reading this draft bill is that it is multiple bills concatenated into one. There is also an indication of centralization of power which does not bode well for effective implementation as well as buy in from the states. As VVR mentions above, there are several authorities and forces being set up by the bill. The report of the committee on road safety in 2009 timeframe -see link provided by VVR above, has strongly influenced the draft and is prerequisite reading to understand things better.

So there is talk of seeing up a Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority. According to the aforementioned 2009 report, there are similar agencies in US, UK, Sweden, Australia etc. There is also state road safety authorities planned, to be setup and funded by the states! It somehow reminds me of the pollution control boards. We all know how well that setup works.

This vehicle regulation and road safety authority oversees a Unified Driver Licensing System, a Unified Vehicle Registration System, and basically, according to the bill, removes all situations adverse to road safety. The National Road Transport and Multimodal Coordination Authority, both at center and state cover public passenger transport, public goods transport and National Freight Policy. The rest of the bill talks about an Infra and Multi Modal Facilitation Authority, Road Safety & Traffic Management, Insurance, Claims Tribunal etc. As well as a dedicated National Highway Traffic Regulation & Protection Force.

Now with all this, 305 pages appears rather inadequate. Questions that appear really open include how these new agencies will be effective. How will they map and work with each other. What is suitable funding level and how will the be adequately funded? Will this new setup adequately eliminate the corruption and lack of enforcement that lead to the problems faced, at least substantially. What is the existing framework that is being replaced etc.

srinidhi's picture

why helmets for cyclists?

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There are clauses on page 254 (309) about forcing helmets/visibility gear on bicyclists and fines of 1500/-

This is something that is not needed.

They talk ok segregated bike lanes on one side (pg 169) and preach helmets on the other!

Ppl in amsterdam do not wear helmets or any reflective clothing..just because they feel safe on the streets while cycling and thats exactly what we need to target.. and not put any such archaic laws..all just because automoble centric countries have drafted such stupid rules !

What next? they will ask pedestrians to wear high visibility clothing?

sanjayv's picture

Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority of India

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I am going straight into second gear.  The first chapter, which is titled preliminary has only one line which I am not sure of the implication of. All copy paste from the bill draft are italicized.

(2) Declaration as to expediency of control by the Union.
It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take 
road transport under its control.
 
Does anybody understand the implication of this line? Is road trasnport a union, state or joint topic in the constitution?  Does this mean that the state has no rights or options to make rules?
 
Ch 2: Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority of India
 
Section 4: This authority is to be a body corporate with a common seal, perpetual succession, right to buy, sell, lease property, hire people and to sue to be sued etc.
Section 5. It will have one chairperson and 4-8 members, each member with expertise in one of many prescribed areas such as urban planning, civil engineering, motor vehicles, insurance etc. etc. 
 
Section 6-10 are on appointment and emplyement terms and restriction and resignation, removal procedures of the members of this authority. Appointment is by a committe consisting of 3 specifed bureaucrats and a 3 other experts.They are to recommend two candidates to the government which will appoint one of the two.
 
Suggestion:
The removal provision in my opinion is very convoluted.There is a process, followed by an enquiry and hearing followed by termination or not.  In my opinion, these processes are never practical.  Once a person has lost the confidence of the government, even if an enquiry gives the person a clean chit, whatever damage is to be done is done. An alternate process is required which is also fair to the person being terminated to get a chance to be heard, to salvage his or her reputation and get some monetary compensation.  Some due process is required though to also afford the person independence to make tough decisions. Otherwise, the nation suffers in effect.  How can this be changed? Any suggestions?
There is also no spelt out provision for transition periods either due to death, resignation or dismissal.
 
Section 10 deals with restriction of re-employement.  Essentially states that no member of the authority can be employed with some organoization governed by the actions of the authority for a period of two years, unless permission is granted in writing by the government.  What would be the standards based on which the government will make such a distinction? Is two years enough?
 
 
What Does the Authority Do?
Section (12) specifies this: 
 
Objectives and Duties of the National Authority.
1. The National Authority shall have the overall objective of eliminating practices 
that are adverse to transportation safety, road safety and innovation and adoption 
of new technology;
2. The objective of the National Authority shall be reviewed and ratified every five 
years by the parliament.
 
This is followed by a whole list of specifics: The authority is to regulate motor vehicle standards, licensing, registration and also promote new technology, maintain safety standards for roads and traffic control and so on.  The Authority also has a role of serving as an economic regulator as regards new safety technologies.
 
Section (13) describes what regulations the national authority can put out in pursuit of its duties in section (12) which is a fairly exhaustive list of activities:
What is not clear is what will make these standards and regulations enforceable. Who enforces it.  What is the penalty for non compliance.    As a parallel, we also have a host of pollution control laws in existence today, but the implementation of those regulations leaves a lot to be desired.  How will this national authority be different?
 
Section (14) is on proceedings of the antional authority.  Here a new term is introduced of a patron of the national authority.  Who is this patron? I would like to see elimination of this patron from the law.
 
 
Section (15) to (17) are on regulation making.. Only comment is for more transparency in regulation making to be built in.
 
Section (18) to (21) are on duties of the chairperson etc. etc. A glaring lacuna is that there is really no clear role prescribed for the members.  What do they do?
 
State Safety Authority
Section (22) to (29) describes a State Safety Authority and how it is set up.  Much of it is copy paste of how the national authority is setup.  In one place, they forgot to make necessary changes after copy paste. Section 24(2) states that Chairperson of the State Safety Authority will be appointed by the central government.  I think they meant sate government.
 
Section (3) delas with how the state safety authority would function.  Apart from confrming to directions issues from time to time by the national authority, the state safety authority would prepapre and implement a state safety improvement plan which has to be funded by the state government.
Besides that, the state authority can instruct various implementing agnecies of the state on the regulations drawn up by the national authority and the agency is bound to follow the instruction.
This is the only piece of text where I see the rubber hitting the road.  But who will enforce?
 
FUNDING
Ah, now comes another important piece - How is this whole thing funded?
Section (32) mentions a road safety fund.  Does one exist currently?
 
Sources of funds appear to be the following as per the act:
 
National Authority
  • Grants or loans made by the central government to the national authority after due appropriations by parliament, which goes into the road safety fund.
  • A portion of the insurance premiums collected in the country, exact fraction to be specified by the central government.A
  • Any other sources that the central government will specify

State Authority:

 

  • State has to appropriate as per this law
  • Central government may take some money from the national safety fund and give to the state safety improvement plan

Comment: This is the weakest portion of the law.  There is no estimate of the funding requirement.  The state safety authority funding is left to the states.  So you have a funny situation where the center is thrusting a requirement on the states.  But there is no clarity on how the state will fund the state level agency, which it appears has a significant role in taking the intended legislations to the ground level?

In municipalities and in some states panchayats also do road building.  How will these state level actions percolate down? Despite all the noise, local government is once again not discussed here except for some cursory lines.

In summary - a national authority is being setup.  It is not clear how the authority will impact safety in the broad mandate provided to it.  Maybe a good method would be to take a step back and discuss what steps are required to acheive road safety and map it back to this authority.

The functioning of the national authority should have more transparency and efficiency.  Current definition still reads as too long.

A state authority is mandated and dumped on the states

Funding remains a question for the proposed authority

sanjayv's picture

Ch III - Motor Vehicle Regulations

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Sec (38) – The National Authority will specify standards of construction of motor vehicles including cars, two wheelers, trucks, buses, trailers.  This includes dimensions, construction codes, weights, safety equipments, lights, reflectors, towing standards, standards for spares and accessories etc.  This also includes emission and noise levels. There is a mandate, especially among truck and bus body to promote competition in the bus/truck body manufacturing sector.

Section 39-42 deals with enforcing regulations on weight, construction, maintenance, safety equipment etc.

However, it is not clear how the enforcement of these regulations would be done.  It is one thing to specify for example weight limits.  Without enforcement, this remains on paper.  Similarly, there are a lot of unregulated bus and truck body construction operations around the country.  How will this act get them under control.  The organized sector can be relatively easily controlled in this act?

Sections 44-48 introduces a concept of Type Approval Certificates and Certificates of Conformity which are required to sell vehicles in India.

This seems like an interesting move which will work with the regulated sector.  What is important is to ensure clarity, transparency, speed and effectiveness in this process.  This cannot be a greased and bribed process and any regulations or standard should be well worded with reasonable exceptions possible.

Section 49-50 introduces type approval for spare parts (parts fitted in an approved vehicle automatically get type approval), however spare parts manufactured by other manufacturers need to get this. 

Again an interesting move.  It is not clear what this process will regulate? Quality? Some basic parameter.  Who decides? Where is the expertise going to come from?

Section 51 has a regulation on retrofitting of vehicle parts. 

This is the region where it appears harder and harder to regulate. Retrofits are done in all kinds of circumstances.  As an example, what happens if someone fits wider tyres to his or her vehicle?

Sections 52-57 is on the area of vehicle safety.  The National Authority will declare vehicle safety standards. 53 requires operators of goods and passenger transport  vehicles to maintain inspection records. 54 introduces vehicle safety testing. 55-57 is around recall of vehicles, liability and obligations of manufacturers. 

Details are limited here and the intent is good.  How will this be implemented.  There is a hint in some other documents that much of these tasks will be through private sector agencies authorized to, for example, do safety tests.  The idea is good, but transparency and rigor will only work when properly setup.  Those details may only come in the regulations.

Sections 58 and 59 specify fuel efficiency standards (to be set by the authority in consultation with the BEE) and pollution standards (to be set in consultation with the PCB). 

I get nervous about these collaborative actions.

sanjayv's picture

Ch IV - Unified Driver Licensing System

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As I type this, am seriosuly wondering if this is becoming one of those notes to self documents without any readers.  Nevertheless, I shall continue to plough my lonely furrow

This section appears to want to bring into place a "unified" driving license applicable throughout India, all enabled on a software platform, sort of like "Core banking".  So presumably, one can go and apply for a renewal or modification in any suitable office across India and your driving "record" is accessible across India.  Overall, that seems like a good and necessary objective.  So Kudos.  The DL system is also governed by the Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority

Suggestion: I would love for Section 62 to state that a Driver's license is a privilege and not a right.  This should become like a mantra.

Section 63 insists that one person should have only one driver's license. If multiple licenses are found, then all licenses will be invalidated and the person would be treated like a person driving without a license.

Section 65 introduces a requirement for additional training for drivers of transport vehicles and school buses. Does transport mean only good or does it also include public transport?

Under section (66) - Grant of license, I found the following sections to be of interest.

2. Every application for a driving licence shall be in such form and shall be 
accompanied by such fee and such documents as specified by the National 
Authority.
3. Any application that satisfies the requirements under sub-section (2) shall be 
deemed as complete and shall not be subjected to any additional requirements by 
the licensing authority.
4. A person who has applied for a driving licence of any category for the first time 
shall be issued a learner’s licence, for that category of vehicle, which shall be 
valid for a period of nine months, and such learner’s licence shall not be 
renewable.
5. No driving licence shall be issued to any person unless that person has held a 
learner’s licence for a period of nine months and has passed to the satisfaction of 
the competent authority for licensing such tests of competence as may be 
specified by the National Authority and administered by a school or establishment 
recognised under section (70) and section (73)

I call sub section 3, the anti harassment clause, provided details of section 2 are well defined and publicised. Looks like a learners for 9 months is mandatory.  THe requirement for a certificate from a school or establishment is another tricky one.  How to make these schools accountable and not like the current hole in the wall type operations? Section 67(10) has a clause which caught my attention with regard to accountability. It states:

The National Authority shall specify in regulations the manner in which 
complaints of persons, who believe that their test of competence was not held in 
accordance with the regulations made under this Act, may be addressed.
 
Will a complaint mechanism alone make things effective?  I am not confident. We will have everybody denied a certificate of competence complaining,
 
I looked at section 70 and 73 to see what sort of agencies can be established as testing centers/driving schools? The current language is not very satisfactory:
 
(70) Registration of establishments imparting tests of competence.
 
1. Any establishment seeking to impart tests of competence shall register themselves 
with the competent authority for licensing.
. Any establishment seeking to register itself under this section:
(a) will have an automated facility which may comprise of a driving track 
with embedded electronic sensor-based technology and monitored,
including by CCTV, that will provide on-the-spot grading of a candidate’s 
skill and knowledge or as specified by the National Authority; or
(b) will have a facility as specified by the National Authority.
3. The registration shall be in such form and manner as may be specified by the 
National Authority, and will require the names of all persons associated with the 
establishment who will be directly responsible for imparting the tests of 
competence.
4. The fees to be charged by any establishment registered under this section shall be 
in accordance with the fees prescribed by the National Authority under section
(69) sub-section 5(b)
 
(73) Registration of schools or establishments imparting instruction in driving of vehicles.
 
1. Any school or establishment seeking to impart driving education shall register 
themselves with the competent authority for licensing.
2. The registration shall be in such form and manner as may be specified by the 
National Authority, and will require the names of all persons associated with the 
establishment who will be directly responsible for imparting driving education.
 
The other section which was a bit unbelievable was this one - section 71(4)
All licence holders who have obtained their licences before the commencement of 
this Act shall be required to obtain a driving licence under this Act within a period 
of two years from the date of the Unified Driver Licensing System is established. 
 
This means that most of us are going to be scrambling to get new licenses within 2 years of the new system being established!  Is that even feasible?
 
More later.
vvr's picture

This is great!

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Sanjay, please continue the analysis and the commentary. It is very important that we stick with this. Sincere apologies for not jumping in with comments but will do so soon.

You are pointing out many things in the draft that are troublesome. We need to write a collective response and give feedback. There may be limitations to how much we can do on the message board but a small working group can meet for a few hours and discuss the key points to highlight in the feedback. But the preparatory material for such a meeting is your commentary here.

 

s_yajaman's picture

My two cents

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Given that this document is really long and I don't want to print it out to make notes I am posting as I read.

a. I would like to see a vision or end objective for this act.  What are we trying to achieve here? One gets a sense of some objective but it is not stated explicitly.  Unless I missed it.  E.g. Promote the safe and seamless movement of goods and people within population centers (cities and villages) and between population centers.  Promote eco friendly means of transport to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, etc etc.  

The Act should support these objectives.  I think these are listed as principle on page 53, but there is a difference in my opinion

b. Within the principles (on page 53) I would like safety to be accorded the highest priority.  Safety in terms of engineering - vehicle and roads, in terms of education - licensing procedures, safety awareness and enforcement.  I would add the following principles - simplicty in administering the act, simplicity and transparency in procedures.  It should be inclusive and take into account all road users rights including cyclists, children, senior citizens, the disabled.  Adoption of best practices from countries that have a good system in place.  If these are not called out they will not be included by design.

c. Is there any mention on vehicle construction standards?  Crash tests, etc etc?  I did not see this.  On page 31 it says that the National Authority may issue crash testing guidelines, but does not say anything specific

d. Road construction.  I did not see any mention of IRC guidelines to be used.  This is a golden opportunity to bring this in.

e. I also did not read much about trauma care except that a single telephone number will be provided for calling.  Not much help if the back end is not geared up to reach 15-20 minutes and a trauma care facility can be accessed in another 45 mins to an hour.

f. Last but not least, how will this act be disseminated to the general public.  Will everyone have to undergo some sort of test of understanding once it is made law and keep a printout of a certificate???

Will post as i read more.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

vvr's picture

Vision

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Srivathsa,

 

The executive summary slide set referenced in one of the posts above has this high level goal on slide #1:

"Enable the mission of "Make in India"

+ save 200,000 lives over the first 5 years

+ 4% GDP improvement

+ 1 Million new jobs to be created

Over what period the other two metrics will be achieved is not clear.

The sense I get it that these objectives were shoehorned in after the Big Chief came up with the Make in India mission.

 

VVR

 

 

 

sanjayv's picture

Objective of the Bill

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Dear VVR... thanks for your input.  I agree that we have to digest this bill and then get together to hash out an appropriate response.

Srivathsa - you bring out a very good point.  One aspect I find troubling is that road safety appears to have been divorced from road engineering in this bill.  This bill is essentially a replacement for the the Motor Vehicles Act '88 with some modifications; which is an un-necessary compartmentalization possibly.  

You also brought up the topic of the objective of the bill.  This is the objective statement:

An Act to provide a scientifically planned and evolving framework for the safety of all road users in India, including vulnerable road users, and for enabling the seamless development of a secure, efficient, cost-effective, sustainable and inclusive transport system for the movement of passenger and freight in the country as well as matters connected therewith or incidental 
thereto.
To orchestrate the integration of various components that must collaborate to deliver a 
sustainable self-generating socio-economic ecosystem, which facilitates innovation in 
mechanically propelled vehicles, infrastructure that enables and connects, information 
technology platforms that analyse and help in better planning and trained human capital that delivers, is the objective with which the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways formulated this Bill.
 
Like most bills, the tendency in India is to leave details to the regulations (so called rules) and only spell out the broad intent in the law.

I like your approach though... spell out the broad objective and use as a test against the bill provisions,  Carry on... 
sanjayv's picture

CH IV - UNIFIED DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEM -PART II

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Continuing from the previous post...

Funding of the driver licensing scheme:  There are cost involved in the issual of driver's licenses as well as updation and maintenance of records and biometric ID.  There is a lack of clarity on how all this will be funded.  If it is to be self sustainable program, what sort of fees are we talking about.  Who claims the monies accrued through this process - Center or State?  Keep in mind that driver's license is a pathway for many of our youth to make a living.  It is important for the costs to be reasonable (though I suspect that they pour in a lot of money into this anyway, currently).

What is the process for International applicants - non citizens living in India?  ANd how about International Driver's permits.  Is that excluded here?

Schedule I list category  of driver's licenses.  There is one on Mobile machinery, which I found interesting.  We have all these people driving cranes and bull dozers and JCBs on the road.  Looks like there will be regulation.  Does it exist presently?

Also, for agricultural vehicles (Category H) in Sch I, it appears that no tests are necessary.  That does not look right, because tractor trialers are driven all over and agricultural equipment are also driven on the roads.

Section 72 on change of address is too short.  Updated records (and ease of updation) are critical for proper enforcement.

(72) Change of address.
The National Authority shall prescribe the form and manner to be followed in cases of a 
change of address of a licence holder
 
 
I did not like this portion from renewals:
 
(75) 7. A person who seeks renewal of their licence at the age of forty, fifty and 
subsequently at the age of sixty years shall be required to produce a medical 
certificate certifying that the applicant is physically fit to drive.
 
Somebody has to define the physically fit to drive precisely. Otherwise, medical certificates are dime a dozen.... and with some quick checks at the licensing authority. A reading test is not that hard to check vision.
 
I like this provision 78(1)
1. Where a competent authority for licensing refuses to issue any learner’s licence or 
to issue or renew, or revokes, any driving licence, or refuses to add a category of 
motor vehicle to any driving licence, it shall do so by an order communicated to 
the applicant or the holder, as the case may be, giving in detail in writing the 
reasons for such refusal or revocation. 
 
I do not like this provision on licensing for the central government- should be scrapped.
(79) Licence to drive vehicles belonging to the Central Government.
Central Government shall notify the competent authority for licensing to issue 
driving licences to persons not below eighteen years of age to drive motor 
vehicles which are the property or for the time being under the exclusive control 
of the Central Government and are used by the armed forces of India or such 
other organizations as may be notified by Central Government and unconnected 
with any commercial enterprise. 
2. A driving licence issued under this section shall not entitle the holder to drive any 
motor vehicle except a motor vehicle referred to in sub-section (1). 
3. The authority issuing any driving licence under this section shall, at the request of 
any State Government, furnish such information with regard to any person to 
whom a driving licence is issued under this section. 
 
Section 80-84 are on legal provisions which are not something I am fully comfortable commenting on. One piece in section 80 was surprising though
 
80(1) b for the competent authority to deny or revoke a license seems very strange or subjective:
has shown, by previous conduct as driver of a motor vehicle, that the 
persons driving is likely to be attended with a sense of alarm or distress to 
occupants of the vehicle, other road users, and persons and owners of 
property near roads
 
End of comments on this section
sanjayv's picture

Ch V - Unified Vehicle Registration System

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The broad vision for the unified registration system with details to come in other regulations proposed is given in section 85.  The act gives a lot of time for the registration system to come into place once the act is passed.  First the national authority has to be setup and then the regulations have to be drafted and then implementation has about three years allowed. The national registration authority should hypothetically permit a comprehensive, integrated electronic record and easy transfer of vehicles across India.

(85) Unified Vehicle Registration System.

1.The National Authority shall develop the roadmap for the Unified Vehicle Registration System within one year of the date of this Act coming into force and shall implement the said roadmap within three years of this date.

2.The National Authority shall design a Unified Vehicle Registration System in accordance with regulations, such that:

a)it enables the submission of applications for registration from anywhere in the country, either electronically or at the competent authority for vehicle registration in the country;

b)it facilitates the collection of uniform standardised information including information authenticating the identity of the applicant for the vehicle registration, whether through biometric or any other equivalent unique identification technology, identified by the National Authority, and provides for different types of applications for different types of vehicle registration;

c)it facilitates the grant of registration in a transparent, time-bound and efficient manner; and

d)it facilitates the grant of registration in such form and format and containing such information as may be specified by the National Authority.

e)It appropriately integrates various stakeholders including manufacturers, insurance firms, centres of fitness certification, revenue departments of the Central and state governments, enforcement agencies, consumers and motor accident claims tribunal to both provide and share information in order to meet the objectives of this Act.

f)The system shall be developed to ensure that the distribution of revenue to the states and the local government is facilitated in a seamless manner and protects against revenue leakage.

3.Each State Authority in consultation with the National Authority, within two years, shall develop a roadmap to implement a unified vehicle registration system, within one year.

4. The migration to the unified vehicle registration system for all motor vehicles or trailers or semi-trailers or mobile machinery shall take place within three years from the date this Act comes into force.

Suggestion – Section 85-f on distribution of revenue to states and local government in a seamless manner is an important one, which needs to be articulated better.  A good chunk of revenue from vehicles should be invested more at the local level to provide suitable infrastructure.  Centralizing this system should not mean that revenue sharing be dependent on the whims of a central authority.  It is best if the authority prescribes the standards and keeps out of the way.

Also important that the registration system is well funded, staffed and able to keep everything working quickly and up to date such as address change and other details.

State authority seems to have a role in vehicle registration system, but this was not prominently listed in suties of the state authority.  This requirement for all vehicles to re-register in the new system has to be properly implemented.  It should be through while remaining low hassle for law abiding citizens.

(86) Taxation of Motor Vehicles.

1.The Central Government shall develop the principles on which taxes on motor vehicles are to be levied.

2.       The National Authority shall develop an electronic platform and ensure that the collection, distribution and reconciliation of revenue between states, local government is facilitated in a seamless manner.

2.

The details are going to decide how this part works.  Shouldn’t states have some autonomy in fixing taxation rates or is it entirely going to be dictated by the national authority?  I am a fan of some autonomy.  Even though it can mean disparity and confusion, some autonomy makes it easier for states to tailor policy… such as minimizing taxes on public transport or raising taxes on a certain class of vehicles to discourage use.

88(3) A motor vehicle or a trailer or a semi-trailer or a mobile machinery will be registered or given a valid certificate of registration only if such motor vehicle or trailer or semi-trailer or mobile machinery is insured as per the provisions of this Act.

Is this insurance requirement an existing provision now?  Should High Security Plates be used for number plates? Ideally, the number plate should be issued by the agency in a standardized form and not involve any other method being used currently with a variety of plate designs and painted numbers. The other suggestion would be to link the registration to a proof of ownership…a title so to speak, which will force people to be more diligent in recording sales and movement.

 

(89) Registration, where to be made.

Subject to the provisions of section (93), section (94) and section (107), every owner of a motor vehicle or trailer or semi-trailer or mobile machinery shall ensure that the vehicle is registered by the competent registering authority in whose jurisdiction the person is resident or place of business where the vehicle is normally kept.

(90)(3) The application for registration shall be accompanied by such proof of parking space as may be specified by the State Government of the State within which the competent registering authority, being applied to, is located subject to a notification to this effect provided by the appropriate State Government or Municipality or Panchayat

With this unified registration system, it would be good to specify why the requirement of registration in a jurisdiction where ordinarily resident is valid.  There may be good reasons, but should be spelt out.  I also found the provision for parking space as a requirement for registration interesting, though probably hard to implement.

(91) Third party insurance, valid vehicle fitness and manufacturer’s information.

1. No motor vehicle shall be registered or certificate of registration renewed, unless there is in force, in relation to use of the vehicle, a policy of insurance, a valid certificate of fitness and a unique identifier provided by the vehicle manufacturer to the unified vehicle registration system.

 

Fitness certificate is another interesting concept.  This already exists for transport vehicles.  Guidelines for this should be spelt out clearly to avoid harassment, vagueness and ease of appeal.

(92)

4. No person may drive, or cause or permit to be driven, a motor vehicle with a beacon or a motor vehicle with a high decibel horn, other than such persons authorised to do so in the course of duty, in accordance with notifications published by the Central Government in this regard from time to time

 

Horns and crazy flashing lights are a menace.  Defining the allowable type of horn – sound and dB level is important.

 

(97) Change of address.

1. If the registered owner of a motor vehicle or trailer or semi-trailer or mobile machinery ceases to reside at or changes the place of business from the address recorded in the certificate of registration of the vehicle, the owner shall, within ninety days of any such change of address, communicate, either electronically via the internet or otherwise, in such form and accompanied by such documents as may be specified by the National Authority, the owner’s new address, to the competent registering authority within whose jurisdiction the new residence or place of business is located.

2. On receipt of such communication, the competent registering authority may, after making such verification as it may think fit, cause the new address to be entered in the certificate of registration.

Will a new mark of registration be given.  How about inter state transfer? Will taxes be adjusted?  It would be good to separate registration identification from state registration and tax payment.  In fact, the displayed number should be related to tax payment.

(98) Transfer of ownership of vehicle.

Where the ownership of any registered motor vehicle or trailer or semi-trailer or mobile machinery is transferred, the transferee shall, within thirty days of the transfer, and in such manner and with such accompanying documents as may be specified by the National Authority, report the transfer to the competent registering authority within whose jurisdiction the transferee has the residence or place of business where the vehicle is normally kept, as the case may be, so that particulars of the transfer may be entered in the certificate of registration.

 

What happens if the transferee does not report transfer.  Need to define sufficient proof of ownership/title.  Right now, it is all a bit vague. In fact, as part of a sale, with a uniform system, there should be a provision to quickly report a sale such that the seller ha clear assurance on the transaction being recorded.

 

100(5) . Where the colour of the vehicle has been changed or any alteration has been made in a motor vehicle or a trailer or a semi-trailer or mobile machinery or by reason of replacement of its engine or chassis, the owner of the vehicle shall, within fourteen days of the making of the alteration, report and update the alteration in the unified vehicle registration system with the specified fee in order that particulars of registration may be updated.

 

All these provisions are good, however, it is essential to make sure that provisions are enforced to keep the database up to date.  Otherwise, we will once again have a totally messed up system in short order.

 (107) Registration of vehicles belonging to the Central Government.

Once again, special provision for central govt vehicles.  I think this should be removed.

(108) Information regarding stolen and recovered vehicle.

Puts onus on owners, police etc. to keep the registration authority updated on stolen vehicles, to ensure that information on stolen vehicles is up to date in the database.

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Ch VI – National Road Transport and Multimodal Authority

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The bill at this stage proposes to set up another set of authorities - A National Road Transport and Multi-modal coordination Authority at the central level and equivalent state authorities at the state level.

The language is near identical on the nature, structure and slection of members and removal.  Removal process again is fairly long and convoluted as commented earlier. One difference appears to be that the chairperson of the national authority (presumably safety board, though it is all poorly worded/drafted) serves on the selection committee for the road transport authority.  By that is there an implication that this authority is subordinate to the other one?

117 - Objectives of the Authority-"to plan and develop integrated, safe and sustainable transport systems that contribute to an inclusive, prosperous and environmentally responsible India consistent with the purpose and objectives of this Act"

This sounds like a broad mandate, however, one is not clear how this agency will be effective in a local issue such as a city public transport system. It would be good to add more specificity to this mandate.

Some specific examples have been added in 117(2 & 3)

(a) to ensure, in collaboration with other transport bodies and public entities, that the public and goods transport system operates as part of an integrated transport system which seeks to meet the needs of all transport system users;
 
(b) to plan and develop the public transport system in a manner which supports an integrated transport system by-
 
(i) seeking to increase the share of public transport trips;
 
(ii) while seeking to give effect to sub-section (1), also seeking to improve the environmental performance and minimise the adverse environmental impacts of the public transport system;
 
(c) to contribute to social well-being by providing access to livelihood opportunities and supporting social interaction among members of the community;
 
(d) to promote economic prosperity through efficient and reliable movement of public transport users while also supporting freight movement;
 
(e) in collaboration with relevant bodies including the Central Government, the State Governments, State Roads Transport Corporations, public and private transport operators, urban local bodies, the National Authority, state police and state transport departments to improve public transport for public transport users.
 
3. develop transit improvement infrastructure or any transport infrastructure project for the smooth movement of passengers and goods consistent with the objectives of the transport system.
 

Concerns:  These are all high level mandates.  There is no distinction made on national level, state level and local level issues.  While civil society is desirous of higher level of control in local issues, it is important to structure this law to restrict the scope to the right level. 

 

Section 118: Functions of the NRTPM-MCA:

a.     Develop a National Road Transportation Plan: Which has several elements defined in detail which reduces to medium and long range planning.  Public consultation is required for the plan and the plan has to be notified annually -> seems strange for what is called a medium and long range plan?

b. Design and frame schemes for interstate transport of passengers and goods

c. Technical assistance to central govt and other appropriate agencies - state govt, municipality, panchayat etc. on planning and developing public transport infrastructure

d. Protect future options for transport system improvement - including advicing central and state govts on reserving land, for future projects such as infra projects or BRTS or trucking corridors

e. Ensure improvement and asset utitiization of road transport

f. Facilitate multimodal integration, find ways to have PPP

g. Capacity building programmes for geting trained manpower in place

h. Monitor and report on whether passenger service is meeting expectations

i. Develop and implement suitable environmental policies for sustainable transport sector

j. Information dissemination to public in the form of maps, time tables

k.Data collection and research

l.  Function as economic regulator for interstate transport of passengers and their goods by transport vehicles undernational passenger transport permit (several categories are defined: scheduled services, restricted scheduled services, metered services, restricted metered services, chartered services or restricted chartered services;

m. A catch all phrase asking to discharge any other functiopn or duties..

A reaction to the above is once again a feeling of bit of a confusion.  Ideally, bulk of transportation activities happens at the state and local levels.  From a central government perspective, interstate transport, cross country goods movement and an efficient and economical transport infra and capability is important.  Seeing a line which envisages the national authority advicing a municipality or panchayat seems to muddle the picture. SImilarly the section on creating time tables and maps...

The next section goes on to say:

2. In performing the functions conferred on the National Transport Authority, the Authority shall –

(a) engage with stakeholders so as to ensure better outcomes for all Citizens;
(b) conduct research and collect information relating to the performance, function and the operation of the public transport system efficiently address any complaints relating to the performance of the functions of the National Transport Authority; 
(c) efficiently address any complaints relating to the performance of a public transport operator.
 
What is the meaning of engaging with stakeholders?  How will engagement lead to outcomes? Maybe the powers of the Authority will give a clue:
 
1.  National Transport Authority has the power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with, or as incidental to, the achievement of the objects of the National Transport Authority; 
 
2. Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the National TransportAuthority may:
 
(a) conduct or undertake the planning and development of infrastructure required for the smooth movement of passenger and goods vehicles, approval and declaration of various schemes to provide passenger services or other transport services;
 
(b) enter into any agreement or contract to support the provision of passenger services or other transport services in connection with the functions of National Transport Authority;
 
(c) enter into any lease or licence to support the provision of passenger services or other transport services in connection with the functions of the National Transport Authority;
 
(d) acquire, own, build, maintain and operate public transport infrastructure, transit improvement infrastructure and related infrastructure;
 
(e) enter into an agreement relating to the allocation of revenue which is derived from the provision of any passenger services or other transport related services;
 
(f) give indemnities, guarantees, releases and charges, and anything else of a similar nature;
 
(g) exercise the powers conferred on the National Transport Authority by any other Act or any regulations under any other Act or by the Central Government.
 
These powers do not seems to confer much on the authority.  Is it going to plan and implement transport infra and contract to run transport services?  The scope presently seems to be more like a BDA.
 
(121) Proceedinga opf the authoriity: A Patron is introduced here as well as someone who can take attend any meeting and be the chair of such meetings.  THis patron, however, is not well defined.  It is best to eliminate a patron for an independent, professional authority.
 
Road Standards:  Section 123(4a) for the first and possibly only time in this act introduces a technical working group for road standards.
 
State Road Transport Development Authority:  At the state level, section (127) mandates the formation of a state road transport development authority.  Upto section 133 is on the composition, appointment, removal etc. of the members of this authority, lot of this being copy paste.  One jarring note is section 129(2)
 
Section 129 (2) 
The Chairperson of the State Transport Authority shall be appointed by the Central??!!! Government on the recommendations of the Selection Committee under section (129) and shall have the rank of Secretary to the State Government.
 
The state transport authority has a broad objective (section 134) to "plan and develop an integrated, safe and sustainable transport system, that contributes to an inclusive, prosperous and environmentally responsible society consistent with the statement 
of objects and reasons under this Act."
 
Functions are similar to the national authority, such as planning and notifying state transport plans and so on, but restricted to within the state. Looks like the state authority will not have a role in interstate transport schemes.  There are provisions for the state transport authority to enter into licenses, agreements and concessions for transport arrangements within the state.  Would this be a model similar to the Electricity Regulation Commission where the transport companies will hold licenses from the state transport authority?
 
Section 138-144 deal with determination of tarriff and awarding of licenses for public transport services, as well as fleet management and sufficient rest for drivers. 138 - National authority will notify schemes for how tarriff is to be determined. 139 - Discusses schemes for approval of tarriff... interstate transport is governed by the national authority and intra state transport by the state authority.  Looks like govts (state, local) can submit schemes for approval of tarriff.  However, there is a caveat that is not clear - that these approved schemes are not valid once the national or state authority issues schemes for a particular area.  Confusing. 140 -Single Window Permit System.  Appears that revenue is envisaged from this licensing scheme. Section (143) discusses a fleet management policy - to be publicized to the public.  143 and 144 are the only sections dealing with regulation of the fleet.  This aspect needs more detail and checks and balances.
 
One glaring lack fo clarity is funding: How are these authorities to be funded?  There is no discussion on this aspect at all. What will it cost for effective operation of these authorities.  Where will the money for properly running these agencies come from?
 
 
vvr's picture

Sanjay,   I am going through

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Sanjay,

 

I am going through your comments chapter by chapter.

Chapter 1: As you say, the only significant point in the chapter is this statement:

It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take 
road transport under its control
 
This rather innocuous one liner may be significant. I searched through Lists I (The Union list) and II (The State list) of the constitution. The only relevant entries for this subject are:
 
Union Item 23: Highways
State II Item 13: 
  1. Communications, that is to say, roads, bridges, ferries, and other means of communication not specified in List I; municipal tramways, ropewaysinland waterwaysand traffic thereon subject to the provisions of List I and List III with regard to suchwater-ways; vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles.

 

Mechanically propelled vehicles (including motor vehicles) by default falls under List I.

So, essentially, the statement is saying that everything that is stated in the bill will now become a part of List 1. Does this requite a constitutional amendment? Don't know.

This may not be such a bad thing to have a unified set of policies across the country. But then as it says later in the document, the implementation of the provisions of the act will requite state machinery and funding.

Not a big deal but I thought I'd look this up and report.

 

 

 

 

sanjayv's picture

State vs central

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Thanks vvr for looking up the lists.  I don't know the implication of state vs central.  Let us park it for checking with an expert.  At some level, uniformity is important, but some flexibility at the local level is also important.

I have handed over Ch VII and VIII to Murali to read and comment.  So I am going to skip to Ch IX when I pick this work up again.

vvr's picture

IITD's Prof. Geetam Tiwari -- Article on the bill

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Thanks to Sathya for pointing this out.

Motor Vehicles Bill a weak Attempt to Tackle Road Safety

Here is the link:

http://www.deccanherald.c...

He highlights some of the same things that Sanjay and others have expressed a concern about. Examples:

"Similarly, promotion of mass transport systems like Bus Rapid Transit Systems find mention in the bill, but there is no clarity how this can be done at a national level. Can national government formulate mandatory policies and road designs standards for cities and states? Is it desirable? How does one ensure enforcement and monitoring of such laws at a local level?"

"Proposed institutional mechanisms lack permanent experts, overemphasis on driver training will benefit the operators of driver training schools and stricter penalties and the current format of data collection will distort data. Overall, the current bill is a weak attempt to address the issue of traffic safety in totality". 

"The three authorities proposed in the current bill have similar structure and work through expert committees. However, the bill is silent on creating permanent expertise and research groups which can support the working committees. In the absence of permanent expertise, the authorities will continue to function based on “intuitions and common sense” of the committee members. This has proven detrimental to improving safety in the country in the last 60 years."

 

 

 

murali772's picture

Ch VII - the continued revenue oriented outlook

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Rather than what is proposed in Ch 7 of the MoRTH draft, I would still go by what I have put down in my opening post in the blog captioned "Better Bussing for a Greener Bangalore" (accessible here), particularly with its having come in for critical acclaim from a wide section of studied bloggers, as can be readily seen on scrolling through the posts. 
 
Going by the following (excerpted from the draft)
 
(148) Schemes by State Transport Authority - 1. The State Transport Authority shall design and frame schemes for the transportation of passengers and their goods by transport vehicles under the state passenger transport permit for the purposes of scheduled services, restricted scheduled services, metered services, restricted metered services, chartered services or restricted chartered services
 
the proposal again seems to go by revenue considerations, limiting itself to just some nomenclature changes from the existing schemes such as contract carriage, stage carriage, etc. 
 
Government's role in providing services, particularly in the infrastructure areas, was supposedly to make them affordable to the common man. But, when it finds itself limited in capacity to meet the burgeoning demand, it needs to accept realities and facilitate entry of capable private players, through incentivising them, so that they in turn can retain the fares at affordable levels, even while making profits, an essential criterion for them, even if it's marginal.
 
MoRTH needs to revise its outlook from this angle. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

Praveen Sood's take

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Former Addl Comm Police had an op-ed in the Times of India commenting oin the new law. His article titled "Law tmust enhance road safety, not revenue" accessible here critiqued the oush for oversize fines. While agreeing that improvements are desperately needed in the sector, Mr. Sood points out that high fines increase the tendency to a negotiated un-official settlement. In a telling comment, his opinion can be summarized as "Half-baked policies made without putting in place an objective and transparent implementation system take decades to be rectified and achieve its goals."

Sood points out that without a good enforcement system and methods to use technology to track driver behaviour (a history) will probably be more effective than high fines.  In defence of aspects of  the bill, there are sections which refer to driver history and a system to capture it, but ones does not get a feeling that the frsmework has been sufficiently thought through.

sanjayv's picture

Chapter VII: Public Passenger Transport and Ch VIII - Goods

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Murali has provided his comments above.  I am sumarizing this chapter in the draft

Ch VII: Public Passenger Transport

Definitions: For some reason, this section defines BRTS. Beyond that we have different variety of services

145(3)“fixed guide way” means a public transportation facility using and occupying a  separate right-of-way for the exclusive use of public transportation for a bus rapid transit system.

Why so restrictive?

Type of Service

Restricted

“Unrestricted”

Chartered Service

Service provided for an organization for a period of time to transport its employees, contract workers or students.

any passenger transport vehicle for hire or reward, on the basis of either time or distance or time and distance

Metered Service

Vehicle of max 6+1, traveling between 2 stands, charging on the basis of distance traveled. (like a share taxi?)

Vehicle of carrying capacity of max 6+1, providing service fee on the basis of distance and time.

Scheduled Service

Like a stage carriage, 6 passengers minimum, route length less than 125 km, each passenger traveling minimum of 50 km

Like a stage carriage, 12 passengers min, route length more than 125 km, each passenger or groups of passengers paying individual fares, shortest distance a passenger traveling being 50km.

 

These are the categories of transport services defined.  Metered service is like a contract carriage of present day. Scheduled service is like a stage carriage.  Only confusion is why the definitions do not seem to include the stage carriages used for city transit like BMTC?  Also, some of the additional classifications of restricted and unrestricted seem to include too many categories. Why?

Section 146(1) specifies that the National Transportation Authority can frame schemes for passenger transport under the National Permit (interstate transport) following the guidelines prescribed in subsection (2). There is also permission for all levels of government national, state or even local to submit a scheme to the national authority for approval and upon approval, implement within 6 months of receiving the same.

Section 147 describes the contents of a transportation scheme.  Interesting item of note is that there is an option for private operators to participate in a scheme, if the national authority so decides/permits.  Lot of the details are left for the national authority to fill in through regulations.  It feels like it would be good to at least put a broader vision in place here.

Sections 148 and 149 have the same provisions for State Transport Permit (Intra State) which the State Transport Authority can specify. 149(11) discusses something to the effect that is there is any repugnancy between a scheme of the national and state authority, the national authority’s sche will prevail.  If there is no overlap, why is there repugnancy?

There is a feeling of centralization of decision making in the whole scheme of things.  In order to organize transport between say Tamilnadu and Karnataka, one has to approach the national authority? What about border areas.  If there is a plan to organize transport between Hosur and Bangalore, or Kasargod and Mangalore or Belgaum and Kolhapur, the state authorities cannot decide or organize? They need to go to the National Authority and request for a scheme? Seems to be running in a direction counter to what the world is moving towards.

Section 150 and 151 bring a little bit more details into the concept of a scheme.  However, the direction to be taken has to be to bring in more competition and proper regulation in this year, along with quality of service and grievance redressal.  Today’s scenario when contract carriages are operating as stage carriages and multiple buses under the same permit, transport of goods in passenger vehicles etc. are crying for good quality regulation.

Section 152 describes the need for a transition plan from the present regime to a new regime; and section 153 describes that the state transit authority and state government will plan for infra such as bus depots and bus stands.

Section 154 and 155 describe the requirement of a permit for running a transport operation.

Overall, this chapter feels like a short and inadequate basis for what is a huge part of public transport and the economy. 

Chapter VIII - Public Goods Transport

Broadly, in this chapter there is description of setting up a national freight network, a national freight strategic plan, state freight plans, parking places and halting stations, permits for being a transporter and a section on transport of hazardous material.  Clearly, these permits are one source of revenue.  What needs to be figured out is whether this revenue can be used to run the authority?

sanjayv's picture

Ch IX Infrastructure and Multimodal Facilitation

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The national authority also has the role of Infrastructure and Multi-Modal Facilitation

Definitions:

1.Transit Improvement Infrastructure shall include:

a.The development of bus, truck & multimodal terminals, interchanges, transfer and depot facilities;

b.Development of parking places;

c.Development of rest areas;

d.Traffic calming controls and other safety related infrastructure;

e.Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas;

f.Construction of over bridges and underpasses, grade separators;

g.Construction of grade and grade separated pedestrian facilities;

h.Facilities for non-motorised transport like footpath, cycle tracks.

2. “Integrated Freight Transport Hub” means an operational place on roads and highways that is designated as such and equipped with adequate facilities and equipment, and capable of functions such as providing paid services to the public, warehousing, information transaction centers, yards, parking spaces and roads, in connection with all aspects of freight transport.

3. “Intermodal Transport Facility” means an Integrated Freight Transport Hub connected by road with at least one other mode of transport

Section 178 – In connection with Freight Transport Hubs and Intermodal transport Facilities, the National Authority will identify locations, develop guidelines, develop procedures for licensing operators of such facilities. The operators will have liabilities as per license and will assist in providing data to state transport authorities for dynamic data availability

Section 179 –Road infrastructure development work such as standards for design and construction and classification of roads, specification of standards for infrastructure, service levels, etc. for different classes of roads, development of rest areas along highways with NHAI, disabled friendliness of infra.  The authority also has to develop guidelines for road safety and traffic management as well as “achieve” reduction of congestion in urban areas.

Section 180 – Transit improvement infrastructure performance program – by the national authjority to monitor and quantify performance of infrastructure to ensure that improvements and infrastructure is being used to meet the targets set in the state’s transit improvement plan.

Section 181 – Highway safety improvement program – Another monitoring and evaluation framework to evaluate steps, actions by NHAI towards highway safety improvement.

Section 182 – City safety and traffic management improvement program: Another monitoring and evaluation framework for larger cities to make sure that investments are made towards improvement of the targets set.

Sounds like a nice wish list, but how will all this translate into action on the ground since budgets, implementation etc. is in the hands of other branches of the government or agencies.  Looks like a case of giving responsibility to study, but none of the power.  At any rate, this seems to be directed at centralizing everything in the hands of a central/national authority.

Section 183 and 184 – Annual reviews of state compliance and periodic updation of standards. Nothing of much value.

srinidhi's picture

NMT discussions..

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About the sections which involves gear for cyclists and fines, here is a good discussions of the general  public perception

http://goo.gl/4QW8iR

murali772's picture

my take-aways from the latest Satyamevjayate episode

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The Oct 12th episode of "Satyamevjayate" has dealt with Road Safety issues. Here's a link to it - certainly worth a watch. A few take-aways for me after watching it:
  1. Driving licence issual should be outsourced to professional agencies, with senior officials monitoring their performance.
  2. Need for immediate implementation of Unified Emergency Helpline scheme - detailed debate on the scheme on PRAJA may be accessed here
  3. Traffic police should be made accountable for strict enforcement of M V Act with regard to display of "number plates" (number plates made out only in Kannada, as is a common practice in Karnataka, should be a very strict no-no) - detailed debate on the subject on PRAJA may be accessed here.
 
Muralidhar Rao
sanjayv's picture

Rest of the Chapters - Summary

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A summary of the rest of the chapters posted here.  It is too difficult to summarize the extensive details and some of it feels a bit outside my expertise...

Ch X - ROAD SAFETY AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Introduces a Unified ROad Accident and Offences System.  This system will maintain a log of offences and a points sytem based on which action will be taken on licenses, to be implemented by the National Authority.  Theere is a description of standards for safety and safety equipment in all kinds of vehicles ranging from bicycles, two wheelers, three wheeleers, four wheelers.  Also includes some standards for child safety, speed limits.  Another aspect that I read in few places (not just this chapter) was on giving way to ambulances. A nationwide emergency accident telephone number is also described.
 
My general take is that there is some amount of info, but would be really great to have more detail or mandate more detail in the rules.  Description of speed limits, enforecement, behaviour after an accident etc. probably needs a careful look and improvement. On the nationwide telephone number - questions come in mind on staffing, why it is only for road accidents, having a more unified emergency response number, funding etc. arise.
 
CHAPTER XI: INSURANCE OF MOTOR VEHICLES AGAINST THIRD PARTY RISKS 
 
I did not rreview this chapter much.  Seemd generic, but I do not have enough background.  This is an important section though
 
CHAPTER XII: CLAIMS TRIBUNALS
Another important section, but I did not review sufficiently as it is porobably to be done by somebody with more experience in these matters.
 
CHAPTER XIII: HIGHWAY TRAFFIC REGULATION AND PROTECTION FORCE
Another police force to police our national highways.... like a highway patrol.  Responsibility is on the state government.  How is this to be funded?
 
CHAPTER XIV- OFFENCES & PENALTIES.
Various offences are described and fines are specified in Shedule III.  Again, one is not clear if the amount of detail is sufficient.  The fine component has gone up dramatically to which Praveen Sood has already provided comments earlier.
 
Chapter XV: Miscellaneous.  Various housekeeping aspects and a re-emphasis on ambulances.
 
END of my review.  Next step is to consolidate into some actionable responses.
 
 
 
 
sanjayv's picture

Providing Feedback to the Ministry

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The word on the street is that the government wants this bill passed in the Winter session.  While the desire to quickly pass legislation is refreshing, in the case of this bill, one is not sure that it is quite ready for passing yet.  The bill proposes a lot of new bureaucracy and several new measures.  Many of the new measures are welcome and to be appreciated.

However, one gets few over whelming impressions which have to be relooked.

A. Significant new bureaucracy at the national and state level without clarity on funding and functions

B. A distinct impression on centralization of functions

C. Lack of clarity on the proper incentives and influencing powers of the new bureaucracy

D. A broad based legislation that is leaving many details to be figured out for later.

The next step is to sit down and generate clear feedback to be submitted to MoRTH.  It may be better to do that face to face rather than over here.  Would it be possible to do this exercise next weekend, say Saturday? Who would be interested to participate.  Where do we do it?

 

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What problems should the bill address?

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The other way of looking at this sector is to think in terms of the problems in the road transport sector. I am opting for brain storming approach which hopefully we can organize better and see if the bill addresses those issues. So here I go. Safety, accidents, trauma care, poor road design, licensing, corruption, vehicle standards, accident management, bus systems, enforcement, outdated rules, lack of standardization, fitness certificates.
vvr's picture

Austerity drive and the new bureaucracy...

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Will the mandate to cut non-plan expenditure by 10% and a ban on creation of new posts have an impact on the creation of the new bureaucracy called for under this bill? At a minimum, it may delay starting the implementation of the bill's proposals until the middle of 2015.

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Road transport and safety bill - revised version 4

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I checked the MORTH website today and found VERSION 4 of the draft bill.  I have no idea what transpired in versions 2 and 3.  However, it would be a good exercise to check for changes in this new version.

Here is the link.  http://morth.nic.in/showfile.asp?lid=1616

 

sanjayv's picture

Changes in revised version- quick reading

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Version 4 does seem to have incorporated some of our suggestions from a first reading, and some details have been better fleshed out.  It is hard to comment further without a detailed comparitive reading.

Any volunteers?

 

 

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