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Maha mulls transport policy with pedestrian as pivot

Diwakar Raote

Mumbai: Maharashtra will be the first state to have a comprehensive transport policy which will include rights and responsibilities of pedestrians.

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote told that pedestrians will be the soul of the proposed policy.

“Transport department caters to all individuals in the state. An individual is either walking on the street o driving a vehicle. Individuals driving vehicles on the zebra crossing and walking on the streets should be protected. Pedestrian will be the soul of the policy,” Raote said.

The draft bill is being prepared by the Transport department and views of experts and public are being elicited.

“The government plans to introduce the bill in the monsoon session of the legislature in July,” he added.

Giving legal sanction to recent state government rules of making mandatory installation of fire extinguishers in school buses, reservation of seat next to driver in share cabs for women is also expected in the new law.

Similarly, about 10 to 15 seats in “Shivneri”, the air conditioned buses run by the Maharashtra State Road transport corporation (MSRTC) for women and making helmets mandatory for two wheelers are some of the new provisions in the proposed bill, he added.

Two meetings of the committee under Principal Secretary (Transport) Gautam Chaterjee formed to prepare the draft bill, have taken place, he said.

Motor vehicles is in the concurrent list but is governed by central Motor vehicles act. “The new law conceptualised by the state government is to fill in the gaps wherever found in the motor vehicles regulation. If there are similarities, the gaps would be filled and the central motor vehicles act will prevail.”

Raote said in the last few months, he had noticed some glaring lacunae in the functioning of the MSRTC and hopes to rectify it with the new transport policy.

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