Cyrus Mistry death: Gadkari on seat belts, faulty road reports
Expressing shock at industrialist Cyrus Mistry's death in a car crash, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday blamed faulty road project reports for many accidents in India. Addressing the "IAA Global Summit—Nations As Brands" only a day after Mistry died in an accident, Gadkari attributed such accidents to poorly produced project reports, as well as people's mindsets about road safety.
Why does this story matter?
- Mistry's untimely death has shocked commercial and industrialist circles. He belonged to one of the oldest business families in India.
- Mistry rose to prominence when he was chosen as the chairman of Tata Sons after Ratan Tata stepped down in 2012.
- A preliminary probe revealed that Mistry, while traveling in an over-speeding car on the Maharashtra-Ahmedabad Highway on Sunday, was not wearing a seatbelt.
Gadkari on Mistry's untimely death
Speaking about the ex-Tata Sons chairman's death, the Union minister said, "The accident of Cyrus Mistry is very unfortunate and a great shock to the country. He was a very good friend of mine." Gadkari further pointed out that India witnesses five lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths in such incidents every year. He added that 65% of the deceased are aged 18-34 years.
Gadkari slams project reports for road accidents
At the summit, Gadkari also slammed the detailed project reports (DPRs) prepared by some companies upon constructing roads. "If the companies preparing DPRs do not improve, the problem will reoccur... Some DPRs prepared by companies are the worst and are responsible for road accidents in the country," he said, according to Zee News. He also stressed the need to train companies in preparing DPRs.
'Some think back-seaters don't need a belt'
The 65-year-old minister also reiterated the need to change people's mindsets around road safety. He said both front- and back-seat passengers need to be strapped in with seatbelts. "Some people think back-seaters don't need belts," Gadkari quipped, as he told the audience a shocking story.
Gadkari shared shocking story of chief ministers
Sharing a quite shocking story, Gadkari said while traveling in the cars of at least four chief ministers, he found there was a clip installed so that "it does not make any sound when there is no belt." He, however, made sure he was strapped in before the car started. "Now I have banned the manufacturing and sale of such clips," the minister said.
Ahmedabad-Mumbai Highway is very dangerous: Gadkari
Cyrus Mistry died over a bridge on the Surya River on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway, which has come under the radar for the construction of its lanes. The three-lane highway converges into two right over the river, which is where the accident took place. "The Ahmedabad-Mumbai Highway is a very dangerous one. I completed the work when I was a minister in Mumbai," Gadkari noted.
India may soon have '6 airbags' rule
The road transport and highways minister further said the Centre is working toward making six airbags mandatory in all cars. He questioned why manufacturers install only four airbags in Indian cars, while some makers install six when exporting cars. "Don't our lives have any values? An airbag costs only Rs. 900 and when the number increases, the cost will only come down," Gadkari said.