Road transport ministry continues UPA’s work

As many as 36,000 km of rural roads built; highway building increased to 12 km/day from 2 km/day, cashless treatment for accident victims on national highways.

highway work

highway work

These are some of the claims made by the Ministry of road transport in its performance report card, issued a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first year in office.

However, a look at the figures projected as key achievements shows that the claims are biased or incorrect – and the schemes projected as fresh initiatives have been in existence for years.

Here is what Fact Checker found:

1. “Significant” increase in rural road: Yes, but lesser than some past years Claim: Roads constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY – Prime Minister’s Rural Road Development Programme) have “significantly” increased from 25,262 km in 2013-14 to 36,883 km in 2014-15. Reality: More roads were constructed under PMGSY during 2014-15, compared to 2013-14. However, far greater lengths have been constructed: 60,117 km in 2009-10 and 45,109 km in 2010-11.

2. Highways built at 12 km/day instead of UPA’s 2 km/day: Wrong, says government’s own data Claim: Only 2 km per day constructed between 2009 and 2014. The current government has increased it to 12 km/day. Reality: More than 12 km/day was being constructed during 2009-14, with a high of more than 15 km/day during 2012-13, the government’s own data says.

3. More highway contracts than previous year. Yes, but lesser than years before that Claim: 7,980 km of projects awarded during 2014-15, compared to 3,621 km during 2013-14. Reality: That is true, but 9,791 km and 9,500 km, respectively, were awarded during 2011-12 and 2012-13.

4. Electronic tolls on national highways: That started in 2012 Claim: Rolling out electronic tolls on all national highways. Reality: Pilot studies began in 2010 on National Highway 22, extended to six toll plazas in 2013.

5. Wayside amenities along national highways: Process began in 2009 Claim: User-friendly amenities on national highways. Reality: Setting up of wayside amenities on national highways was first proposed in 2009, and eight sites were awarded for development that year. By next year, 56 new sites were identified for development of amenities.

6. “Key achievement”, integrated vehicle-registration and driving-licence system: Started 2010 Claim: Integrated vehicle registration and driving licence system developed; a “key achievement” of 2014-15. Reality: The system has been in development since 2010. Called Vahan (Registration Certificate) and Sarathi (Driving Licence) project, these systems crossed 100 million users in November 2012. By 2013, 45 million driving licences and more than 115 million registration certificates were digitised and put on centrally connected platforms across the states.

7. Cashless treatment for road accident victims: Started in 2013. Claim: Cashless treatment for road accident victims. Reality: Not a new initiative. The pilot project for cashless treatment was first proposed in 2012 and was launched on NH-8 in July 2013. Two more pilots on NH-8 and NH-33 have been implemented, according to government data submitted to parliament.

8. Women’s Safety: GPS-based Tracking of public transport vehicles: Started by previous government Claim: 32 cities to be covered under unified system for GPS-based location tracking of public transport.

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