- The transport ministry has set up half a dozen committees to frame rules in new areas
- Govt will notify detailed draft rules that will outline the intricacies governing vehicle recall
Aimed at overhauling India’s entire road mobility play, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is preparing a set of exhaustive rules on issues such as road safety, transportation, vehicle maintenance, insurance against third party risks, offences and penalties.
With the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 becoming a reality, the transport ministry has set up half a dozen committees to frame rules in new areas such as electric vehicles (EVs). The committees will comprise senior ministry officials as well as representatives from states, and industry bodies such as the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority of India (Irdai), Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASTRU), Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), said two senior government officials, requesting anonymity. These committees will soon meet the concerned stakeholders to seek their views, the officials said, adding the rules would be finalized after receiving comments from the industry.
In a first, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act allows the Union government to direct an automobile company to recall vehicles if a defect in a manufacturing causes damage to the environment, car owner, or road users. Till now, manufacturers would voluntarily recall vehicles to replace any part or fix any issues with the vehicle.
If found guilty of faulty production or using inferior quality materials, the manufacturer of the recalled vehicle will have to reimburse the buyers the full cost of the vehicle, or replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle with similar or better specifications.
The transport ministry will soon notify detailed draft rules that will outline the intricacies governing vehicle recall, one of the officials cited above said.
“This is a sensitive issue. The government cannot direct a vehicle manufacturer to recall a vehicle based on a single complaint. A proper methodology will be incorporated in these rules,” the official said.
One of the officials said that the 2015 event of German car maker Volkswagen AG being found guilty of not adhering to emission standards in India prompted the government to include this clause in the recently-amended law.
Similarly, with the amended Act defining the term ‘aggregator’, the transport ministry will soon finalize draft rules elaborating the do’s and don’ts for ride-hailing apps, said the officials.
Mint had earlier reported that the government is planning to frame overarching regulations for taxi aggregators.
Besides, the government will also come up with details pertaining to setting up of Road Safety Board. According to the law, the board will advise the Centre and the states on road safety and traffic management, including standards of vehicles, promotion of new vehicle technology and standards for road safety.
While it is a great move that the government has set up committees involving states to address rules to address specific issues, there should be separate committees for research and identification of infrastructure as well, an expert said.
“The government has always said it wants to reduce human intervention to weed out corruption. Hence, there is a need for provisions for intelligent transport system such as CCTV to identify defaulters. For example, we need evidence to prove that the person is driving at a higher speed. There has to be evidence for violations, otherwise a person cannot be prosecuted,” said Sewa Ram, professor, transport planning at School of Planning and Architecture said, adding that there should be active discussions with states on how to implement the infrastructure.
“We need more data to understand violators to identify trend and a unified software that will have all the details. This data can be used for further research and for policymaking,” he said.
Date: October 03, 2019