July 25, 2017

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says driverless cars will not be allowed in India

by Neha Monga

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that driverless cars will not be allowed in India as it will lead to joblessness. Gadkari said that his government was not going to promote any technology that would render millions of Indian drivers jobless.

The minister further added that instead the government will focus on training drivers as adequate driving skills can provide employment to about 50 lakh people.

“We will not allow driverless cars in India. India suffers a huge shortage of 22 lakh drivers…Cab aggregators take advantage of these. We are not going to promote any technology or policy that will render people jobless,” Gadkari said.

“Today, you see millions of jobs are being created in the transport market by truckers and taxi aggregators. Such technology will make millions jobless,” he further added

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“Maybe some years down the line we won’t be able to ignore it but, as of now… we shouldn’t allow it,” he said. “The government platform will help get more people employment opportunities. The idea is in the primary stage but we’re working on it seriously,” he said.

Gadkari said that the government was planning to introduce a cab booking app on the lines of Uber and Ola which would help commuters choose any mode of transportation like electric four-wheeler or two-wheelers.

The government will only be a facilitator in this but the platform will bring in more competition and help commuters to have affordable public transportation, he said.

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He also that the government will promote electric vehicles but would not allow its imports and rather would urge all major automobile companies to manufacture this as per ‘Make in India’ drive.

The minister also revealed that the government was planning to transform the public transportation and replace 180,000 busses across the states with luxury busses.

“Talks are on with World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help India to replicate the London Transport Authority Model where all the public transportation buses would be replaced by luxury buses and a common man can travel in them by paying about 40 percent less price as compared to current fares,” said Gadkari.

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He added that the project would be complemented by state-of-the-art ‘bus ports’ on the line of Indian airports. A special National Highways Authority of India wing with an equity of Rs500 crore would be set up to undertake this work. “We plan to construct 25 bus ports and these include Baroda, Surat and Ahmedabad.”

He also said that the government is planning to introduce and make GPS and satellite tracking mandatory in all public and private vehicles in the coming days.

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