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Road Transport Ministry: Continues UPA’s Work, Contradicts Own Data

Road Transport Ministry: Continues UPA’s Work, Contradicts Own Data

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

YEARROAD LENGTH UNDER PMGSY (IN KM)
2009-1060,117
2010-1145,109
2011-1230,995
2012-1324,161
2013-1425,316
2014-15 (Up to Feb 15)30,647
2014-1536,883*

Source: Lok Sabha; *According to the first year report-card

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.
 

YEARCOMPLETED LENGTH OF ROADS/NHS (IN KM)LENGTH CONSTRUCTED PER DAY (KM/DAY)
2009-10514514.1
2010-11443812.2
2011-12501313.7
2012-13573215.7
2013-14 (till Oct ‘13)18178.7

Sources: Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha

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.
 

YEARHIGHWAY PROJECTS AWARDED (IN KMS)
2011-129,791
2012-139,500
2013-143,621
2014-157,972

Sources: Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha

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.
 

YEARSTATUS OF ELECTRONIC TOLL COLLECTION SYSTEM ON NATIONAL HIGHWAYS
2009Pilot studies regarding implementation of electronic tolling was started during the year 2010 and to be completed in the year 2010-11.
2010Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and representatives of NHAI, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and also professional experts from IIT Delhi and IIIT Delhi, to examine all technologies available for Electronic Toll Collection and to recommend the most suitable one for implementation throughout India.
 
The Committee submitted its report on July 2, 2010. ETC envisages use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology complying with ISO 18000 6C for use in all toll plazas of National Highways in India.
May 2012A pilot project for implementation of ETC was undertaken on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo Section of NH22
Aug 2012On June 4, 2012, NHAI issued Expression of Interest for short listing agencies for implementation of ETC on National Highways in India. A plan was prepared to implement ETC on countrywide basis by 2014.
2013As part of ETC implementation, first pilot project on interoperable ETC based on RFID technology was implemented at 6 toll plazas i.e. Charoti, Bagwada, Boriach, Karjan, Narmada Bridge and Choriyasi Toll plazas on Mumbai – Vadodara section of NH8.
 
For implementing ETC system on pan-India basis, a new company, “Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL)” has been incorporated on Dec 26, 2012. The company envisaged implementing the ETC Systems in a phased manner. Government decided to implement Electronic Toll Collection system in the country by 2014.
Aug 2014ETC would be implemented on pan-India basis by 2015.

Sources: Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha

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.
 

YEARSTATUS OF WAYSIDE-AMENITIES ON NATIONAL HIGHWAYS
2009Union Government/NHAI proposed to give incentives to private entrepreneurs for setting up of wayside amenities on the National Highways.
 
Work at 8 sites was awarded for development of wayside amenities. 3 sites where bids were received and award was in process and 26 sites where bids were to be re-invited across various states.
201056 new sites for wayside amenities identified for development of wayside amenities including restaurants along the various National Highways in the country
2011National Highways Authority of India leased out 11 locations and identified 60 new sites for setting up of wayside amenities
2013The count of developed locations of way-side amenities remained at 11 only

Sources: Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha

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.
 

YEARSTATUS OF INTEGRATED VEHICLE REGISTRATION & DRIVING LICENSE SYSTEM
2010Government finalised online national register of driving licences and vehicle registration and sanctioned a project for computerisation of Regional Transport Offices (RTOs)/ State Transport Authorities (STAs), their interconnectivity as well as creation of national and state registers of motor vehicles at a total cost of Rs 148 crore.Government also provided assistance to the states in terms of hardware, networking and technical manpower. 100% computerisation had been achieved in 27 States/UTs and 908 RTOs have been computerised.  Further, 100% connectivity has been achieved in 23 States/UTs. Network connectivity had been established in 888 RTOs. Data from the state register would flow to the national register. The launch of the national register would depend upon the progress made by the States.
2013The number of digitised driving licences and vehicle registration certification records: DL Records: 45,070,530 , RC Records: 117,523,489. Government also proposed to digitise the old data of all Regional Transport Offices across the country, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had requested and incentivised the Transport Departments of States/Union Territories to undertake digitisation of legacy data of Registration Certificates and Driving Licences
Dec 2014Government is planning to revamp the centralised online vehicle registration and driving licence system. The revamped Transport Application would be a unified, web-enabled and enhanced version of Vahan & Sarathi applications used for vehicle registration and driving licence, respectively.

Sources: Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha
 

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.
 

YEARCASHLESS TREATMENT SCHEME FOR HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS
2012A pilot project on cashless treatment of road accident victims on a national highway stretch was proposed to be launched.
2013On July 29, 2013, Ministry decided to launch a pilot project for cashless treatment of road accident victims on the Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch of National Highway No.8. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company for executing the pilot project. The project envisaged transport of accident victims from the accident scene to hospital and, where required, from one hospital to another and treatment at a public or private hospital for the first 48 hours or Rs 30,000, whichever amounts to less, at CGHS rates/AIIMS rates will be provided in case of treatment at an empanelled hospital. An amount of Rs 20 crore was sanctioned for meeting expenses of medical treatment for accident victims and Emergency Medical Ambulance Services (EMAS).
Dec 2014Another two pilot projects for cashless treatment of road accident victims on the following two stretches were started on trial basis on Aug 28, 2014: i) Mumbai-Vadodara stretch of NH8, ii) Ranchi-Rargaon-Mahulia (Jamshedpur) stretch of NH33.
 
An amount of Rs 7,00,32,864 to Mumbai-Vadodara stretch of NH8 and Rs 3,00,61,978 to Ranchi-Rargaon-Mahulia (Jamshedpur) stretch of NH33 were released as first instalment (half of the sanctioned amount) to the Insurance companies ICICI Lombard & IFFCO TOKIO respectively

Source: Lok Sabha

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.
 

Reality: This scheme was also initiated by the previous government under the Nirbhaya Fund. The scheme will be implemented by May 2016 in the first phase targeting 32 cities, according to answers in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. ■

Tomorrow: Telecom Ministry: False Claims, Bad Maths

You can read the introductory piece of this serieshere, the first parthere, the second part herethe third parthere and the fourth part here.

(Manoj K is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the founder of the Centre for Governance and Development. He has a special interest in transparency and accountability in governance and has spearheaded several projects on these subjects. He can be contacted at manoj@cgdindia.org.)
 

References:

Fact check 1

  1. LOK SABHA, Unstarred Question No 218, Answered On 22.11.2012
  2. LOK SABHA, Unstarred Question No 847, Answered On 27.11.2014
  3. LOK SABHA, Starred Question No 530, Answered On 30.04.2015

Fact check 2

  1. RAJYA SABHA Unstarred Question No. 3962 Dated 02.05.2013
  2. LOK SABHA, Unstarred Question No 618, Answered On 09.12.2013

Fact check 3

  1. RAJYA SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2008, ANSWERED ON 11-12-2012
  2. MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS, OUTCOME BUDGET 2013-14
  3. RAJYA SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1641, ANSWERED ON 11.05.2015
  4. RAJYA SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1641, ANSWERED ON 11.05.2016

Fact check 4

  1. LOK SABHA, STARRED QUESTION No. 364, ANSWERED ON 15.12.2009
  2. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 417, ANSWERED ON 27.07.2010
  3. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 7300, ANSWERED ON 21.05.2012
  4. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 7300, ANSWERED ON 21.05.2012
  5. RAJYA SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1502, ANSWERED ON 22.08.2013
  6. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 4098, ANSWERED ON 07.08.2014

Fact check 5

  1. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 1956, ANSWERED ON 01.12.2009
  2. LOK SABHA, STARRED QUESTION No. 282, ANSWERED ON 30.11.2010
  3. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION No. 5231, ANSWERED ON 05.09.2011
  4. LOK SABHA, STARRED QUESTION No. 299, ANSWERED ON 18.03.2013

Fact check 6

  1. RAJYA SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 2697, ANSWERED ON 18.08.2010
  2. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 128, ANSWERED ON 05.08.2013
  3. LOK SABHA, UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 4341, ANSWERED ON 18.12.2014

Filed Under: Fact Check

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