Mr Nitin Gadkari, Indian Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, visits important spots in the UK to get a first-hand experience of modern travel and transport system.
India is gearing up to embark on a major infra-structure development plan under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Gadkari was accompanied by Mr Sanjay Bandopadyaya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Mr Vaibhav Dange, Private Secretary to the Minister.
During the visit, Mr Gadkari held bilateral meetings with Mr Oliver Letwin, UK Minister for Government Policy, Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Mr Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. During the meetings, a number of issues of mutual concern to India and UK were discussed.
During the two day visit, the minister visited the head office of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the UK situated in Swansea, Wales. The office of DVLA which is responsible for the maintenance of records of licensed drivers & registered vehicles and the issuance of licences to drivers in the UK gave an overview of DVLA’s functions and responsibilities to the minister.
Mr Oliver Morley, Chief Executive Officer, DVLA gave an insight into DVLA’s priorities on how to reduce personal and economic loss from road accidents through improved road safety, reduce vehicle related crime and to reduce harm to the environment caused by vehicles. The Hon’ble Minister was given a briefing about vehicle registration and systems, automated first registration, updates to vehicle keeper changes and Automatic Number Plate Recognition. In addition, the Hon’ble Minister was informed about the work of Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA), including driver testing and training, next generation testing and next generation enforcement.
The minister also held discussions with the members of the UK India Business Council in London where he informed them about Government of India’s priorities and future policies to shape India’s transport sector.
Mr Gadkari participated in an interactive session organised by the UK India Business Council in association with Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in London. The Hon’ble Minister informed the audience about the Government of India’s plans on roads with a particular focus on vehicle data, road safety and in the investment plans in transport infrastructure including multi-modal transport infrastructure. The event was well attended by senior representatives of UK companies.
Mr Gadkari also visited the Ministry of Transport (MOT) Test station at Stockwell Bus Garage in London and was informed about the Inspection of Maintenance and Testing facilities at the station. The Indian minister was escorted to the venue in one of London’s historic and Iconic vehicles – The Routemaster Bus and briefed about MOTs operation enroute.
Gadkari also visited the offices of Transport for London (TfL). He was welcomed by Mr Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer-Surface Transport, TfL. The Hon’ble Minister was informed about the Congestion Charging, Automatic Number Plate Recognition, Revenue Collection and Intelligent Transport Systems.
The Indian inister was also shown the usage of Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras for monitoring offences and security. The office of the Tfl briefed the Hon’ble Minister about the systems and processes linking offence monitoring with swift law enforcement. The Hon’ble Minister also visited the TfL’s control centre.