A recent statement by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India and Shipping Ministry of MSME, Nitin Gadkari has created many a headlines in the country. Mr. Gadkari is known for making candid statements every now and then and the recent statement by him regarding the government officials preparing themselves to bear the anger of the public when they do not discharge their duties properly has managed to create yet another online frenzy.
Mr. Gadkari was at an event in Nagpur when he made the statement regarding him warning an RTO official about resolving problems in 8 days or the minister himself will ask public to take law in their hands and thrash the officials given the officials do not work in a proper manner in the future. He also went ahead to state that it is the officials who are the public servants and Mr. Gadkari has been chosen by the public and he will point out the instances of the lapse of administration if any. He said all this while asking people to work independent of the fear of red-tapeism which is prevalent in India. The minister also stated that based on the public feedback he personally confronts and questions the inspectors seeking bribe. The union minister went ahead and said his teacher has taught him to get rid of the system that does not provide him justice. The remarks of the minister were met with a round of applause from the public.
However, the context of the statement regarding the minister giving the RTO official a deadline of 8 days remains unclear. It is not known whether the minister was talking about a local issue in particular or was referring to the proceedings of the RTO in general. As of now, the huge backlog or the sheer number of steps involved in RTO or any government office for that matter leads to even the smallest of the procedures taking a lot of time to be completed. In this context, the sentiment of the statement of minister regarding finishing the work in a given timeframe is indeed much needed and praiseworthy. However, one would be well off not taking law in their own hands as this often leads to a spiral and a complete breakdown of law and order in the prevailing conditions, and one is left with unwanted consequences in almost all the cases.
The recent steps taken by the MoRTH or even the steps under consideration indeed promise huge changes for the traffic system in the country. The amendment of the MV Act has also made traffic violations an even stricter offence with larger consequences for offenders. We hope that the ministry continues in its endeavour of making the streets in India safer in the times to come.