Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday won the appreciation of Lok Sabha members, including those from the opposition as well as Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, while replying to questions in the lower house.
The road transport and highways minister, through his replies during the question hour in the lower house, not only satisfied the opposition members but also clearly impressed them.
The opposition parliamentarians could be seen thumping the desk and heard making positive remarks after the minister’s replies.
Gadkari, responding to questions on increasing accidental deaths on Indian roads, stole the show shortly before Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu entered the Lok Sabha to present the railway budget for 2016-17.
Gadkari earned praise from opposition members when he said that his ministry had decided to make mandatory air-conditioning of drivers cabins in trucks.
He was again hailed by parliamentarians cutting across party lines when he said: "We are planning to establish trauma centres after every 100 km on national highways."
The minister admitted that accidental deaths in the country top such lists across the world and was a matter of great concern for him and his ministry.
He cited the steps taken by his ministry to curb the menace, which was again welcomed by the Lok Sabha members.
Gadkari said he refused to accept that most road accidents took place due to the faults of drivers.
"I don’t agree that most accidents take place due to faults of drivers only. Road engineering is a major cause. So I have told officers who make (Detailed Project Report) DPR that they will be punished if there were faults in road engineering," he said.
He also urged members to make their drivers undergo mandatory eye checkup to see whether they suffered from cataract or not.
The entire house hailed Gadkari for his candid answers, including Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who observed: "The minister has satisfied everyone through his answers."
There were light moments too when Gadkari said, "It will embarrass you, which I don’t want to but it is fact: How many of you go to a RTO office for a driving licence?"
The entire house burst into laughter amid thumping of desks by the members.