Union Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday defended the high penalty under the new motor vehicles act, saying the idea behind it is to make people conform to rules, and asked what is more important lives or money.
Speaking during a programme in Nagpur, Gadkari tried to address the criticism of the high penalties under the new law, saying only those who were breaking the law were paying fines. "If one does not break the law, why will he need to pay a fine?"
"We are jumping red signals, accidents are happening everyday, people are losing their lives. If people will have fear of law, only then will they follow rules," he said.
"What is more important people's lives or money," Gadkari asked when pointed out the high penalty provisions under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Earlier, he said, people did not take road safety rules seriously and used to get away by paying a small amount. This attitude won't stop until strict rules are made, the minister added.
"Now people are applying for licences, insurances and purchasing helmets and this would save lives of thousands of people," he said.
During the programme, Gadkari also spoke on various aspects of his life, his childhood, family, politics, his vision for the country. And shared his ideas on his social, innovative projects.
He said people often make fun of his innovative ideas and mock him. Citing an example, he said once he had spoken about collecting 'urine in plastic bags', which, he added, if done on a massive scale, could decrease a load of urea import on the country.
Gadkari also talked about his meeting with a person researching on "gold" coming out of cow dung and human faeces. He did not name the person.
He said a lot of changes are taking place today and, "I feel more emphasis should be put on research as such things coming out of the research."