Air-conditioned cabs for trucks will soon be mandatory: Gadkari

Air-conditioned cabs for trucks will soon become mandatory, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

As drivers play a key role in the transport sector, which is one of the most important areas for India as the fastest growing major economy in the world, there is a need to address issues regarding their working conditions and state of mind, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways said here .

He was speaking at a book launch event – ‘Desh Chaalak’: A Book Honoring Indian Drivers.

The minister lamented that truck drivers were being forced to work in extreme heat conditions and said he had long advocated air-conditioned cabs for truck drivers.

“Some people protested, saying it would increase costs… but before I came here, I signed the dossier that future truck cabs will be air-conditioned,” Gadkari said.

He stressed the need to improve drivers’ working conditions and take measures to overcome driver shortages by establishing more driving schools.

Due to the shortage, drivers in India are working 14 to 16 hours straight, while in other countries their working hours are fixed, Gadkari added.

With India emerging as the fastest growing major economy in the world, logistics is very important and there is a need to reduce logistics costs to increase India’s exports.

“Our logistics costs are 14 to 16 percent compared to the rest of the world. In China it is 8-10 percent, in European countries and the USA it is 12 percent. If we need to increase exports, we need to reduce logistics costs,” Gadkari said.

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