Speculations have heightened about the next Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), even as the power corridors are abuzz with rumors about possible splitting of the Ministry into two parts of highways and transport to streamline and optimize the functioning of the Ministry.
The present secretary Vijay Chhiber (IAS:1978:MT) would retire by the end of year. He took over the charge from A K Upadhyay (IAS:1975:BH) on February 1, 2013.
Chhiber may prove to be the last secretary in charge of the unified MoRTH.
Indianmandarins has learnt that the issue of bifurcating the Ministry into two separate ministries of transport and highways is receiving serious consideration at the top echelons of the government. In favor of splitting the Ministry, it is argued that construction and development of highways is a completely different domain from transport which has to deal with lot of regulatory issues. It is further argued that, since the construction and development of highways is one of the top priorities of the Modi administration, it makes sense to set up an exclusive ministry to deal with its administration.
At the same time, it is pointed out that regulatory issues regarding the ever-expanding highways have not received the due attention in the past and it was time it did. So it would make sense to set up a separate ministry to handle administration of regulatory issues like road safety, pollution, maintenance, securities, amenities, etc.
Rakesh Ranjan (Editor-in-chief)