The success of AusRAP and IndiaRAP twinning activities and future collaborative opportunities to eliminate high-risk roads in both countries were profiled at an Australian and Indian Government infrastructure and road safety investment webinar yesterday.
The webinar provided an India-Australia Government and Industry perspective on the opportunities for collaboration in road safety and infrastructure and the potential of bilateral trade in the small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) sector.
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister for Road Transport and Highways & MSMEs and Michael McCormack, Honourable Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia presented alongside other lead stakeholders to discuss RAP programmes and investment success across both countries to achieve 3-star or better performance for all road users.
Life-saving investment in both public and privately-funded road assets that is supporting the achievement of the Global Road Safety Performance Targets through smarter and safer highways in India and Australia was highlighted. The power of iRAP partnerships across more than 100 countries was also noted.
A panel discussion with both Ministers and Frank Kwok, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, focussed on how best to leverage the improving India-Australia strategic partnership, to ameliorate road safety and infrastructure initiatives in India. The Honourable Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India delivered the Opening Remarks and the panel discussion was moderated by Ravin Mirchandani, Chairperson, IACC Western India Chapter & Chairman, Ador & Acusensus.
India and Australia have a long partnership of working together on road safety:
- The countries’ twinning has seen volunteers from VicRoads Australia, help work with iRAP to build the locally led IndiaRAP programme hosted by the Asian Institute of Transport Development (AITD) in Delhi. IndiaRAP was officially launched in November 2017 at the World Roads Meeting.
- Recently, as a part of a World Bank funded project of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), implemented by the AITD, a state-of-the-art curricula and training materials for road safety engineering and road safety audit courses was developed in association with an expert from Australia. More than 3,300 road safety engineers, planners and designers have been trained under road safety engineering training organized by AITD. A framework for accreditation of road safety auditors had also been worked out with the active participation of an expert from Australia.
- Under IndiaRAP, 21,000 kms of road have been assessed and 3,000 km of roads are being upgraded with the required safety treatments in place. It is estimated that these upgrades can achieve a 50 percent reduction in road fatalities.
- Indian entities, engaged in road safety research and assessments, have been collaborating with Australian entities to support road safety assessments in India. iRAP is now working with the Australian Government with a view to building partnerships with Indian entities to address all three aspects of road safety relating to infrastructure, vehicles and road users.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) along with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in collaboration with the Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Womennovator, hosted the India-Australia Opportunities for Collaboration in Road Safety and Infrastructure event which attracted over 100 participants. Other event partners included Macquarie Group, Acusensus, Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, Australia India Business Council, Export Council of Australia, and Services Export Promotion Council (India).
Listen to the webinar recording here.
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Photo caption (left to right):
Top row (left to right): Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister for Road Transport and Highways & MSMEs and Michael McCormack, Honourable Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
Bottom row: The Honourable Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India; Frank Kwok, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets; Chris Ellinger, Deputy Consul General, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Ravin Mirchandani, Chairperson, IACC Western India Chapter & Chairman, Ador & Acusensus