Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said his three-party ruling coalition is functioning properly after taking charge more than a month ago.
His statement came in the wake of his predecessor Devendra Fadnavis's description of the ruling Maha Vikas Agadhi (MVA), which took charge on November 28, as a three-wheeled vehicle government.
The BJP leader had recently compared the Thackeray government, consisting of the Shiv Sena and its ideological opponents Congress and the NCP, with a three-wheeler, auto-rickshaw, and raised doubts over its stability.
We were criticised that our government is like a three-wheeler. Its OK that our government is a three-wheeler, but what is more important is that it is functioning properly, Mr Thackeray said.
He said the balance of a vehicle is more important factor when riding, whether its a two or three-wheeler as bumps are experienced even in four-wheelers.
Mr Thackeray was speaking in the inaugural function of the 31st Road Safety Week at NCPA, Nariman Point in South Mumbai.
Highlighting the importance of road safety, the chief minister said it should be a lifelong mission instead of restricting it only for a week.
He said it is not possible to bring down the number of road accidents to zero, but "we should strive to reduce their number to least possible," and added and his government will take every possible step to achieve this goal.
Mr Thackeray expressed concern over the rising number of road accidents in the country and rued that "we should have regressed on this front".
In 2005, China and India had witnessed 94,000 and 98,000 accidents, respectively. Now, the number of accidents in China has reduced to 45,000, while those in India have zoomed to 1.5 lakh, the chief minister said.
Anil Parab, Transport Minister of Maharashtra, said 12,556 people died in road accidents in the state in the last one year and the number is too huge.
Hence, efforts should be made to reduce the number of accidents by 10 per cent, "but we should work to achieve the target of zero accidents", Mr Parab said.
Satej Patil, Minister of State for Transport and Home, suggested that civic bodies in the state should provide funds for installing traffic signals in cities.
He requested the chief minister to elicit views of transport department while finalising the Development Control rules for urban areas.
The District Road Safety Committees of Thane, Washim and Raigad were felicitated during the function for more than 20 per cent reduction in the number of accidents in their jurisdiction.
On the occasion, the chief minister felicitated a group of drivers of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corp (MSRTC) and BEST Undertaking (Mumbai's civic transport body) for accident-less service of more than 25 years.