The government will take a unified approach towards executing a robust urban mobility plan for India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all transport and infrastructure related ministries to come together and work in tandem.
Informal groups of ministers are being set up both at the central and state levels to resolve inter-ministerial issues and monitor the progress on developmental plans for improving urban mobility.
The group at the Centre will include ministers of all infrastructures related ministries and will be headed by road, transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari. Another informal group of state transport ministers has been set up to coordinate all projects’ development in their states with transport ministry acting as the secretariat.
Government think-tank Niti Aayog reckons that the most pressing concern in terms of executing an urban mobility plan for India is disaggregation of stakeholders pertaining to various aspects of mobility. These high-level groups are expected to address this issue.
The Aayog had recently pitched for setting up a unified transport authority at its recently held mobility summit following which ministry of transport decided to set up a high-level group at the state level for faster clearance of projects.
“Even if it is not possible to have a unified body at the Centre in the official capacity, several mechanism have been set up in the form of group of ministers at the Centre and the state level to coordinate all such projects,” a senior transport ministry official told ET.
“The group will soon identify key projects related to urban transport at various stages of development to push for completion at the earliest.”
Another official that ET spoke to said the idea of coordination at the highest level, both at the Centre as well as states, for infrastructure development is to reduce cost by faster decision making at top level.
“In the absence of clear intervention from the top, large number of projects were facing cost and time overruns on the back of delays in rollout and completion of the projects,” this official said.
The focus of the group will be to integrate all public mass passenger transport modes by means of various measures, including routing and scheduling, operating feeder services and combined or common ticketing to facilitate seamless commuting options.
This would be followed by constant monitoring of various transport modes in the urban area to track development.
The National Urban Transportation Policy, launched in 2006 and revised in 2014, aims at providing better mobility by focusing on people mobility and not vehicle mobility.
Source : Economic Times