Aiming to make the public transport system better in the national capital, Delhi government has planned to constitute a United Multi-modal Transport Authority (UMTA) which will coordinate between various agencies to expedite the transport projects. According to the government, it was also contemplating installing CCTV cameras which have in-built Global Positioning System (GPS) and WiFi in buses to ensure women’s safety. Transport minister Gopal Rai said that government has to create confidence in women so they could fearlessly travel in buses, autorickshaws, taxis. Transport Department held a one-day ‘Transport vision conference’ where experts suggested government on issues including BRT corridors, women safety, bus shelters, procurement of buses.
“In the conference, experts suggested the government to make such an authority to make coordinations between multiple agencies – DDA, PWD, DMRC, DIMTS, civic bodies etc – to execute the transport projects on priority basis. “In view of this, a proposal of UMTA was suggested by the experts which will either be tabled in Cabinet or in Assembly,” Rai told reporters after the conference. Besides, government is also planning to develop an app where people can get information pertaining to arrival time of buses, autos, taxis on a single platform.
The minister said, UMTA will directly report to Assembly and heads of every department will be part of this authority to ensure better coordination. Rai said there should be a common authority as multiplicity of agencies lead to delay, adding that we have several challenges ahead to improve public transport as there are multiple authorities in Delhi. “To meet land crunch for bus depots, we are also planning to park our buses in vacant place near malls, schools so that we could park more buses there,” Rai said. Government wants to make Delhi a pollution and traffic jam-free city so that people don’t have to face problem and for which, transport department organised ‘Transport vision conference’, he added. “In the conference, experts suggested us to set up ATMs near the bus shelters, where there is good footfall so there would not be a threat for women,” Rai said. He said that to prepare a blueprint on the suggestions of experts, government will soon appoint a consultant.
The Delhi Transport minister said due to bad planning, the government had to take the decision to scrap the existing BRT corridor. “BRT corridors should be constructed in Outer Delhi where there is a lot of land to execute such projects. In view of traffic problems, BRT projects need to be executed in future,” Rai said. The ministers and experts were of the opinion that buses are required to reduce pollution level. “We need to have pollution and jam free transport system. Everyone agreed that to tackle pollution, public transport system needs to be improved,” said Rai.
Four experts OP Agrawal, Director, Indian School of Business, Madhav Pai, Director of Sustainable Cities world Resource Institute, Shivananda Swami, Associate Director, Center for Environment, Planning & Technology and Amit Bhatt, Director, Transport EMBARQ spoke about ways to improve the public transport system. PWD minister Satyendar Jain said instead of thinking about car owners, government should think of pedestrians and cyclists first. “In accidents, 70 per cent of the victims are either pedestrians or cyclists. The roads are not planned to suit pedestrians, though they have the first right on roads. We will redesign roads across city and will build facilities for pedestrians,” he Jain. The experts at the conference also suggested that buses should be procured after conducting a survey of routes and demands. Delhi government plans to procure 10,000 buses in five years.
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