New Delhi: Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday said cycling and walking must be encouraged in urban areas to enable quick mobility.
Speaking at the "Urban Mobility India Conference and Expo" here, the minister expressed concern over the rising number of private vehicles in cities and called for efficient and reliable multi-modal public transport systems to enable quick urban mobility.
"Huge increase in private vehicles in urban areas amounts to the rich misappropriating the limited urban space at the cost of the poor. This social exclusion should be addressed with better transport planning," Naidu said adding that walking and cycling need to be promoted in cities.
Between 1981 and 2011, the population of six major cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad increased 2.5 times while the private vehicles rose by about 30 times, increasing from 5 million to 160 million, he noted.
Naidu said urban planning and management was the main challenge of the 21st century and central and state governments should rise to the occasion to convert this challenge into an opportunity.
"Metro transport option is capital intensive and the success of Delhi Metro may not be feasible to be replicated at all places," he said, instead suggesting location specific transport systems including bus rapid transport, light rail transport etc.
Being organized by the urban development ministry and the Institute of Urban Transport, the four day conference is being attended by around 1,000 urban planners and experts to deliberate various aspects of urban transport planning.