Reddy for unified metropolitan transport body in big cities
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 17:59
New Delhi: A Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority should be set up in all major cities to streamline public transport, Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said here Wednesday.

He was speaking after launching the Rs 1,400 crore Sustainable Urban Transport Project here, which aims at training over 1,000 people involved in transport sector and taking up environment-friendly transportation projects in some select cities.

"Every city in the country has various modes of transport. But there is no unified metropolitan transport authority. We will try and push the state governments to establish separate metropolitan transport authorities to streamline public transport sector in cities," he said.

Reddy said the new project is an outcome of the realisation about the need to build capacity for implementing sustainable urban transport and to encourage implementation of National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP).

He also said some states were not using the JNNURM funds to develop public transport in their cities. "I recently went to a big city. It did not have any public transport," he said and added that it was under the JNNURM project. However, he refused to name the city when asked.

The project will be launched in five cities -- Pimpri Chinchwad (Maharashtra), Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Mysore (Karnataka) and Pune (Maharashtra).

The programme, which will be implemented with financial assistance from Global Environment Facility, World Bank and the UNDP, has for the first time introduced a moving train concept where more cities and projects can join as the project moves along.

Reddy rued that urban transport was never part of any government's planning and said it has assumed importance only in the wake of rapid urbanisation that is taking place in the last few years.

"The Centre, under the JNNURM, has sanctioned 15,000 buses to various cities and already 7,000 of them have been received. Public transport is being encouraged in major cities and Bus Rapid Transit is being implemented in over 10 cities," he said.

Reddy also asked private companies to come forward to implement transport projects in urban areas along with the government.

"We need lot of funds for implementing the projects. We want private companies to partner with the government," he said and exuded confidence that the ministry will be achieving its goals at least during the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Urban Development Secretary M Ramachandran said urban transport was an "orphaned child" a few years back and that the Centre has taken a number of steps to develop the sector in major cities.

He also said big cities should establish transport funds and metropolitan transport authorities to streamline the public transport sector.


First Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 17:59

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