Transport umbrella soon
By Express News Service - KOCHI
27th November 2012 09:12 AM
The chances for setting up a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for Kochi have brightened with the state government promising that it will address the issue seriously.
Assuring that the state will consider Kochi’s demand for forming UMTA, which will act as the umbrella body that regulates the overall performance of the public transport system, Excise Minister K Babu said further discussions in this regard will be held soon.
“The National Urban Transport Policy set for Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Mission (JNNURM) cities suggests the setting up of UMTA as mandatory. With the centre set to sanction projects for the second phase of JNNURM, we do not want the non-formation of UMTA to affect the allocation of projects for the city,” Babu said after inaugurating the special session on the formation of UMTA at the Corporation Council hall on Monday.
In his concept presentation, NATPAC scientist T Elangovan said the primary objective of Kochi UMTA would be to coordinate traffic and transportation measures undertaken by various agencies to ensure that effective public transport system is in place for the city.
“UMTA will also integrate various routes of public transport and initiate steps for a common ticketing and feeder services. It will appraise and recommend transport projects for the city with the help of central and state governments in a Public Private Participation (PPP) mode,” he said.
The UMTA will link various stakeholders of the city’s development, including the KSRTC, Kochi Corporation, Traffic Police, Urban Development Department and the PWD.
Elangovan said for setting up UMTA, delineation of Kochi Metropolitan Area, which includes Corporation limit, GCDA area, adjoining panchayats and municipalities is necessary.
“The state government should pass an executive order which will allow UMTA to be the advisory and coordination body for the integrated development of transport systems in the Kochi Metropolitan Area,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tony Chammany said the ministers and MLAs who were present during the presentation have assured that they would take necessary steps to hold discussions at the government level.”We hope the government will pass legislation in this regard soon,” the Mayor said.
MLAs including Dominic Presentation, Benny Behanan and Hibi Eden, Deputy Mayor B Bhadra, Ernakulam District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth, Corporation secretary Ajit Patil, standing committee chairpersons, councillors and representatives of various stakeholders were also present.
The opposition councillors stayed away from the programme.
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