Metro Projects our Growth Engines – High Priority by the Government accorded: Kamal Nath

The Minister elaborated that there is a requirement of mixed use development of urban transport centres

Kamal Nath, the Union Urban Development Minister has emphasized transit oriented development of cities as an integral part of urban planning. He was speaking while inaugurating the sixth edition of the Urban Mobility India Conference and Expo 2013 in New Delhi today.

The Minister elaborated that there is a requirement of mixed use development of urban transport centres i.e. development of residential, commercial, entertainment and other civic facilities within the vicinity of main public transport centres. This, he added, will help to provide ease of access to major facilities to the people and promote use of mass transit systems. Shri Nath highlighted the role of cities as engines of growth which will further create the urgency to address mobility issues. He highlighted the need to create modern cities receptive to innovation in the field of mobility.

The Minister said that it is important to have a multi modal approach to urban mobility ranging from metro projects to BRTS, monorail, state of the art buses as well as other modes of regional transportation. Shri Kamal also said that regional connectivity in urban agglomeration can help to decentralize population growth. It is in this direction that the National Capital Region Transportation Corporation (NCRTC) has been created for designing, planning and implementing an elaborate regional transport system in the NCR.

Shri Kamal Nath said that the metro projects are very high priority for the government and are being successfully implemented in several cities like Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Jaipur among others. The Minister added that the Delhi Metro is an exemplary project and after the completion of all the four phases it will have a length of about 440 kilometres which will be higher than the London Metro.

The Minister hoped that the deliberations during the conference will lead to formulation of a desirable vision for planning urban transport in a manner that can result in transforming the urban areas on faster trajectory of sustainable growth.

The Minister inaugurated an exhibition by various stakeholders in the field of urban transportation and also released 13 booklets and pamphlets.

Dr Sudhir Krishna, Secretary Urban Development said that a Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP) is being implemented for long term development of sustainable urban transport systems in collaboration with states, cities and local bodies. The aim of the project is to put in place green transport systems to provide clean, safe, livable, efficient and sustainable cities. The Secretary added that the metro systems should no longer be looked upon as a drain on resources. Dr Krishna said that the metros can contribute to generation of funds e.g. Jaipur Metro has projected a financial internal rate of return (FIRR) of 8.25%, while the Pune Metro has projected FIRR of 11.25%. Dr. Krishna said that the comprehensive city mobility plan of Hyderabad is a commendable step towards providing integrated solution to urban mobility issues.

Enrique Penalosa, President Institute for Transportation and Development Policies (ITDP) said BRTS is a cheaper solution than the metro system to solve the mass mobility problems. He added that many big cities of the world like Paris having metro systems are also now adopting BRTS as an effective mode of urban transportation. The theme of this year’s Conference cum Expo is “Transforming Cities with Transportation”.