Railways to bring Uniform Multi-modal Transportation System

नई दिल्ली New Delhi: Aiming at improving transportation, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said a multi-modal transportation system is in the offing to provide last mile connectivity.

“Muti-modal transportation system is what we need today. I am talking with all Chief Ministers for bringing a multi-modal transportation system. We will go to cabinet with the proposal,” Prabhu said at the Agenda Aaj Tak event.

He said an intregrated approach is required for multi-modal system involving all modes of transportation.

To strengthen the country’s transportation system, the government is working on a uniform multi-modal transport policy that would cover road and sea ways among others.

Earlier, while announcing this new policy, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari emphasised that there was a need to have an integrated approach for the country’s transport system.

He also said that the government is committed to achieving a target of building 30 kilometres of roads and highways a day within two years, from the current rate of just about three kilometres a day.

The government is working to solve problems associated with land acquisition, creating a multi-modal transport policy and reducing the cost of capital to make investment in infrastructure viable, Gadkari said here during the India Economic Summit organised by WEF and CII.

“We need an integrated approach for the transport system… We are working on a uniform policy for multi-modal transport,” he said, while adding that the country’s infrastructure sector is grappling with problems and many road projects are stuck mainly on account of issues faced by the developers.

Acknowledging that there are problems with respect to model concession agreements for road projects, the minister said the government is working on having a revised agreement with international standards.

Besides the government is looking to strengthen the road network by increasing pace of building roads, Gadkari said while speaking at a session titled ‘Mind the Trillion-Dollar Gap’.

The government has cleared 17 projects for building 2,000-plus kilometres of roads, given a golden handshake to concessionaires involved in some 4,000 kilometres worth of projects, and is working on resolving issues pertaining to some 1,800 kilometres, within five months of coming to power.

He admitted that land acquisition and environmental and forest clearances remain big hurdles and blamed the courts for passing “impracticable” rulings and the media for hyping up minor opposition to infrastructure projects, and asserted that India needs to create jobs and spur economic growth as much as it needs to preserve the environment.

Gadkari said that another hurdle in the way of building infrastructure was that the sector is administratively divided among several ministries – different ministries are in charge of shipping, roads, airports and railways.

The government is working on a multi-modal transport policy in which waterways, roads as well as sea, rail and airports would be developed together, he added.

The government is also aware that the current model concession agreement is weighed against the concessionaire and discourages banks from lending, he added.