New Delhi:Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today highlighted the need for an integrated transport system comprising rail network, road and inland waterways to address the problem of traffic congestion and last-mile connectivity in cities.
These various transport systems should be connected as part of a symbiotic model, Naidu said at a book release function here, adding that he would hold a meeting with the Railway, Road Transport and Shipping ministers to examine the possibility of creating integrated transport systems, wherever possible, in different parts of the country.
The book, ‘Reforming Urban Transport in India — Issues and Best Practices’, is authored by former UD Secretary M Ramachandran and deals with the different aspects of urban transport.
Naidu said that a multi-pronged strategy should be adopted to resolve the issues of traffic congestion and pollution in urban areas.
Expressing concern over the growing number of accidents, Naidu said that the million-plus cities accounted for 22.7 per cent of such incidents in the country along with 12.4 per cent of the total road accident deaths and 16.2 per cent of the injury cases.
“The number of road accident fatalities and the number of persons injured in road accidents in the country between 2003 and 2013 increased by 60 per cent and about 14 per cent per cent, respectively,” he said
Drawing a contrast with China, Naidu said that while accidents have gone up in India, their occurrence has come down in the neighbouring country.
“It will be interesting to note that while India and China had around 4.5 lakh road accidents each in 2005, the number went up in 2010 to 5 lakh in India but came down to a little over 2 lakh in China,” he said.
“Similarly, the number of people killed in road accidents in 2005 was about 95,000 in both countries. But, by 2010, it came down to around 65,000 in China but went up to 1.35 lakh in India. Thus, there are lessons that we need to learn from elsewhere in the world,” he added.
The minister gave various suggestions for improvement, including that regarding parking, multi-modal integration at Metro and railway stations, bus stops, bicycle sharing system with tracks for cyclists throughout the city.
He also called for bus service improvements, BRTS corridor development, integrated road network, Intelligent Transport System, capacity-building programme and Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA).
Complimenting Ramachandran’s efforts, he said the book talks about the success stories of Delhi Metro and BMTC in Bengaluru apart from suggesting some best practices in urban freight, global trends in BRTS, monorail project and international models such as land transportation in Singapore.