Niti Aayog decided to come out with mobility planning tool kits to facilitate smart and sustainable urban transport solutions.
New Delhi: With the Indian urban population expected to reach 600 million by 2030, the government’s think tank Niti Aayog has decided to come out with mobility planning tool kits to facilitate smart and sustainable urban transport solutions.
The planning and project design and implementation tool kits developed with the help of experts, state governments and local urban body authorities would focus on small (1 to 10 lakh inhabitants) and medium (10 to 50 lakh inhabitants) sized cities. They would promote developing public transportation like city bus services and bus road transit (BRT). Besides, they would also make urban areas complete streets with provisions for people can walk, cycle and park.
The decision was taken in March when during Niti Aayog’s consultation with states and urban local bodies, it was revealed that they lacked sufficient institutional and individual capacities to implement such solutions.
Advisor Sunit Sanghi and director Jeetendra Singh of Managing Urbanisation Verticals in Niti Aayog said urban transport systems should facilitate more of walking, cycling and travel by public transport rather than personal motor vehicle. Some work has been done in this regard but it is quite fragmented and there is a need to develop simple, clear and lucid framework documents and holistic guidelines for cities, particularly the smaller and medium sized ones. It will help them to plan, implement, maintain and operate smart and sustainable urban transport solutions.
In urban areas, efficient and affordable mobility is important to ensure easy access for citizens to labour markets and places of education and leisure. Lack of proper mobility can make cities non-inclusive as the poor and vulnerable sections would not be able to access the labour markets.
Sanghi and Singh, in their Niti Aayog blog, said that the augmentation in infrastructure of roads and flyovers and more parking space in cities has led to increase in the ownership of cars and motorbikes. As a result, Indian cities were witnessing more and more congestion on streets, leading to air and noise pollution and posing serious health hazards for citizens. In cities like Bengaluru, the situation has reached such alarming levels that citizens are spending over 3-4 hours a day commuting between home and work. The situation in Delhi is similar. Delhi tried to address this problem temporarily to some extent recently by going for the odd-even formula for a fortnight.