Stakeholders in Kochi’s transportation sector have demanded that the State government take steps for speedy promulgation of the Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMTA-Kochi) Act so that the comprehensive mobility plan can be readied.
This includes a slew of steps, including finalising bus rapid corridors (BRCs) and setting up of passenger and freight mobility hubs in suburban towns. The Delhi-based Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) had suggested the setting up of BRCs in the Kodungallor-Aroor and Angamaly-Seaport Airport Road-Thripunithura-Poothotta stretches. It also suggested the setting up of bus priority corridors in Perumbavoor-Angamaly-Aluva-Perumbavoor (circular service), Perumbavoor-Aluva-Paravur-Vypin-Ernakulam and Airport-Aluva-Angamaly stretches.
Ernakulam RTO P.H. Sadiq Ali said UMTA was a pre-requisite to enable route rationalisation of buses.
“The UMTA would be a powerful body and can take policy decisions on integrating and promoting public transport. The existing body, the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), has to act as per provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles’ Act.”
He said private buses that were being brought under Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms could be efficiently operated if there was route rationalisation. Mr. Ali also sought steps to identify land in the suburbs to set up mobility hubs like the one at Vyttila.
“The State government’s inordinate delay in passing the UMTA Act is shameful, since it is critical to integrating different modes of public transport,” said D. Dhanuraj, chairman of city-based Centre for Public Policy Research.
Officials of KMRL, which is the lead agency to implement UMTA provisions, said the State Transport Department had not approved the comprehensive mobility plan for Kochi. Only then can it be referred to the Union Urban Development Ministry.
This news was first published in the The Hindu on May 10, 2017. Click here to read the original news: Act fast on UMTA to finalise bus rapid corridors: experts