Greeshma Gopal Giri | The Times of India | September  11, 2017

KOCHI: The corporation and other road owners in the city are struggling to scientifically widen and relay roads as the number of private vehicles are on the rise. As road accidents become a major concern and road development turns out to be tedious process, authorities are taking up the case of improving public transportation.
Mayor Soumini Jain and MLA Hibi Eden are planning to join hands with a city-based think tank, Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) to promote public transport systems.

“There is no solution other than public transport. Bad roads, accidents, pollution are interlinked.Most developed countries have realized the need to address these issues and they are encouraging bus rapid transit systems (BRTS), metros and the like.Kochi has an excellent bus network, Metro and Water Metro are being executed.We need to encourage people to use them,” said CPPR chairman D Dhanuraj.

CPPR has come up with one year programme that aims to promote public transport with a research to quantify its impact. The programme will commence in October. “A significant section of the public is reluctant to use public transport. Our aim is to find the reasons for this reluctance and how to address it,” he said.

Local bodies and major road owners – including PWD and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) – were criticized for depending on old technologies and outdates specifications for building and relaying roads.

Footpaths, cycle-tracks, pedestrian signals, zebra crossings are all part of better road systems. “While it is possible to include these aspects in our plan, it is nearly impossible for government to acquire land for constructing new roads or widen existing ones without facing public ire. So the solution is to improve existing infrastructure and bring down the number of private vehicles,” he added.
This news was published in The Times of India, on August 21, 2017. Click here to read the news: Corporation to focus on public transport

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