Monday, 05 30th

Last updateThu, 11 Feb 2016 11am

OUTREACH

Posters on Sustainable Urban Transport from SUM Net India

Set of nine illustrated posters from the Sustainable Urban Mobility Network India, on Footpaths, Cycle Tracks, Public Transport, Traffic Demand Management and more. Each poster quotes relevant references from the National Urban Transportation Policy, Govt of India.

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City Updates

Taming Streets: Design, Deliberation and Delivery in Indian Cities

The film takes us through the process of engaging people in designing streets to be more liveable and people-centric rather than the current vehicle-centric trend. The initiative taken up in two Indian cities of Pune and Bangalore brings out why deliberation might actually be the core of street design.

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POLICY WATCH

Policy brief on the need for a State Urban Transport Policy

As the pace and scope of urbanisation is rapidly increasing, cities are coming face to face with various critical issues, transportation being one of the foremost. Recognising this challenge, a National Urban Transport Policy was drafted in 2006, and is currently being revised. The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) 2006 calls for increasing the share of public transport in our cities from 22 per cent to 60 per cent.

Our need for mobility has been growing rapidly. Official data indicates that passenger-km travelled by Indians is increasing at a rate of about 15 per cent per annum. Consistent with this, automobile sales in the country are increasing around 10 per cent per annum. From an emissions perspective, this indicates rapid growth of emissions from the passenger transport sector, since most of the transport is powered by petroleum products. Further, such an increase of transport activity has also results in increased imports, since India’s net import dependence for petroleum products is about 80 per cent. However, the policy has not been able to bring about any comprehensive, significant change in the way cities managed their transportation. Indian cities continue to grapple with problems of alarming rate of increase of private vehicle usage, compromised public transport systems, neglect of non-motorised transport systems and facilities and the important underlying cause of all this – lack of proper planning and implementation.

The 12th Five Year plan (2012-2017) has made faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth the driving principle for the plan period. The plan states that the importance of an efficient urban transport system which is cheap, safe and reliable can hardly be over emphasised. In order to achieve this there is a need to focus on policy instruments to encourage greater use of publicand non-motorized transport in India’s cities and towns, while discouraging the use of private motor vehicles. Official projections show that the current trend is exactly the opposite, as public and non-motorized transport is losing its share to private motorized vehicles. However, since urban transport is a State subject, the levers available with the Union Government are limited; and it is the State Governments and Urban Local Bodies which have an important role to play in realizing transformation described above.

At the metropolitan level, Metropolitan Planning Committees (MPCs) are yet to evolve and must function not only in letter but in the intended spirit too. In most States either State agencies or parastatals are in-charge of urban service delivery rather than ULBs. This maze-like structure of management and accountability hampers good urban management.

The 12th plan has also stressed the need for better integration of urban and transport planning, stating that Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India currently do not have the capacity to deal with the challenges posed by rapid urbanization. As a result, presently, the urban planning in the country does not go beyond provision of basic services to a chaotic urban sprawl, and simply does not take an integrated view of the modern urban requirements, including transport. This needs to be addressed urgently and capacities of ULBs need to be strengthened to enable mixed land use planning and preparation of an integrated transport plan.

To this end, it is proposed that State Governments should draft a State Urban Transport Policy, using the National Urban Transport Policy as a guideline and keeping in mind the objectives of the 12th plan. Given the diversity of cities across the country, the proposition of state urban transport policies better suited to the urbanization and urban development challenges of the State, make sense. These policies can be aligned with the State’s human development and climate action plans.

With this end in mind, SUM Net members have initiated inquiry into why a State Urban Transport Policy could be effective and what could be covered in such a policy. The research was conducted in five states, namely Andhra Pradesh (undivided at the time of the study), Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Maharashtra.

The issues faced by each of the states had some common strands like poor public transport systems,

lack of capacity in planning and implementing transport solutions, poor non-motorised transport facilities, issues with institutional set up and so on. Broadly, all states analysed led to the following recommendations which could be emphasized and elaborated on in a state urban transport policy;

1. Establish a nodal agency to bring about co-ordination between state and local government agencies

2. Broadly taking from the NUTP, the SUTP shall forward the agenda for sustainable transport which will include encouraging and improving public transport services, non-motorised transport, and inclusive streets and so on.

3. Mandatory service level benchmarks and mechanisms for ensuring need and impact of transportation projects undertaken. An in built system of checks and balances which will minimize vested interests and frivolous projects involving huge expenses.

4. Emphasis on public consultations, spelling the manner of conducting consultations and using the feedback in implementation of projects.

Pune City Updates

Pune’s Transport Budget Analysis 2011-12

SUM Net member organization Parisar has recently done an analysis of Pune’s municipal budget, and in particular those aspects that relate to transportation investments and expenditures. Here are some highlights:

At around 30% of the total municipal budget of Pune, the transportation sector gets a larger share than important sectors like health, sanitation & slum rehabilitation together.

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