Growing need for Sustainable Urban Transport
India’s surging economic growth and consequent urbanization over the last decade has led to an inevitable rise in ownership and use of motorized vehicles across cities and towns. It has been projected that an investment of Rs.4,35,380 Crores (2008-2027) will be required for making improvements in the Urban Transport sector for 87 cities (Wilbur Smith Report, 2008).
National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) was launched in 2006 by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). It was created to motivate the building of people-centric urban transport solutions instead of focusing on improving the conditions for private motor vehicles. The policy emphasizes the need of the majority of the population using public transport and non motorized modes. Effective implementation of NUTP calls for clear understanding of the very concept of sustainability at all levels of governance.
Keeping this need in mind, the Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP) has been initiated by Government of India, in partnership with Global Environment Facility (GEF), The World Bank and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
About the project
This is a unique project which adopts a two pronged approach towards the problem in question. On the one hand, it aims to build capacities at all levels, i.e., national, state and local; and institutional and individual. On the other hand, it delves deep into the system itself and aims to set examples of good urban transport planning by demonstrating sustainable urban transport projects in various cities through implementation of varied projects. SUTP has a unique funding pattern. This project is jointly funded by Government of India, GEF (through The World Bank and UNDP) and The World Bank. This partnership is not only restricted to funding but also extends to technical expertise which is provided in abundance from all these agencies. This feature will ensure that the stakeholders of the project learn from technical experts who have pioneered similar projects worldwide, thus making the education process more comprehensive. This feature gives the capacity building component a new importance.
GOI, Under GEF-SUTP, @ Rs.1400 crores ($ 300 million) project, aims to encourage implementation of National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) and achieve a paradigm shift in urban transport systems in favour of sustainable development. The project strives to achieve its objectives through two main approaches:
- Building the nation’s capacity in the field of Urban Transport planning by imparting education and training at individual levels and strengthening capacity at institutional levels in the areas of planning, financing, implementing, operating and managing sustainable urban transport systems.
- Demonstrating ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ transport planning practices by actually implementing certain Urban Transport projects in selected cities.
The project is being implemented by Ministry of Urban Development (Government of India) through a Project Management Unit (PMU) at the national level, under overall guidance of a Steering Committee (under the chairmanship of Secretary Urban Development, Ministry of Urban Development). The Project Management Unit is assisted by a Project Management Consultant (M/s Mott MacDonald Pvt. Ltd.) and is required to oversee and guide the implementation by the Project Implementing Agencies (cities).
The project consists of three components as follows:
- Component-1: National Capacity Development Initiatives
- Component-2: Implementation of Demonstration Projects in Selected Cities
- Component-3: Project Manageme
India’s urban population is expected to increase from 286 million in 2001 to 534 million in 2026 (38%). Our country has to improve its urban infrastructure to achieve objectives of economic development. However, most of the cities in India have inadequate infrastructure. Urban transport is one of the major problems, affecting the mobility of people and economic growth of the urban areas.
These problems are due to prevailing imbalance in modal split; inadequate transport infrastructure and its sub-optimal use; no integration between land use and transport planning; and no improvement or little improvement in city bus service, which encourage a shift to personalized modes. In view of this, the Government of India approved the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) in April 2006.
The Policy primarily focuses on the mobility of people and not the mobility of vehicles. This will require the public transportation system to be more attractive to use. The challenge for improved bus transport is to provide good quality service at an affordable price. It is important to evaluate alternative public transport technologies in the context of city characteristics. The public transport options vary between low cost buses to high cost rail metros. Moreover the shape of a city is very important for selecting the appropriate mode of transport and capacity building is a very important factor in introducing and implementing public transport system.
Several initiatives have been taken in India in this regard: Many cities have prepared Comprehensive Mobility Plans and have plans to introduce modern bus services; Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) is coming up in eleven cities; six cities are planning new metro rail systems; and Unified Metropolitan Transport Authorities have been set up in two cities. The Government of India has funded 15,260 modern and intelligent transport systems enabled buses for city transport for 61 mission cities as a part of the economic stimulus package.
Amongst various urban transport projects, rail based Metro are being developed in many cities of India, viz. Delhi (357.37 km, ` 58298.47 crores), Mumbai (62.89 km, ` 20587 crores), Bangalore (33 km, ` 6395 crores), Kolkata (13.77 km, ` 4676 crores), Chennai (50 km, ` 14600 crores), Kochi (25.3 Km, ` 2991.5 crores), Hyderabad (71.29 km, `11892 crores).Light rail systems have been proposed in Kolkata while monorail systems in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Under road based Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in JNNURM, many projects have been sanctioned, the cities, namely, Ahmedabad (88.50 km, ` 981.35 crores), Visakhapatnam (42.80 km, ` 452.93 crores), Indore (11.45 km, ` 98.45 crores), Jaipur (39.45 km, ` 479.55 crores), Bhopal (21.71 km, ` 237.76 crores), Rajkot (29.00 km, ` 110.00 crores), Vijayawada (15.50 km, ` 152.64 crores), Pimpri-Chinchwad (42.22 km, ` 738.16 crores), Pune (101.77 km, ` 1051.00 crores), Surat (29.90 km ` 469.00 crores) and Delhi (14.6 Kms- implementing with its own funds).
Initiative undertaken by Pimpri - Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is part of Component 2.: Implementation of Demonstration Projects in Selected Cities
This Component aims to catalyze high profile demonstration projects in selected demonstration cities that will create models of sustainable transport solutions for other Indian cities to replicate.
The city of Pimpri-Chinchwad is situated North-East of Pune and is 160 km from Mumbai,the capital of state of Maharashtra. It is predominantly an industrial area, which has developed during the last four decades. The city of Pimpri-Chinchwad has seen a high rate of population growth and development in the recent past. Due to its proximity to Pune and its significance as an industrial hub of the region, the city is expected to continue its growth in the future.
Based on the current traffic and forecast demand, a bus-based rapid transit system was found to be the appropriate public transportation system for the city of Pimpri-Chinchwad
GEF-SUTP demonstration project would include the following major components for PCMC:
- Construction of two new road-cum-BRT corridors (19 km)
- On two previously built BRT corridors, passenger access to BRT stations, such as over- and underpasses and improved at-grade crossings
- GPS system to control BRT operation. This is a relatively small addition to a similar component for Pune and would be implemented jointly with PMC and PMPML
- Three bus terminals to serve the previously built BRT corridors
- Technical assistance studies such as Monitoring & Evaluation, Access Plan to BRTS by NMT & Pedestrians, Parking Policy & Master Plan for PCMC area and Promotion & Outreach Program and capacity building, including Transport planning and BRT service plan, fare structure and fare collection, assistance to build up the proposed BRT cell, capacity building and training for PCMC staff.
Apart from the main road infrastructure, a number of other services form part of the entire BRT system. This includes the following main components:
- Rolling Stock,
- Intelligent Transportation System,
- Fare Collection System,
- Bus stops and bus terminals.