Bus Rapid Transport System is key to urban development: Saugata Roy

Source: The Hindu Business Line
Kolkata, Nov. 11, 2011: The Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Mr Saugata Roy, on Friday said that bus rapid transit system (BRTS) projects were key to urban development in the country.
BRTS is typically low-cost, flexible, mass transportation system. “BRTS projects have been highly successful internationally and come at one-tenth the cost of metro projects,” Mr Roy said while speaking at urban renewal and transport summit organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here today.
The Centre will focus on the development and promotion of public transport systems, including metro railways, across the country to meet the increasing need for an improved and efficient transit system. The government will support projects for metro railways in cities with population of over 20 lakhs.
The urban renewal process in the country will throw up a funding requirement of Rs 39 lakh crore in the next 20 years, he pointed out. The government also plans to set up dedicated urban transport authorities. “There should be city specific strategies, greater private sector participation, capacity creation and concerted efforts from all stakeholders towards the revival of the transport sector,” Mr Roy said.
BRTS in Kolkata
The BRTS project from Ultadanga to Garia along EM Bypass in Kolkata was approved by the Centre last year and the work will progress soon, said Mr Firhad Hakim, the State Minister for Urban Development.
Kolkata BRTS, to be executed by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is a Rs 250-crore project. “The State government will fund about 50 per cent,” he said.
Beginning at Ultadanga, the route will cover 15.5 km running along the E M Bypass to Garia. The corridor will connect major growth centres such as Sector V, Rajarhat, Salt Lake, and Patuli Township.
There was a paucity of competent workforce in the State for designing and implementing its urban renewal projects. “We need more institutes which will adopt a pragmatic and realistic approach towards the issues related to urbanization to bridge the skill gap in the State,” he said.
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