Hyderabad: Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu said that there has to be an increased focus on planning and design for sustainable and clean urban mobility. He was addressing the Inaugural Session of 10th Urban Mobility India Conference & Exhibition, 2017 and CODATU XVII Conference, in Hyderabad today.
Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali, the President CODATU, France, Mr. Dominique BUSSEREAU, the Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that urbanisation is one of the realities of the 21st Century, which is called as urban century. He further said that the 2011 Census has clearly shown that urbanization in India is gaining momentum where every third person is living in urban areas.
The current urbanization patterns are causing unprecedented challenges to urban mobility systems, he added.
Venkaiah Naidu said that urban transport accounts for about 25% of the greenhouse gases worldwide. He further said that it is also the major cause of local air and noise pollution in cities which cause ill health.
The traffic congestion created by the transportation systems is responsible for significant economic and productivity costs for commuters and transporters, he added.
The Vice President said that increased motorisation in the Indian cities have caused an ever increasing trend of congestion, pollution, increased travel time, thus producing negative externalities.
He quoted Lewis Mamfort, the great American urban architect and historian, as saying, “Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.”
Venkaiah Naidu said that India has made huge strides in provision of public transport systems in many cities.
He further said that Metro rail has seen a rapid growth in many cities with Delhi taking the lead and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has also seen a phenomenal growth with around 250 kms operational and around 250 kilometers under construction in various cities.
He quoted Mr. Enrique Penelosa, the present mayor of Bogota, as saying, “A developed country is not where the poor use cars but where the rich use public transport.”
The Vice President said that promoting Non-Motorized Transport infrastructure for walking and bicycle not only acts as last mile connectivity for well-established public transport systems but also has a positive impact on health.
He further said that in the pursuit of sustainable mobility, promoting walking and cycling is very important. Need for more pedestrian paths and bicycle tracks to promote healthy lifestyle, combat diabetes & obesity and reduction pollution, he added.
Venkaiah Naidu congratulated the Government of Telangana for the implementation of the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project which, on completion, will become the World’s largest Metro Rail Project to be implemented in Public Private Partnership mode.
He conveyed his best wishes to all in their efforts to create better mobility systems for better quality of life in urban centres. (INN)