New urban transport planning scheme on anvil

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New Delhi, Jun 19 (UNI) The new scheme for urban transport planning providing 80 per cent assistance by the Centre for taking up various studies and schemes such as Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs) has been approved by the Departmental Expenditure Finance Committee(EFC).

Union Urban Development minister Jaipal Reddy told members of the consultative committee of his ministry that the scheme, which has been forwarded to the Finance Ministry for approval, would help in the implementation of the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) from the planning stage.

Besides the preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs) and launching of public awareness campaigns, the scheme provides for pilot studies by the Union Government in certain cities with Central funding.

A meeting of transport secretaries/commissioners of the NCR states was held last month to finalise the draft ''Reciprocal Common Transport Agreement'' among the Governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for the unrestricted movement of vehicles for goods and stage carriage.

Representatives of the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) implementing states also met here on May 14 to review the progress of the works on BRTS under JNNURM, the meeting was told.

Referring to the Government's decision to initiate the process to modify some of the provisions of Master Plan of Delhi (MPD)-2021 regarding mixed land use, the minister stated that the plan had been amended to include management professionals in the list of ''professionals'' for the purpose of mixed use of residential premises. He also referred to the Cabinet's approval of the East-West Kolkata Metro proposal with a total cost of Rs 4,676 crore to be taken as a joint venture between the Union Government and the West Bengal government.

The 3.09-km Shahdara-Dilshad Garden corridor of Delhi MRTS Project Phase-II has been commissioned by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on June 3, the minister added.

Members expressed concern over the interminable traffic jams and high accident rates resulting in deaths on highways. In view of this increasing menace, they urged the minister to enforce a uniform urban transport policy throughout the country as the Centre was providing huge funds as incentives to the states for their integrated urban development.

Dr Reddy clarified that implementation of NUTP was a state subject but assured the members that his ministry would provide all necessary help. Some members demanded that the Metro projects be linked with airports, railway stations and other places which drew huge crowds.

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