New Delhi, Sept 22 : A US delegation headed by James Simpson, the Administrator of Federal Transit Administration (FTA), met the Union Minister for Urban Development, Jaipal Reddy, here today to identify opportunities for joint projects between the public transportation industries of India and the United States.
Reddy highlighted some initiatives like the Metro Rail and the Bus Rapid Transport System that have been taken up by the Urban Development Ministry.
The purpose of the visit is to further develop cooperation and exchange information based on the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the Ministry of Urban Development and US Department of Transportation in September, 2007.
Earlier addressing an Indo-US delegation level meeting, Dr. M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, stated that there is lot to learn from the United States regarding public transport initiatives at the federal level.
Ramachandran said that the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) would facilitate the exchange of scientific technical information on subjects of mutual interests, an exchange of specialists, delegations, and scientific and technical personnel. It would also help in jointly organizing symposia seminars, training and joint research in urban transportation, science and technology and other forums of cooperation as mutually agreed, he added.
Highlighting the initiatives taken in the field of urban transport, Dr. Ramachandran referred to sanctioning of funds for metro projects in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai at a total cost of 13.5 billion US dollars.
The metro projects in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata are being taken up on a joint ownership pattern with Government of India and the concerned State Government as project promoters. The metro projects in Mumbai and Hyderabad have been taken up on a public private partnership (PPP) basis.
Ramachandran further said that Metro projects were in the pipeline for Chennai, Kochi and Chandigarh. He said the Delhi Metro is a shining example of a world-class metro and promised that the American delegation's visit to it would be an enjoyable experience.
The Bus Rapid Transport System Projects (BRTS) was on in ten cities namely, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Rajkot, Indore, Bhopal, Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam.