Sometime next week the Coimbatore Corporation would invite a few government officials, civil society activists, non-government organisations and trade body representatives for a discussion to prepare a comprehensive mobility plan for the city.
The second attempt to address the traffic issues that decelerate the city’s development comes after the Corporation missed the bus after preparing the first comprehensive mobility plan in 2007.
The civic body had prepared the plan engaging a consultant to fulfil obligations under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, sources said.
One of the proposals mooted in the mobility plan was the bus rapid transit system to ease traffic congestion on roads and provide a mass transit project for the city.
The proposal remained on paper as the Ministry of Urban Development asked the Corporation to complete the other JNNURM projects, in the execution of which its performance was below par.
It was also because the then Corporation administration did not accord top priority for providing solutions to transport problems in the city. But cities like Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kochi and even Kozhikode made considerable progress.
A few of those cities completed the first mass transit project and mooted proposal for the second. While the others got the first project moving on the ground, the sources said.
Now the Corporation had got a second chance to prepare a new mobility plan and push for sanction for projects that would find a mention therein, for transport was intricately connected with the city’s development.
Transportation solutions would lead to connectivity and that would result in business development.
Plus, the opportunity for the preparation of a new mobility plan comes when the Corporation had sought from the Ministry the establishment of a urban metropolitan transport authority to provide transport solutions to the city.
It had also sought the creation of an urban transport fund.
The sources suggested that the new mobility plan should look at new areas of growth while trying to decongest areas of stabilisation – meaning, it should look at taking people away from the core business district to new centres of growth, seek to establish new bus terminals as the Ministry norms suggest establishment of a bus terminal for every million population, parking bays, pedestrian and vehicular subways and much more.
The sources added that the civic body should carry out a feasibility study to decide on a mass transit project and based on the study result decide on mono or metro rail.
The choice of the mass transit project should not be decided based on other considerations.