Authorities to demand role in city transport policies, take up grievances with Chief Minister

Peeved about being ignored in matters of urban transport, Kochi Corporation authorities are planning to take up their grievances with the State government.

The Kochi Corporation has not been consulted regarding the formation of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for urban transport. “Same is the case with the routes of buses allotted to the city under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM),” said Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany.

Though consecutive corporation councils had asked the State government to form the SPV and the routes of JNNURM buses be fixed in consultation with the civic body, the demands went unheeded. The corporation would highlight these issues and demand a role in matters of urban transport during its meeting with the Chief Minister, he said.

Incidentally, the State government had asked Elias George, Managing Director of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited, to coordinate the formation of the SPV.

“The corporation has not been consulted regarding the formation of the SPV. We have not heard anything on the matter since the government’s decision to form the agency,” Mr. Chammany said.

Private buses were still operating in the city through routes fixed at least three decades ago. The city had grown over the years and several new residential and commercial areas had come up. However, the authorities were yet to redraw the bus routes to connect the newly developed centres in the city, which would benefit the city dwellers, he said. The corporation council had presented a set of new bus routes to be considered for the buses allotted to the city. The authorities seemed to have ignored the suggestions of the people’s representatives. The urban transport needs of the city could not be met with the Kochi metro rail project alone.

Feeder transport system connecting the new and emerging urban centres also had to come up. The corporation would take up these issues with the government shortly, he said.

Mr. George said the Kochi Corporation, which is a stakeholder in the urban transport system, would be consulted regarding the formation of the SPV.

“Currently, the draft rules of the SPV are being drawn up and it may take one month for the process to be completed. The draft would be shared with the Kochi Corporation and its views would be incorporated before submitting it to the authorities,” Mr. George said.

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