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A model fit for replication

Smriti Kak Ramachandran
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Following its success inRajasthan’s Alwar, the eco-friendly and safe vehicle Alwar Vahini is now being suggested for lowering traffic congestion in other cities

decongesting:Alwar Vahini vehicles.
decongesting:Alwar Vahini vehicles.

A public transport system that is environment friendly, safe, economical and even helped generate employment, the Alwar Vahini — introduced in 2011 in Rajasthan’s Alwar district — has emerged as a model fit for replication.

A mini passenger vehicle, the Alwar Vahini was introduced to ease the strain on the existing infrastructure of the city with a burgeoning population. And its successful stint in Alwar has encouraged the Union Urban Development Ministry to cite the transport system as a model that can be adopted by small and medium sized cities which need to increase their traffic systems, without congesting their roads.

Cities that have multiple modes of transport, including buses, auto rickshaws, tempos and shared private vehicles can streamline their traffic with the introduction of smart vehicles like the Alwar Vahini, the Ministry has suggested.

In an advisory to the States, the Ministry has cited the model as a successful way to reduce congestion on the roads, as it encourages private vehicle users to switch to public transport and does its bit for the environment as it is a Euro-IV compliant vehicle.

Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna said, “The most impressive feature is that a modern, comfortable, safe, organised and self sustained public transport system has been implemented without any financial outgo from the government. It has not only improved public transport, but has generated 3,000 plus jobs also. The mobility of people has increased and there is a tremendous shift from private vehicles to Alwar Vahini public transport.”

The transport system also takes care to address the needs of different categories of commuters; for instance, there is a special service for women where vehicles are reserved for and driven by women and a separate taxi service.

Another aspect of the service that makes it reliable is the attention to the safety of commuters. Every Alwar Vahini vehicle has a unique number prominently displayed, which helps in identifying the vehicle, in case of a traffic violation. High resolution CCTV cameras have also been provided to watch over and ensure there are no breaches in the specified standards of discipline.

“Most cities, specially small and medium sized cities, today have informal public transport through shared auto-rickshaws, tempos, vikrams, etc. which are highly polluting, totally unorganised, unsafe and passenger unfriendly,” Dr. Krishna has told the States, urging them to consider the Euro-IV compliant vehicles that can accommodate six passengers.

Pointing out that urban transport remains a challenge for cities and “provisioning for it has not kept pace with air pollution, higher incidents of accidents as well as increasing consumption of petroleum products,” Dr. Krishna has urged States to consider the transport system even for feeder services for other high capacity systems like the Metro.

The Ministry has also suggested the installation of GPS/GRPS on such public transport systems for their monitoring and coordination from a central control room.

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