Kochi

Fresh mobility plan for Greater Kochi on cards

The first meeting of the Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) held on Friday under the chairmanship of Minister for Transport A.K. Saseendran has decided to opt for a fresh Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for Greater Kochi area, rationalise bus routes, hasten work on the walkway-cum-non-motorised road corridor linking Ernakulam North and South railway stations and develop a common app to integrate different modes of public transport in the region.

It was also decided to extend KMTA’s jurisdiction to areas which fall under the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) and the Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA), to form committees for public transport operators, traffic integration, integrated land use and town planning, urban freight movement and a city transport advisory committee.

The other decisions taken by the authority — the first of its kind in India to have legal backing, and was constituted in November 2020 — include laying of ground work to permit the entry of private buses from Vypeen into the city, to have tie-ups with all bodies that have been active in the field of traffic reforms, to finalise a parking policy and regulate parking and to install direction boards wherever required.

EoI to be invited

All these decisions will be implemented on a priority basis during the ensuing six-month period, said Jafar Malik, CEO of KMTA, who made a presentation. A decision to opt for a fresh CMP was taken since members said that revising the CMP (that was readied in 2015) would be inadequate. Expression of Interest (EoI) would be invited from agencies which have expertise in readying CMP.

This would smoothen the process of implementing a whole lot of reforms, including smart parking. The work to realise a North-South Corridor is already under way as part of Mobilise Your City programme. KMTA will coordinate with agencies concerned to acquire land and related aspects, he said.

Common app

Studies would be done on establishing first and last-mile connectivity, a rapid transit and suburban rail system to decongest the Greater Kochi area. In addition, a common app will be developed under the Kochi open mobility network, if need be with the help of bodies like Deccan Foundation so that commuters and providers of all public transport systems like metro rail, buses, autorickshaw, taxi cars and ferries can rely on it, rather than download numerous apps.

Aimed at tackling inadequate manpower, it was decided that personnel will be deputed to the agency on a working arrangement, till the Finance Department gives the sanction to recruit personnel.

Fund sought

Friday’s meeting also saw KMTA demand ₹1.40 crore to create its website and for activities like awareness programmes.

Mayor Anilkumar said that the Kochi Corporation must be taken into confidence while rolling out traffic and other reforms.

The others who participated (most of them online) include Principal Secretary, Transport, K.R. Jyotilal, urban transport expert O.P. Agarwal and representatives of Planning Board, MVD, traffic police, Finance Department and Town Planning Department.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:57:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fresh-mobility-plan-for-greater-kochi-on-cards/article33639277.ece

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