Kochi

KMTA gasping for breath due to manpower crunch

The Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA), launched in November 2020 and is said to be the sole MTA in India which has legislative backing, is gasping for breath for want of manpower.

With just an MD, who also couples as CEO of Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), and supported by two experts from the arena of public transport (who incidentally are yet to get a long-awaited Government Order on their appointment), the authority which was touted as a game changer and was vested with wide-ranging powers, has been encountering difficulties in implementing its decisions in the Greater Kochi area.

The KMTA had sought 20 personnel, including those having sound knowledge of integrating different modes of public transport, and urban planners. None has been appointed, although the government sanctioned 10 posts, it is learnt. The allegation is rife that the Finance Department has been playing spoilsport with the prospect of appointing a full compliment of experts spanning over different domains.

E-mobility

In the meantime, its new MD Shanavas S. spoke of how the body has lined up a slew of projects to decongest traffic and streamline parking. “World over, there is a paradigm shift from fossil fuels to renewable ones. There is sound demand for electric vehicles, which once remained a myth. The KMTA can do much to help operators of conventional autorickshaws and taxi-cars to surmount the situation, by handholding them. Discussions are under way,” he said.

The authority could invest in amenities where drained-out batteries can be exchanged with fully charged ones. This will in turn lessen the procurement cost of an e-autorickshaw from ₹3.5 lakh to ₹2 lakh, since the battery of e-vehicles is very costly. Likewise, taxi cars can be brought under a society or company, following which they can procure spare parts at wholesale rate and even have a common workshop, he added.

Open mobility network

Similarly, the KMTA held discussions with Beckn Foundation and stakeholders of different modes of public transport, to take ahead Kochi Open Mobility Network (KOMN). For this, the Foundation would help integrate different apps under a common banner, Mr. Shanavas said.


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 6:23:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kmta-gasping-for-breath-due-to-manpower-crunch/article37112687.ece

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