Transport Authority for Kochi this month: Minister

Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran  

The State government is making all-out efforts to ensure that the Kochi Metropolitan Transportation Authority (KMTA) begins functioning this month itself, while space for its office would be finalised this week, Minister for Transport A.K. Saseendran, has said.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said that the State Cabinet was expected to decide on the board members of the authority in the coming days. The file in this regard had been forwarded to the Chief Minister. Kochi would have the first such full-fledged authority in India, to formulate which a Bill was passed two years ago. Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode were set to follow suit. Other cities too could subsequently opt for similar bodies which would be in charge of the coordination, execution, regulation, and supervision of urban transport systems, he said.

The authority chaired by the Minister for Transport, would have the Transport Secretary as Vice Chairman. The board members would comprise the Mayor, a people’s representative nominated by the government, a couple of traffic experts, and officials representing the departments concerned. It was heartening to note that Kochi was leading the State in initiating changes in public transport, as was evident from the fact that private bus operators here had arrayed under half a dozen companies, while autorickshaw drivers had together formed a cooperative society, Mr. Saseendran said.

The Enforcement RTO of Ernakulam had been appointed the nodal officer to identify a fully furnished office for the KMTA. Among the suggestions that came forth was space in the Revenue Tower on Park Avenue Road. The KMTA would wield considerable powers, aimed at streamlining public transport systems, it is learnt.

The constitution of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) had found a place in the 100-day action plan of the State government, announced in August. The government is shortly expected to finalise the body’s rules and notify them. The authority is initially expected to take a call on rationalising bus routes, to ensure optimal fleet efficiency of private and KSRTC buses. It would also have to evolve a parking policy, to encourage opening of pay and park lots and measures to clamp down on haphazard parking, among other issues that are crying for attention.

Mr. Saseendran said the MVD’s Suraksha Mithra software would shortly be linked with Kochi’s Integrated Command and Control Communication Centre (IC-4), whose MVD cell he inaugurated online on Monday. This would enable monitoring of emergency vehicles, public transport and school buses.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 9:26:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/transport-authority-for-kochi-this-month-minister/article32895601.ece

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