‘Development shouldn’t hit quality of life’

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu taking a bus ride after inaugurating the Hubballi Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System in Hubballi on Sunday.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu taking a bus ride after inaugurating the Hubballi Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System in Hubballi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Kiran Bakale

Vice-President formally inaugurates Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System

“With rapid urbanisation everywhere, there is dire need for building efficient mass transportation infrastructure apart from encouraging non-polluting electric vehicles. The government must provide the right policy environment to facilitate the same,” Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu said here on Sunday.

He was addressing a gathering here on Sunday, after formally inaugurating the 22.5-km Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System (HD-BRTS).

HDBRTS has been on a trial run for a year and ferries 1 lakh passengers daily.

Mr. Naidu said that simply building infrastructure was not enough and that there was need for a behavioural change among urban dwellers to take to mass transportation.

The V-P said that urbanisation was a reality and India’s population was migrating towards cities.

“However, rapid urbanisation has its own set of challenges which have to be addressed in a holistic manner by the urban planners. While 55% of the world population is already living in urban areas, it is estimated to reach 68% by 2050. And India is expected to contribute a staggering 416 million urban dwellers to this number,” he said.

Mr. Naidu said that steps should be taken to ensure that they did not affect the environment and human health, particularly that of children. “Development must not happen at the cost of quality of life. I strongly believe that we need a proactive model of urbanisation rather than a reactive one,” he said.

Mr. Naidu said that the Union government had taken up several programmes and schemes to improve urban mobility.

A National Urban Policy Framework 2018 (NUPF) had been envisioned and collaboration between the State and the Union governments was essential for sustainable urban development and so also a strong public-private partnership, he said.

Emphasising that smart and beautiful cities were built by smart and beautiful citizens, the Vice President appealed to individuals and organisations to join hands with the government for ensuring sustainable development. He also stressed the need for making new urban infrastructure low-carbon, green and climate-resilient.

Lauding the efforts that had gone to designing and implementing the HD-BRTS, the Vice President called on the people to make best use of the public transport which has already won ‘Best Mass Transit Award’ for 2019.

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi said that amid hurdles and delay the HDBRTS had been completed and the pending issues would be sorted out soon.

Briefing about the project, Minister for Large and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar said that out of the total cost of ₹970.87 crore, ₹622.06 crore was borne by the State government, while ₹324.32 crore was raised from the World Bank.

The project received Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of ₹24.49 crore.

Deputy Chief Ministers Laxman Savadi and Govind Karjol, former Minister Basavaraj Horatti, a host of elected representatives and officials were present.

Commissioner of Directorate of Urban Land Transport V. Ponnuraj welcomed the gathering while Managing Director of HDBRTS Rajendra Cholan proposed vote of thanks.

Earlier after formally inaugurating the HDBRTS, Mr. Naidu and others travelled in the ‘Chigari’ bus from Hosur to Navanagar.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:19:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/naidu-stresses-on-need-for-efficient-mass-transportation/article30719760.ece

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