Stress on multi-modal transportation in 14th Five Year Plan

Stressing the need to develop a multimodal transportation system for enhancing the share of public transportation for passengers and freight movement, the draft approach paper to the 14th Five Year Plan, published by the Kerala State Planning Board, gives greater emphasis to developing more energy-efficient railways and inland waterways.

A successful SilverLine can ultimately help gain access to green project finance, it says. SilverLine, which will reduce travel time between Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram to four hours, is crucial to the achievement of the sectoral objective of enhancing the share of public transportation in the transport system.

It will also contribute to redressing regional imbalances, economic growth, employment generation, and the development of an environmentally sustainable rapid transport system. The long-term environmental benefits of the semi-high speed railway in the overall reduction of carbon emissions are well established, it says.

To back the project, the report also fields the transportation sector stats in the draft paper. According to it, the number of vehicles per thousand population in Kerala as of March 2019 was 425, higher than the all-India figure of 225. The length of road per 1,000 population in Kerala is 7.75 km against the all-India average of 4.39 km. Similarly, the road length per 1,000 sq km in Kerala is around 6,664 km compared to an all-India average of 1,617 km.

The proportion of four-lane roads in Kerala is only around 7.6%, compared to the all-India average of 22%. This combination of high road density, high vehicle ownership, and low density of multi-lane roads is contributing to a high level of accidents.

In 2019, 41,111 accidents were reported, resulting in 4,440 deaths and 46,055 injuries. In terms of the number of accidents in 2019, Kerala had the fourth highest incidence in India.

Emphasising the current constraints imposed by land availability in enhancing the road capacity in Kerala, the State must seriously consider the role of other modes of transport, particularly semi-high-speed rail and internal waterways, to decongest roads and create adequate capacity for future growth, it says.

Apart from SilverLine, the document supports Phase Il and the JNI Stadium to Infopark projects of Kochi Metro as well as the integrated water transportation system for Kochi. The Light Metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode are to be realigned with the Government of India’s new metro policy.

“The draft report has been released for public discussion and this underscores the orientation and planning towards the direction the State heads. But the final report will be drafted after taking note of the opinion of the public and experts,” says V. K. Ramachandran, vice chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 11:12:11 pm |