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In top gear: Unified law to govern transport,mobility

National panel will oversee implementation of law,common mobility card and setting up of helpline

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | New Delhi | Published: August 7, 2013 12:23:15 am

With an aim to improve urban transport and mobility in India,Ministry of Urban Development has decided to have a unified law to govern transport and mobility.

A working group will draft the law and form a National Urban Transport Authority of India (NUTAI) to implement the law.

The letter issued by Urban Transport (UT),Urban Development Ministry,dated July 22,states that the working group will have to submit the draft legislation within two months.

“The responsibility of urban transport is distributed between various ministries in the Central and state governments. In the absence of any unified law on the subject,all agencies are currently working in isolation. We want people to switch to public transport and,for this,we need to have standard specifications,which are applicable across the country,’’ a senior UD official said.

While NUTAI will function at national level,there will be a state urban transport authority in each state. The working group will have an official on special duty from UT (UD ministry) as its chairman. The other members are S Sundar,senior fellow,The energy and Resources Institute (TERI); director (UT-I); Director General,Institute of Urban transport; and,MD and CEO,Urban Mass Transit Company Ltd. The group will also have representatives from the Ministry of Railways,Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,and from the states of Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh,Gujarat,Chhattisgarh,Rajasthan and Delhi.

“A separate Act will define the functions of NUTAI. These will include framing of safety standards and specifications for all urban transport modes such as the Metro,monorail,personal rapid transit,urban buses,bus rapid transit system (BRTS),urban roads intelligent system,cycling,parking,public para-transit and transport integration,’’ an official said.

The Authority will also look into the setting up of and monitoring standard service level benchmarks for urban transport and developing alternative financial models for urban transport projects.

“Coming up with standards for urban road safety,including road safety audit,preparing model documents,national database for urban transport and guidelines to regulate and manage urban freight transport. The NUTAI will also oversee the implementation of national public transport helpline and national common mobility card ‘More’,’’ he said.

The letter sent out by UD ministry to state governments said,“The working group may take assistance of law firms and experts and would study in depth the Motor Vehicles’ Act,Road Safety Bill,Municipal Acts and Country Planning Acts….’’

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