May 23, 2009 1:22:50 am
The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning a research institute for Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS) to cater to various Urban Local Bodies (ULBs),not only in the Mumbai region but also those from other states and developing Asian countries.
The institute is the outcome of a pact signed between the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the United States and the state government early this year. It will focus on the technical and financial aspects of Mass Rapid Transit Systems.
A plan was already in place for a training institute for ULBs in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on the grounds of YASHADA,the administrative training school. When a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) was signed by the state government last year,it was decided to share ideas on MRTS as they invest more than Rs 1,500 crore in research alone. This research will prove beneficial to us as there is little stress on research here compared to the Western countries, said Ratnakar Gaikwad,MMRDA commissioner. The institute will cater to the needs of other ULBs also. Gaikwad added.
According to the agreement,the FTA will share information on the research conducted by them and in turn,the MMRDA (the state government) will share information on the public-private partnership (PPP) model,which is widely practised in infrastructure projects in the state.
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It is to be noted that apart from Mumbai,a metro rail will come up in Navi Mumbai in the near future while the MMRDA has planned a monorail for Thane and Bhiwandi. These will require training of the staff involved. Hyderabad and Bangalore are also undertaking metro rail projects.
The MMRDA has allocated Rs 8 crore for setting up the institute. We are yet to finalise the location and have identified two-three locations,of which one is in Thane. Since the institute will also have a residential complex,we are also exploring locations in the Bandra-Kurla-Complex (BKC), Gaikwad said.
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