STATING that Mumbai needs transit-oriented development (TOD), which refers to density proportionate to easy access to mass transit infrastructure, Chairman and Managing Director of the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation Prabhat Sahai pointed out on Friday that the lack of support through legislation and poor public confidence are stalling the implementation of TOD systems in the financial capital.
“TOD can generate funds for transport projects. It is successful in Japan and a number of cities of Europe and some cities in China. What is peculiar about these cities is that legislation and policies have been framed to incorporate TOD. The legislation in our country doesn’t support TOD,” said Sahai, who was speaking at a session titled ‘Urban transport: fixing the nerve centre of cities to shift to transit-oriented development’ organised as part of the BRICS Cities conclave 2016.
He said most TOD projects in Japan were debated across the table. “We should go ahead with TOD and make a mix of low-cost housing and public spaces,” said Sahai.
UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner, said that apart from the integration of land use planning and transport planning that would be needed for TOD, another type of integration is required for different modes of transport such as creating network and linkages with all modes of transport and a common e-ticket system for all modes of travel.
“There are complexities in achieving both integrations. It requires high civic infrastructure and funds immediately but the returns take time. Other challenges include selection of the right model,” said Madan.
When asked by Madan about how to choose the right model for TOD from the many models, Peter Manners, senior director at Chip and Contactless Solutions, Visa, said it was best to stick to simple and trusted solutions.
Later, making a presentation on ‘Making Mumbai Work’, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said that for the first time, social equity is being included in the Development Plan (DP), which is being prepared by the civic body for 2014-2034.
“In the DP, we are ensuring that infrastructure doesn’t become a constraint. Also, from the social equity point of view, we are making provisions for gender equity and for the differently abled,” said Mehta.
While gender equity includes multi-purpose housing for working women, care centres, Aadhaar Kendras and skill centres, affordable and rental housing and public convenience for women, measures for the differently abled include customized public buildings, roads and housing.
“Due to the coastal road project, the city will get a huge green cover. We will have to reclaim at least 120 hectares of land. While 60 hectares will go for construction of the road, there will be green cover on the remaining portion and no construction at all,” Mehta added.