Mobility holds key to shaping  future of our cities: Fadnavis

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Nov 2018 11:50:41


Staff Reporter,

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurates three-day 11th Urban Mobility India- 2018  conclave

“The mainstay of ancient civilisation was water and hence it thrived on banks of rivers but in modern times, it is the transport that holds the key to sustainable development of urban dwellings. Mobility is going to shape the future of our cities as nearly 50 per cent of populace in State is expected to live in urban centres. A seamless connectivity across all modes of transports will strengthen public transport system,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 11th Urban Mobility India- 2018 conclave organised by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in city  on Friday.

Stressing on the need to promote public transport system, Fadnavis said, “Dependability is the component for appealing masses to switch over to public transport. Advances in technology give new hopes to improve transport system as it is one of major culprits releasing harmful gases in environment world over.”

Expressing concern over degradation of environment in urban India, Fadnavis said, “With an aim to improve environment in State, the government is purchasing electric buses for strengthening public transport system. The State Government is mulling over purchase of electric buses on mass scale as part of its commitment to cleaner environment. Advances in newer technology mean in future fares of electric buses would be at par with state transport buses that run on conventional fuel.”

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, delivered the key note address. Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs was the guest of honour.

Alexander Ziegler, Ambassador of France; Dr Martin Ney, Ambassador of Germany; Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India; Nanda Jichkar, Mayor; Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister, and Dr Brijesh Dixit also were seated on the dais.

Nitin Gadkari in his thought-provoking address called for exploring alternate fuels to reduce dependence on oil. Underlining the advantage of bio-fuels he outlined the exploration of water transport that offers cheapest mass transport. And with usage of methanol or ethanol the per kilometer cost for transport can be as low as 50 paise.

“Urban mobility is a critical issue for India as it charts on the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of developing a new India,” Gadkari said while underscoring need for cost effective solutions given the dynamics involved in the populous country. At the same time he batted for embracing new technology as India is one of the fastest developing economies. “The faster we adapt, the better it is for our future,” Gadkari added.

Gadkari showcased the Nagpur Metro model wherein cash-strapped Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has transferred its prime land to former that has monetised the same and added value. Both are winners and this model can be formulated in all India policy.

Earlier, Union MoS Hardeep Singh Puri said, “As per the projections, by 2030, nearly 600 million people are expected to reside in cities. Therefore, the major challenge today is to make cities livable, and Centre has reoriented its policies as nearly 65 per cent of GDP comes from urban centres so does 90 per cent of tax collections. It is imperative we invest heavily in urban centres to improve the mass transport as motor vehicles that increased rapidly in country are not good from environment point of view.”

Advocating public transport as corner stone of urban transport, Puri said, “Contrary to idea, development and environment can go hand-in-hand. Sustainability is must for development of cities,” he added.Ambassadors of France and Germany also expressed their views on the occasion.

At the outset, Durga Shankar Mishra outlined the theme of the three-day conference. Dr Brijesh Dixit proposed a vote of thanks.