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Nitin Gadkari stresses need to optimize capacity utilization and reduce congestion on roads 

New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has said that reforms are being brought in to optimize capacity utilization and to reduce congestion on roads as well as higher levels of road safety and service standards in the country. Speaking at the conclusion of a legal contract for procurement of the Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) from World Bank for enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Public Transport Sector in New Delhi today, he said, the States need to improve their public transport strategy, especially in urban areas.

Gadkari said the future belongs to electric and biofuel based transport vehicles. These are cost-effective, pollution free and cut import bill on petroleum products. He said, using Ethanol and Methanol is also a good option. He cited the example of Nagpur, where bio-CNG is being produced from fruit, mutton waste etc. For intercity transport, he advocated adopting broad-gauge metro, for which rolling stock is readily available. He said studies suggest that against the construction cost of Rs 350 crore per kilometre for traditional metro, it comes to only Rs 3 crore for the broad-gauge metro. The Minister informed that 111 waterways are being prepared in different cities and rivers with World Bank assistance. He requested World Bank representative present on the occasion to prepare the total transport vision for India.

Gadkari also recalled the signing of a MoU with Transport for London (TFL) on 10th January 2018 with the aim to bring in the best practices from the world. TFL is an agency that manages the transport system for Greater London and has demonstrated its capability by creating a strong and dependable public transport system in the city of London. It has created a unique system of operating buses in PPP model with over 17 operators under a single brand. He said the MoU is aimed at using the expertise of TFL to revamp the public transport architecture in a few select cities in the country.

The Minister expressed satisfaction over engaging World Bank for consultancy services for carrying out Public Transport improvement studies in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra which can be replicated in other States for the betterment of public Transport. He hoped that the agreement signed today will lead to achieving the desired outcomes towards developing a safe and efficient transport system in the country.

Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemical and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya said, India needs a good transport policy regarding efficient bus transport system. He said the share of public transport for passenger transportation must rise so as to improve the productivity and throughput of the roads.

Through this advisory service, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will assist the recipient states Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and their State Transport Undertakings (STUs) in improving their Public Transport Policy. RAS would also enable the Ministry to guide States in public transportation matters and to carry out certain pilot projects in the recipient States which can be replicated in other States for the betterment of Public Transport system. The RAS is likely to help States improve their service definition and planning, enhancement capacity of the public transport system through innovating contracting methods and improve service quality and safety through leverage of technology.

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