Bhubaneswar: Dario Hidalgo, eminent expert in public and non-motorised transport (NMT) congratulated the city authorities and the Odisha Government for revitalising the city-wide public transport by launching “Mo Bus’’.
The international expert, Director, Integrated Transport, WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities, while speaking at the sectoral session on “Smart Cities and Affordable Housing’’ at the Make in Odisha Conclave-2018 at Janata Maidan today, also called upon the city planners to include mobility plan whenever planning/designing a city/urban centre. He advised the efficient use of space inside the vehicles and also on roads and engaging stakeholders in designing the public transport system in the cities.
Saying that city design is for equitable access, he urged planners to keep their focus on people like having more and more NMT alternatives and not developing flyovers, new roads and parking areas only for car users.
With a step towards “zero emission’’ cities should try to plan out electric mobility as they would be a preferred mobility plan for the future and while collecting charges for parking, urban managers should also collect “congestion cess’’ in order to lessen use of cars and boost more use of public transport in order to make our cities less polluted.
“Congestion Cess/tax will also help in increased use of bicycles or Public Bicycle Sharing system in cities’’, he hoped. Hidalgo also said that an efficient PBS could help in having better “last mile connectivity’’ in the cities helping in a robust public transport system through buses or in future through BRTS or metros.
In the sectoral session among others Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department G. Mathivathanan, Special Secretary and Mission Director Smart Cities Prem Kumar Jha, Sewerage specialist from Malaysia Dorai Narayanan, MD and CEO Tata Housing Development Company Limited and Tata Reality and Infrastructure Limited Sanjay Dutt, Vice-President External Affairs and CSR Division Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited, Chairman Global Smart Cities Panel Naveen Soni , Microtech Global Foundation Dr. P Sekhar and Managing Director Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited Dr. Krishan Kumar participated.
The session discussed overview of Smart Cities in India, project progress reports, upcoming projects and ease of doing business initiatives for the sector.
In his keynote address Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department G. Mathivathanan said that there is a plan to have a sustainable and equitable planning for the bigger cities and their peri-urban areas, especially of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. He also spoke about key future projects under the two Smart Cities of Odisha.
While Dorai Narayanan spoke about the state of sewerage affairs in Malayasia in 1957 and how things changed to a world class level with planning and execution, later, MD and CEO Tata Housing Development Company Limited and Tata Reality and Infrastructure Limited Sanjay Dutt unravelled the mystery of affordable housing and the challenges in the industry.
Vice-President External Affairs and CSR Division Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited, Chairman Global Smart Cities Panel Naveen Soni spoke about electric vehicle and clarified that unless we master the art of building the batteries and other parts of the vehicle indigenously, depending on supplies of China would lead to a land of nowhere.
Chairman Global Smart Cities Panel Naveen Soni , Microtech Global Foundation Dr. P Sekhar spoke about techno economic infrastructure growth through secured governance and how a Smart City like Bhubaneswar can benefit from tourism sector.
Summing up and answering to queries during Q&A Session Managing Director Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited Dr. Krishan Kumar said the “Mo Bus’’ under the Capital Region Urban Transport has already added regional transport plan by adding places like Khurda, Jatni, Pipili, Puri and Cuttack in the mobility plan of a Bhubaneswar-Puri-Cuttack Metropolitan Region plan.
He also added that the focus on public transport will definitely make the city more liveable in terms of less pollution, affordability and smart alternative in shared transport. “The Public Bicycle Sharing system will be launched very soon,’’ he added.