Hyderabad, Nov 4 (IANS) Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday urged the states to adopt value capture finance policy framework to raise finance for sustainable urban mobility solutions through innovative means using land as a resource.
He said that since public transportation systems and associate infrastructure are very expensive to develop, the cities need to explore means for collaboration with private sector and employing value capture finance mechanism like cities in France and other developed economies.
He was addressing 10th Urban Mobility Conference cum Exhibition and 17th conference of CODATU, a French organisation promoting sustainable urban mobility in the developing world.
The three-day conference with the theme ‘Intelligent, inclusive and sustainable mobility’ began here on Saturday and is being attended by 1,000 delegates from different parts of the country. About 150 delegates from 25 countries are also attending the the flagship annual event of the ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs aimed at learning new ideas, sharing experiences and approximate best practices.
Puri said India was in process of expanding the urban transport infrastructure rapidly and at an ambitious scale. The country has 380 km metro rail operating in 9 cities with over 500 km under construction in 12 more cities. More than 250 km of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) is operational and another 250 km under construction in various cities.
He noted that rapid growth of cities have put immense pressure on infrastructure including transit systems. “Our cities regrettably in many respects have focussed more on moving vehicles rather than moving people,” he said while stressing the need to move from private vehicles to public transport.
Puri said his ministry was working to make transportation sustainable and integrate it with land use to ensure overall reduction in need to travel. “This kind of advanced thinking is part of our flagship mission Smart Cities under which 90 cities were selected by competition and another 10 will be selected by the end of this year. I am confident by June next year we will begin to see physical manifestation of the work,” he said.
French Ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler, said the cooperation between India and France in urban transportation was increasing by the day.
He said under Smart Cities mission, Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry were getting technical assistance from France. He pointed out that France Development Agency had already committed 12 billion euros to urban transport sector in many cities like Nagpur, Bengaluru and Kochi and was willing to further strengthen its commitment.
The Ambassador noted that at least one French company is involved in every single metro project in India. The French companies offer innovative solutions for alternative moods of transport system across the value chain.
“French companies are committed to investing, innovating and making in India,” he added.
CODATU President Dominique Bussereau said they were ready to work closely with India to help find sustainable mobility solutions for the cities.
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