KMRL to go ahead with UMTA

Government sitting on proposal

KOCHI: Even as the state government sits on the proposal for Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), a single agency for planning and regulating the entire urban transport system, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited is going ahead with it. KMRL managing director Elias George said the UMTA could be formed based on an expected government order though the UMTA Bill is yet to get the cabinet clearance.

“Though the UMTA draft bill is still lying with the state government, we can initiate the processbased on a government order which is expected to be issued in a couple of days. If delayed further, it would hit smooth functioning of Metro when it becomes operational,” he said. It was in July, 2014, that the KMRL submitted the draft bill to the government for approval, completing a laborious task involving several rounds of discussions with stakeholders.

The Metro agency prepared the draft bill after the government issued a notification forming a committee headed by Mr George for this purpose. The reluctance of top bureaucrats in the state capital to relinquish powers that they enjoy now and lack of will on the part of the political leadership are blamed for the delay.

UMTA is essential for the smooth functioning of Metro scheduled to be operational by the next June. All agencies in transport sector will come under UMTA providing a single transportation network with seamless interchanges and ticketing and a unified transportation network management, command and control. It will not only coordinate the rail, road and waterways but integrate metro rail, freight vehicles, auto-rickshaws, taxis and even non-motorised modes of transport like cycling.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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