Kochi: Stakeholders expressed concerns and put forward suggestions and recommendations on the proposed Kerala Metropolitan Transport Authority Bill during a public hearing of the select committee held here on Saturday. The meeting chaired by transport minister A.K Saseendran discussed issues raised by representatives from various sectors.
A major concern raised was the possibility of a conflict of interest in the Authority since MD of KSRTC and MD of Kochi Metro Rail Limited are members of the body. According to D. Dhanuraj, chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research, the bill does not reflect on the existing mobility features and the operators in the circuit. The lack of representation of the operators which are private in nature is not a good sign.
"Clause 14 (1) and 14 (2) are contradictory. 14 (1) says authority shall have the powers for implementation of comprehensive mobility plan. But, when it comes to alignment of road transport services, authority needs approval of state government, as stated in Clause 14 (2)," he said.
All the stakeholders demanded inclusion of nearby rural areas under the jurisdiction of the Authority. "Even after 15 years of commissioning of Goshree bridges, buses from the island are yet to get city entry. The buses should give licence extension for city entry," representatives of various organisations said.
The stakeholders also sought ring roads, connectivity bridges and a better traffic management to decongest roads. A railway station near Vyttila mobility hub, reduction in parking fee, facilities for cyclists, uniform bus timing to avoid rash and competitive driving of buses and reduction in service charge while introducing smart card ticketing are some of the major demands put forward by stakeholders.
They also sought including Water Transport department under the purview of the Authority and making public transport differently-abled friendly.
Many participants expressed concerns that like the police and motor vehicle department, whether the KMTA will also impose fine for violating rules.
MLAs Hibi Eden, P.T. Thomas, John Fernandez, V. Abdu Rehman, T. A. Ahmed Kabeer, C.Divakaran, Mullakkara Ratnakaran and C.K. Nanu, district collector Muhamamd Y Safirulla, KMRL MD Muhammad Hanish, transport commissioner K Padmakumar, transport principal secretary K.R Jyothilal, officials and representatives of various organisations also attended....