The Government of Kerala has sought financial aid for Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) which runs 5,000 buses provided under Union Government’s Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project, Kerala Transport Minister, Mr A.K. Saseendran said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
“We have again present some proposals to get some financial aid for this sector, in other 4 cities we are also trying to introduce the JNNURM buses, on that purpose we are asking the central government to give some financial help,” said Mr Saseendran while addressing an ASSOCHAM conference on ‘Sustainable Urban Road Transport.’
He said that the state government has introduced bio-fuel in few petrol pumps to make public transport system economic and pollution-free. “Now we are planning to introduce this in 69 centers in Kerala state.”
Mr Saseendran informed that while metro rail in Kochi is expected to be commissioned within a year, the land acquisition for light metro in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode has been initiated.
“The establishment of suburban railway project is in the anvil, a legislation to establish a unified Metropolitan Transport Authority in state is in pipeline,” he said.
“It proposes to connect all types of transport services under a Metropolitan Transport Authority,” he added.
Highlighting the importance of promoting freight movement through inland waterways, he said that the state government has initiated various projects for that purpose.
“Separate routes are to be introduced for transport vehicle and those vehicles carrying dangerous substances including explosives and fuel,” said Mr Saseendran.
“I request you to encourage usage of solar energy in water transport system also,” he said further.
The Minister also said that though, there are no super highways across Kerala, the state government is working hard to create four-lane roads and bye-passes in the cities and towns.
He said that Kerala government has mooted to amend the Kerala Road Safety Authority Act, 2007 thereby satisfying various aspects of comprehensive mobility planning as the present law does not cater to various demands put forward by legislators and general public.
“A concerted effort by various government departments like transport, public works, police, local self government and others to achieve the goal,” said Mr Saseendran.
He said that in due course, the public transport system in Kerala will be run by CNG (compressed natural gas) and LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuels that are environment-friendly and cost effective.
“We have started the work to establish CNG and LNG bunks and distribution centres at major cities in the state,” said the Minister.
He also invited private companies to invest in manufacturing automobiles with alternate energy resources.
Terming lack of vehicle parking facilities across cities in India a ‘big problem,’ the Minister said that adequate parking facilities utilising unused places including school grounds during holidays and night time with sufficient security arrangements may be considered.
He also suggested using green energy to be used in boats as diesel causes water pollution which is harmful to fishes and cultivation on the banks.