Shri Venkaiah Naidu asserted that the huge increase in private vehicles in urban areas amounts to the rich and the affordable mis-appropriating the limited urban space at the cost of the poor. He said this ‘social exclusion’ should be addressed with better transport planning. He stated that between 1981 and 2011, the population of the six major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad increased by 2.50 times while the private vehicles shot up by about 30 times, increasing from 5 million to 160 million.
Talking about smart cities initiative, Shri Naidu said that a smart city is not the one wherein everybody gets to use a private vehicles, but one in which even the rich and affordable will prefer to travel by public transport. He observed that growing number of private vehicles may be evidence of rising incomes and prosperity, but at the same time, it is a certain indication of total failure of urban transport planning.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu noted that urban planning and management is the main challenge of the 21st century and central and state governments should rise to the occasion to convert this challenge into an opportunity.
The Minister said that Metro transport option is capital intensive and the success of Delhi Metro may not be feasible to be replicated at all places. He suggested location specific transport systems including Bus Rapid Transport, Light Rail Transport etc.
the four day conference being attended by about 1,000 urban planners, experts and representatives of states will deliberate various aspects of urban transport planning. The Conference is being orgainsed by the Ministry of Urban Development and the Institute of Urban Transport.