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Key ideas on sustainable mobility deliberated during interaction with Industry and State Transport Commissioners

Mar 29, 2022

NEW DELHI, 29 March 2022: FICCI Council on Sustainable Mobility yesterday organised an interaction with state transport commissioners of Delhi, Kerala, and Maharashtra. During the interaction, Mr Bharat Salhotra, Chair, FICCI Council of Sustainable Mobility said that the Council was setup as an outcome of the India Roadmap on Low Carbon and Sustainable Mobility, which was prepared after extensive stakeholder discussions over a period of two years and was launched by Mr Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, GoI on 23rd June 2020.

He further added that the focus of the Council will be on implementation of the roadmap recommendations and highlighted key areas of engagement with the states including building collaborative frameworks with the state governments on their sustainable mobility vision, policies, business models that encourage private sector participation, and sharing best practices in transport planning, transport service models and technology platforms. 

Dr O P Agarwal, CEO, WRI India, said that there is a desperate need to look at how transport can contribute to reducing emissions and be put on a low carbon pathway, especially given the scale of urbanisation of India in the future. Dr Agarwal underscored the need to analyse barriers to implementation of sustainable transport policies and engage with the state transport commissioners. He emphasised to look at reasons for challenges in transit-oriented development, setting up Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority and financing sustainable mobility. 

Mr Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary cum Commissioner, Transport Department, Government of NCT of Delhi, said that for bus transport, issues of predictability, reliability of service, safety & perception, along with the model of service which follows routes and fixed stops which are not aligned with demand need to be revisited. Mr Kundra suggested that pilot projects for service on demand for buses through a PPP model for intracity transport can be developed. He also said that a quarter of vehicle sales are expected to be electric vehicles in Delhi in few years. Mr Kundra emphasized that start-ups in the electric mobility space should adopt better battery standards to avoid safety perception issues.

Mr KR Jyothilal, Principal Secretary, Government of Kerala, highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the state government in sustainable mobility and spoke about 'Vision Zero' which focuses on the pillars of zero cash, zero emissions, zero congestion, zero waste and zero accidents for sustainable transport. He added that involvement of industry is important to promote electrification of 2-wheeler delivery vehicles. Integration of mobility plan and city development plan, skilled manpower and funding are the key challenges to deal with for creating sustainable mobility ecosystem, added Mr Jyothilal.

Mr Rajendra Madane, Deputy Transport Commissioner, Transport Department, Government of Maharashtra, said that industry interactions with public transport undertakings should be conducted. He mentioned that electric vehicles have been exempted from taxes and cash incentives are being provided to electric vehicle owners in Maharashtra. Awareness of public transport can be increased through endorsement by celebrities, he noted.

Mr Kolluru Krishan, Chair, FICCI Climate Change Committee and Chairman, CVC India Infrastructure, underscored the need for low carbon energy transition and the primary focus should be on natural gas (CNG and LNG) powered public transport, 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, shared 4-wheeler battery electric vehicles with charging infrastructure and biofuels for transportation for the short-to-medium term horizon. Mr Krishan said that funding can be availed from World Bank and New Development Bank can be availed by states for sustainable mobility and stressed that states should setup Committees on biofuels comprising key experts and thought leaders. Mr Krishan suggested that states setup 2 taskforces - one on sustainability, focusing on town and mobility planning, and another on fuel shift comprising energy experts. 

Mr Rajesh Agarwal, MD & CEO, DIMTS, said that dedicated lanes can be provided at expressways for electric vehicles. Mr Agarwal said that apart from financing support, focus should be on operational ease for electric vehicles. He stated that last mile connectivity with metro railway system should be provided for enhanced customer experience and a dashboard can be developed for providing real-time information on electric vehicles.