Headlines June 14, 2020
Promote non-motorised transport, Centre tells states
The Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry has advised all states to promote and revive non-motorised transit systems, like cycling, to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. It also asked states to implement cashless technology on public transport systems.
This is in line with world cities which have promoted non-motorised transport to tide over the COVID-19 crisis. New York has added 40 miles of new lanes to support cyclists and Bogotá in Colombia added 76 km of cycling lane overnight, it said.
In an advisory to states and metro rail companies this week, HUA Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra said non-motorised transport systems should be encouraged and revived across India.
As most urban trips are clocked in under five kilometres, non-motorised transport offers perfect opportunity to implement in this COVID-19 crisis as it requires low cost, less human resource, is easy and quick to implement, scalable and environment-friendly. – Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry
The advisory also said that public transport should be restarted in phases and that spread of infection be controlled by sanitisation, containment and social distancing measures.
“Touch-less systems like BHIM, PhonePe, Google Pay, PayTM and National Common Mobility Card will reduce human interaction in operations of public transit systems,” it said.
India has a robust 700 km of operational metro rail in 18 major cities and a Bus Rapid Transit network of about 450 km operational in 11 cities carrying 10 million passengers daily. The capacity is likely to remain under-utilised for some time as commuters remain wary of using shared systems due to fear of contracting the coronavirus.
“Due to the social distancing norms being practiced, their capacities would be utilised at 25 to 50 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels. Such dramatic and dynamic changes in demand and supply will require complementing these public transport systems with alternative modes of transit,” it added.
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