Budget proposes integrated road transport body

Budget proposes integrated road transport body

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has proposed to establish the IRTA for a comprehensive reform of the working and action plan by coordinating with various agencies. (DH File Pic)

The announcement of the Integrated Road Transport Authority (IRTA) has partly recognised a long-standing demand by citizen activists for a body that integrates the services of various departments that work on urban mobility.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has proposed to establish the IRTA for a comprehensive reform of the working and action plan by coordinating with various agencies, including BBMP and BDA, along with the transport corporations, BMTC and BMRCL, for establishing a hassle-free transport system at affordable rates.

However, it is not clear whether IRTA will work on the same lines as the United Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) as mooted in by the Union government in the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006.

The Centre had suggested backing the UMTA with statutory powers so that it can work with other civic agencies in the planning and implementation of transport programmes. As per the Budget speech, the chief minister will be the chairman of IRTA. There are no details on the architecture of the organisation.

Citizen activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar said lack of a designated officer will leave the IRTA powerless with each corporation insisting on carrying forward with its own plan. 

“A high-level official with powers enough to implement a visionary policy is essential if they want to improve the city’s transport system,” he said.

The focus seems to be on road transport, though the authority will coordinate with BMRCL for its plans. There is no mention of much-anticipated suburban rail, for which a special purpose vehicle is yet to be constituted. 

The IRTA, like the UMTA, should be an overarching body with all the corporations participating as stakeholders. The proposal announced in the Budget doesn’t give that impression.

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