BMLTA draft bill placed before Karnataka govt

Last Updated 26 December 2019, 19:33 IST

The city’s transport sector will have a radical overhaul if the united transport authority gets the state government nod.

The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has submitted the draft of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) to the government. The bill is expected to be placed before the Assembly in the upcoming budget session.

The proposed BMLTA is an attempt to reimagine the city’s transport domain, which has been dogged with the usual problems of disparate bodies working in silos, for end-to-end integration of policymaking, planning, executing and enforcement authorities for future mobility.

DULT Commissioner V Ponnuraj said that once set up, the transport authority will help in shifting the focus of policymakers from demand management to supply management in the mobility sector.

“All these years, we have only looked at supply management, trying to build infrastructure and provide facilities in response to public demand. This approach has failed to provide solutions for the transport sector,” he said.

The focus on demand management, he said, is the root cause of today’s crises. “Policies will be formed to create and manage demands to map out the future of the city and channel its growth. This will tackle a range of problems, from congestion on the road to the unplanned expansion of the city,” he said.

Policy framework

The BMLTA bill goes a step beyond the integration of bus, metro and rail networks, as the authority will connect the Transport Department, the BBMP, the BDA and other organisations like the KRDCL (PWD), which take up works in Bengaluru.

The authority will adopt and implement two key policies with a new perspective on land use, transit oriented development and comprehensive mobility plan, which is part of the Master Plan 2031.

In its true spirit, the BMLTA will bridge the chasm between policy-making and infrastructure and service planning, which has pushed the mobility to the brink. On the other side, the unified approach will allow a commuter to access information about buses, metro, rail under one head, allowing one to plan a seamless trip.

Tenders called

The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has begun preparations for the next phase of the public bicycle sharing (PBS) system to cover
several parts of the city where there is a high demand for PBS. Officials said DULT has started identifying about 1,000 hubs in the next phase. The focusing is on connecting tech parks and other business centres as well as areas that indicate high demand.

At present, two operators - Yulu and Bounce - are providing service. The tender has already been called for identifying and setting up bicycle parking spaces in Cluster 1 (central), 2 (south) and 3 (north-west) of the city.

Gandhi Bazaar pedestrianisation

The pedestrianisation of Gandhi Bazaar road in Basavanagudi, a long-pending project, is back on track.

The DULT began working on the project about five years ago to make the area pedestrian-friendly, considering the rush witnessed in the market during the festive seasons. The project seeks to end chaos by restricting the vehicles in the area. “Even the shopkeepers welcomed the plan, as increasing vehicle congestion is now hurting their business,” an official said.

However, convincing the residents remains a litmus test. During public consultation, residents had complained that banning vehicles on the road will block their connection to K R Road and Bull Temple Road.

(Published 26 December 2019, 18:41 IST)

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