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Article in The Times of India
Authored by Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan


National Coordinator of
VOTEINDIA movement

MMTS has a long way to trundle

The much - heralded multi-modal transport system (MMTS) was flagged off last week. In spite of the initial hiccups, it is welcome beginning for a modern urban transport system, which the city has lacked for a long time. To start with, MMTS is offering limited services with a promise to expand to the rest of the city in the near future.

Hyderabad's roads are already choking with traffic and it is a nightmare to travel in the city during peak hours. Given the phenomenal rise in vehicle density, our traffic woes are slated to get worse by the day. Millions of our citizens who live in the suburbs commute t the city in woefully crowded buses and scanty local trains. A majority of them spend an inordinate amount of time commuting. The quality of life for commuters will increase tremendously if they have access to a reliable and comfortable transport system.

They can travel in comfort and the time that they save is quality time, which is a premium commodity in today's fast-paced urban life. The quality of life in a modern metropolis is defined by the quality of infrastructure in the form of affordable housing, reliable urban transport systems and other basic amenities like clean drinking water, etc.

Any visitor to Europe would be amazed at their world-class public transport system which makes travel such a pleasure throughout the continent.

One cannot imagine life in the great city of New York without its transit system, which ferries millions of commuters from the metro area into the city. In fact the world class transport system played a key role in enabling the growth of the city over the past century and made the economy of Metro New York are contribute almost 1/10th to the US GDP! One of the follies of America is that most other cities in that country killed public transport. Out urban planners and policy makers do not seem to have paid much attention to the issue of public transport. We seem to have largely followed the American model of private transport instead o he European model of public transport.

In recent years some efforts are being made to introduce modern transport systems in a piecemeal fashion.

Most Indian cities have appalling urban transport systems with he exception of Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and to some extent Delhi with the recent introduction of its Metro. People who have worked in Mumbai cannot imagine life in that sprawling and bustling metropolis without the urban transport system. It might not be world class, but is reliable, affordable and accessible to the common man. Kolkata and Delhi made a much belated start and their metros are functioning reasonably well and are set to expand their coverage to the entire cities bringing the relief to millions of commuters.

Hyderabad's city planners should dream and aim big and make all out efforts to put a modern transport system through out the metropolitan area. It might cost a thousand crores, but would be worth every rupee. In a single stroke, it will enhance the quality of life in the city, spur growth in the suburb, decrease congestion in the heart of the city and also deflate the exorbitant real estate and housing prices and bring them within affordable range of the common man. Instead of spending scares public resources on new airport which will be at the most by a few thousand travellers on any given day, our policy makers will be well advised to allocate the resources towards public transport which will be used by millions of citizens everyday. The MMTS is a belated but welcome beginning, and we have a long way to go.





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