Why in news? The Legislative Assembly adopted the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) Bill, 2022, that seeks to bring about better integration and management of city’s urban mobility.
- This policy includes everything from auto rickshaws to city buses and metro trains, and the proposed authority will cover an area of 279 square kilometres.
Why there is need for a policy ?
- The process of planning and implementation of major transport schemes were getting affected due to multiplicity of institutions
Ex: Multiple government agencies such as the BMTC for buses, BMRCL for metro, the Karnataka Transport Department and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike have been overseeing different aspects of intra-city travel
- Citizen activists have blamed a lack of coordination among these agencies for poor traffic management and public transport facilities in the city.
- City has seen rapid growth without planning, resulting in overcrowded roads and a high number of vehicles.
- The proposed authority would aim at regulation of development, operation, maintenance, monitoring and supervision of urban mobility holistically.
- The authority is supposed to promote seamless mobility through sustainable urban transport and integration of land use and transport planning.
What are the major Aspects of the bill?
Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority :
- The bill envisages constitution of Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority.
- BMLTA will also have the responsibility of reviewing and approving the City Mobility Investment programme.
- Proposed authority would also evolve and implement parking policy, non-motorised transport policy, transport-oriented development policy, multi-modal integration policy and freight transport policy among others.
- Members :
- Chief Minister will be ex-officio chairperson of the BMLTA,
- Bengaluru in-charge Minister and state Transport Minister serving as vice chairpersons.
- Other members include the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries, the Bengaluru Mayor, the Commissioner of Police, and representatives from various government agencies and civil society.
Supplement the National Urban Transport Policy:
- National Urban Transport Policy lays down a framework for integration of various functions of institutions and departments to enable holistic transport planning, and the Bill envisages achieving the same in Bengaluru.
IISc Bengaluru to conduct scientific study on traffic management:
- Underlined the need for a scientific study and in this regard the Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been contacted to do the study.
Comprehensive Mobility Plan:
- BMLTA will prepare a Comprehensive Mobility Plan which will be revised at least once in five years.
- It will provide for the development of infrastructure and services, including:
(i) Public transport routes
(ii) Road networks
(iii) Accessible mobility
(iv) Pedestrian and cycling paths
(v) Traffic management.
The Plan will be subject to the state government’s approval.
Integration with land use planning:
- Planning Authorities in the urban mobility region shall take into account the Comprehensive Mobility Plan during preparing or revising Master Plans, which govern land use.
- They must also consult the BMLTA and incorporate its suggestions into the Master Plan.
- The Bill empowers the BMLTA to impose fines and other punishments for failure to comply with its provisions, including Rules, Regulations, and Directions framed thereunder.
- Persons may be punished by a fine of up to one lakh rupees for their first offence.
City Mobility Investment Program
- In order to achieve the goals of the Comprehensive Mobility Plan, the BMLTA will prepare a City Mobility Investment Program for financing transport projects.
- It will be revised within two to five years and will be prepared by agencies from each relevant sector (such as urban transport), in consultation with the BMLTA.
What are the key issues in the bill?
- The Bill requires that the BMLTA should be consulted by the planning authorities during preparation or revision of the Master Plan which delays the process
- BMLTA should have such overriding powers in the planning process from other authorities
- Preparing a Master Plan does not include some aspects of transportation, such as planning of street and road networks, accounting for immediate and future demand
- There is a lack of representation from in panchayats and ULBs outside BBMP jurisdiction areas, and relatively minimal representation of the BBMP in the BMLTA
- BMLTA is chaired by the Chief Minister of the state, and other members are representatives of state government departments and agencies.
- Given that transport issues are at the metropolitan level, these ministers may not be ideally placed to engage with relevant issues.
- The 74th Amendment to the Constitution enables the devolution of responsibilities for certain state subjects to urban local bodies, including preparing plans for economic development and social justice.
- Several experts and committees, including the National Transport Development Policy Committee (2013), have recommended that ULBs oversee transport planning.
- Similar integrated bodies in international jurisdictions, often led by local representatives and have other municipal officials in their membership.
Ex : the equivalent authority in London, UK, called “Transport for London”, is headed by the city’s elected Mayor.
- BMLTA Bill that seeks to ensure seamless urban mobility has loopholes in it . Discuss