Car sales should come with parking space tag: Venkaiah Naidu

HYDERABAD: Expressing concern over the severe crunch in public parking spaces, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that people in cities should be allowed to purchase four-wheelers only on production of a parking space provision certificate. Venkaiah was delivering the keynote address after inaugurating the three-day Urban Mobility Conference and Exhibition organized by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs in partnership with Telangana government and CODATU, an organization based in Paris engaged in urban mobility . He said there is an urgent need to integrate various modes of transport and that people should be encouraged to take up walking and cycling.

Expressing concern over rise in traffic congestion, pollution, inadequate parking space and increased travel time, he said hike in parking fee in certain areas and incentives for providing more parking space is required. "This is because car parking space has become a major problem as many families have ended up having one vehicle for each member," he said. He said that widening and laying of new roads cannot de-congest them. Quoting Lewis Mamfort, American urban architect and historian, he said, "Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity."

Venkaiah said many cities are going for Metro rail and circular trains and may opt for electricity-powered buses. "Metro rail has seen a rapid growth in many cities with Delhi taking the lead. Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has also seen a phenomenal growth with around 250 km operational and around 250km under construction.For high-capacity public transport to become popular, last-mile connectivity is important. If the commuter does not get a comfortable mode of transport to reach the Metro station or bus stop, he is likely to use his personal vehicle," the vice-president said.

Hyderabad Metro Rail is the largest project being taken up under PPP model, which is set to take off by end of this month. He congratulated the government for speeding up the project.

Development of pedestrian pathways and dedicated cycle tracks will go a long way in not only promoting sustainable urban transport, but also improving ecosystem of public transport. He also stressed on the need to integrate various modes of transport for better connectivity. This may include joint (transfer) stations, coordinated scheduling, joint fares, single ticket or common mobility card and combined public information activities. Basically, integration can occur at three levels namely physical, operational and fare integration. Physical integration allows close proximity of stations facilitating direct connection from one mode to another usually including transfer facility at stations. Kochi metro has introduced a common mobility card which can be used in the Metro, bus as well as in the water transport system.

Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri expressed concern over tendency of urban transport systems ending up moving vehicles rather than people. "If most of us agree to give up using cars in our cities, it would make a huge difference," he said.

Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana Shri Md.Mahmood Ali referred to the rapid increase in population of Hyderabad and said Hyderabad Metro would bring relief.French Minister of transport and ecology Elisabeth Borne in her recorded message said future of cities of developing and developed countries are interlinked and need to collaborate to address climate change concerns.