UMTA is ‘no excuse’ for SPV
By Express News Service | Published: 30th November 2012 10:49 AM |
Though the state government has promised to extend its support to Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for the city, experts feel that a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for managing the bus services and a control centre to monitor the operations are mandatory for the success of the umbrella body.
According to experts, UMTA will be the regulatory body which will integrate different modes of transport - bus, train and boat services in the city.
But it will be the responsibility of the SPV to run low-floor AC and semi low-floor buses purchased using Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) funds. “UMTA will co-ordinate the entire transport activites in the Kochi agglomeration area. It will prepare the detailed master plan for transport infrastructure development of the region,” said Corporation town planning committee chairman K J Sohan.
But for the successful functioning of UMTA, two more factors are needed, said Sohan.
“UMTA along with an SPV and a control room are the three factors that will help launch an effective public transportation system,” he said. Unlike UMTA, the SPV will be the company which will run the buses. The control room will be the centre which will monitor and control the operations of all modes of transportation with the help of electronic technology.
“UMTA will be the empowered authority for all transport-related issues. But still, SPV formation is mandatory as per the guidelines issued by JNNURM. Though the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has re-routed the low-floor Volvo AC buses which are supposed to conduct services only in the city limits to other districts, we hope that the state government will take steps for the SPV formation soon,” he said.
At present there are 48 AC low-floor buses and 118 non-AC semi low-floor buses plying in Kochi.
The decision by the KSRTC to re-route some services to other districts has already ignited sparks of controversies. The Corporation has written to the state government to take a stand in favour of it for setting up the SPV.
According to Corporation, the non-formation of SPV will affect the JNNURM second phase funding.