KOCHI: The state Cabinet has given nod for the draft bill submitted by the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) for the formation of a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for the urban mobility sectors in the state. With the draft getting approval, the UMTA Act will soon come into existence. It will help form metropolitan authorities for planning, managing, co-ordinating and controlling the transport sector in urban mobility areas in the state, including Kochi.The UMTA Act will change the face of the urban transport sector. The UMTA will become the umbrella body coordinating various institutions involved in handling transport services within the urban mobility region.
It will prioritise actions based on the future transport requirements, besides overseeing the urban transport policy for the areas under it in the coming years. Moreover, it will manage the network of integrated public transport, including rail, boats, buses, cabs and autorickshaws.In Kochi, the UMTA will have a key role to play. Once the UMTA Act comes into existence, it will be easy to implement the single-ticketing system, which is a key component in KMRL’s plans for an integrated transport sector in Kochi.
People can use the same ticket for various modes of travel and once launched, Kochi will become the first city in the country to introduce such a system.“The UMTA Act will allow the public to travel using a single ticket in various modes of transport like rail, road and water. It will also help in rolling out services and operating and managing them according to the demand. The UMTA will give proper advice to all departments concerned in connection with urban transportation,” according to a statement issued by the KMRL here.
The Intelligence Transport System and a Common Command and Control Centre are also the key elements that will be addressed by UMTA.The UMTA will prepare a transportation master plan and a comprehensive mobility plan in accordance with the good practices, for the entire urban mobility area to ensure integrated, comprehensive and planned development of urban transportation.
The authority will also establish an urban transport fund for implementating the Act.
The managing director of KMRL will be the chairman of UMTA with the District Collector as its member secretary. It will also include the City Police Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, KSRTC MD and other officers concerned as its members. The draft bill and the content are likely to be changed after inserting the recommendations of the state government.