Vehicle & Fuel Technologies for Sustainable Mobility
Smart Mobility is an integrated transport activity through technology with various sustainable and safe transport options. Dr Praveen Gedam, Transport Commissioner, Government of Maharashtra shares more in an interaction with Swati Sharma, Governance Today…
What are the favourable and challenging factors for smart mobility in Maharashtra?
Travelling from point to point and reducing the need of travel are the more important factors.
The major modes of Transportations are rail based mass transport, metro; bus based mass transport and road transport. Though most of the movements in Mumbai are in North-South direction in the morning and South-North in the evening and are well connected by Rail transport, hence the East-West connection is mostly available by buses or private vehicles.
Smart Mobility is an integrated transport activity through technology with various sustainable and safe transport options. With the increase in population of Mumbai, the transportation systems is impacted, resulting into increasing congestion, delaying commuters, burning up fuel, and harming the environment. The smart Mobility solutions are for integrated city management by improving mobility for citizens through operational efficiency and smart information. So, various modes of transport should be integrated, including change in mixed land use and promoting public transportation.
What are the various initiatives of Transport department of Maharashtra that make trans- portation green, efficient and inclusive?
My department is concerned with licensing and registration of vehicles and gives permits to taxi and auto-rickshaws. The other agencies are local city government and police (Traffic Police). There are two operational aspects in this corporation; one, that takes care of infrastructure like roads and bridges and the other that looks after metro and city buses. Our role is to ensure regulations for mass mobility like keeping the transportation in order by using clean fuel.
“ The smart Mobility solutions are for integrated city management by improving mobility for citizens through operational efficiency and smart information. So, various modes of transport should be integrated, including change in mixed land use and promoting public transportation.
What best ways has the department adopted to decarbonize Transportation?
Our aim is to make public transportation based on clean fuel. First of all, all buses run on clean fuel. So also, all taxis and auto-rickshaws ply on clean fuel. The transportation on all weather roads is to be used by vehicles that use clean fuel. We are encouraging citizens by giving them various incentives to use clean fuel rather than polluted fuel.
What are the e-governance initiatives undertaken by your department?
Our database is huge and we are making it available online. There are fifty offices of transportrelated work that are functioning in Delhi. 24 of them related to vehicles registration have been made online and 13 offices related to driving licensing are now online. Rest of them will also be made online, once back-end data is made available to us.
The country is now talking of the 4th industrial revolution. What are the main convergence point of a Digital Maharashtra, new technology paradigm and the industry engagement?
We have set up call centres and launched citizen centric web based App. At the moment, we are providing 100 services. Technology is not a problem; rather it takes care of the magnitude of work. The various data available is still on paper. Vaahan and the Saarti systems, where in, basically computerized databases of all vehicles and all drivers need to be scanned and uploaded. What policies we have regarding those should be properly rolled out.
There are around three crore driving licenses and around 2.75 crore registered vehicles. This will grow further.
How can investments in this sector improve access across the regions rather than looking solely at potential time savings through smart transport?
The different modes of transportation are run by different agencies like BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and transport), MRVC (Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation), MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation), MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai), MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority), Integrated Public Transport system (IPTS). They construct roads and bridges and also collect toll tax on EPC or PPP basis with huge investment involved in various projects undertaken by these agencies. So, once projects related to them get completed, it will naturally be beneficial for commuters.
What are your expectations to engage stakeholders including logistics industry and others, if any?
It is in terms of frequency, number and comfort level of vehicles. It is common expectation that commuters avail best of services from various fleet owners in the transport sector, whether it is private or public.