Famous Kochi Transport Authority fails to start – The New Indian Express
Express press service
KOCHI: The Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA), touted as a model for other cities bringing together different modes of transport under one roof, has become a non-starter, insiders say. Launched in November 2020, KMTA aimed to plan, supervise, coordinate, develop and regulate urban transport and ensure optimal mobility for people. However, the authority is witnessing a slow death, they said.
“The government is least interested in moving the KMTA forward because vacancies in the agency have not been filled, which is why no projects have been discussed or planned. Despite follow-ups, state finance department approval for the hire was delayed, defeating the purpose of the agency,” an insider said.
The 2019 KMTA Act was the first such law in the nation to incorporate parking, commuter onboarding, and the streamlining of bus routes in the city.
“Until the State Finance Minister agrees with the proposals put forward by KMTA and the Transport Minister discusses the matter with the Chief Minister, there is no future for KMTA,” the source said. “Without the necessary officials, no project can be planned or implemented. The draft proposal to make KMTA an autonomous body has been sent to the government for approval, but nothing has happened,” the source added. .
When contacted, KMTA Managing Director S Shanawas said by August-September the agency would be able to proceed, plan and discuss projects. “We are making progress in the project discussions and are gradually planning the different stages. KMTA will start from scratch. Appointment of staff is in progress. Once vacancies are filled, we will begin full-fledged work,” Shanawas said.
Public transport experts have said that empowering KMTA will end mobility problems in the city. “Kochi has road, rail and river transport modes, reaching almost every part of the city. If KMTA has the power to plan and implement projects by integrating all these modes, it will become a model for other cities to emulate,” said a city planner, who wished to remain anonymous.