Recent rapid urban development in India has resulted in transport problems, such as traffic congestion and an increase in traffic accidents. Although the national and state governments have made substantial efforts to improve urban transport, problems have been exacerbated by the rapidly increasing number of private vehicles.

Existing local government capacity for urban transport planning is still insufficient. Specifically, the following problems are noted:

  • Although many proposals have been submitted by local bodies for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) fund to implement various urban transport projects, including Mass Rail Transit (MRT), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), flyovers, roads etc., some proposals contained inadequate information and incomplete analyses, therefore the justifications drawn from them for project implementation were not always acceptable.
  • One of the main planning issues is that most cities do not have a long-term comprehensive urban transport strategy. Accordingly the proposals for specific projects are often not integrated with other urban transport measures or with land use patterns.
  • Some cities have prepared urban transport master plans by conducting Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Studies. However, these studies mainly focused on vehicle movements and did not pay enough attention to the mobility of people and goods.

It is important to prepare long-term strategic plans focused on mobility of people as a basis for developing cost-effective and equitable urban transport measures with an appropriate and consistent methodology, in line with the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP). Accordingly, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) encourages cities to prepare “Comprehensive Mobility Plans” (CMPs) as part of long-term urban transport strategy providing for a sustainable improvement of people’s mobility in metropolitan regions.

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Role of CMPs in the JNNURM Process

The CMP is a key document providing the rationale for transport proposals. Therefore, within the overall planning hierarchy, the CMP can be considered as a prerequisite for the submission of DPR (Level 1) for JNNURM funding. Although it is not mandatory, all cities considering a funding application to central government are recommended to submit the CMP and to obtain approval from MoUD. A separate study for Alternative Analysis is required for major projects with the cost greater than or equal to 5 billion rupees (Rs 500 Crore) in 2008 prices. The Alternative Analysis may be included as part of the CMP or DPR for projects less than 5 billion rupees.

Figure 1 Role of a CMP in the JNNURM Process
Figure 1 Role of a CMP in the JNNURM Process

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Use of Guidelines and Toolkits

The Ministry of Urban Development recommends that the preparation of CMPs and feasibility studies, including DPRs (Level 1), should follow suggested methodologies and approaches as shown in the ‘Guidelines and Toolkits for Urban Transport Development.’ These guidelines and toolkits are, however, not necessarily complete, therefore, it is up to each city to develop their methodology and to provide the Ministry with their comments to be reflected in future versions of the guidelines and toolkits. The Ministry intends to refine and update these documents to reflect progress in research and technology in the urban transport sector in India and worldwide.

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