tod: Karnataka government prepares ground for revised public transport policy in Bengaluru | Bangalore News

BENGALURU: Karnataka has initiated the process of implementing the revised Transit Focused Development (TOD) policy which aims to develop rapid mass transit corridors to minimize the need for personal vehicles in Bengaluru.
“We have held a preliminary meeting and more will follow before moving on to the implementation phase,” said Rakesh Singh, additional chief secretary of the urban development department. TOD in Karnataka has been at the project stage since February 2019.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) first published a draft TOD policy two years ago, after the Center developed guidelines for large cities on how to implement it. “It could not be implemented for practical and political reasons,” officials said. Now the Land Transport Directorate (DULT) has prepared a revised policy, which could soon be submitted to the cabinet, they added. “We have made contributions to the new policy and made some changes to the previous one. We are waiting for the green light from the government, ”said Anjum Pervez, MD of BMRCL.
According to the draft policy, the population of the metropolitan region of Bengaluru is expected to grow from 9 million in 2011 to over 20 million by 2031. At present, the share of public transport in the city is around 48 % and needs to be increased to 70. It can be achieved by improving accessibility and mobility, which requires huge investments to expand public transport systems – metro and commuter train.
Bhaskar Nagendrappa, President of CREDAI-Bengaluru, said the benefits of TOD will be immense, as public ridership will increase when people can easily access employment, education, health care, etc., by using public transport. “With the increasing rail connectivity of the metro, the city offers many opportunities for development focused on public transport with good bus transport …”, he added.
The establishment of neighborhoods around public transport areas will promote the culture of walking and cycling and, as a result, will lead to healthier lifestyles, reduced pollution, higher foot traffic for businesses trade and a decrease in urban sprawl, said Suresh Hari, former president of CREDAI.
However, some experts remain skeptical. Monica Matthias, Director of Hoysala Projects, said implementing TOD in Bengaluru is a challenge for a variety of reasons. “In the city center (Zone A), it is a challenge due to the high density and high real estate values. In addition, the TOD policy for Bengaluru considers public transport as the metro and not buses as a means of transport. But buses are a more popular form of transportation in Bangalore. The city actually needs a mobility plan… The national urban transport policy emphasizes a mobility plan that integrates both land use and transport planning, via TOD ”, declared Matthias.
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