Smart city conclave in Bhopal: Foreign experts bat for public transport

  • Shruti Tomar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2015 18:26 IST
World Resource Institute vice-president Lawrence MacDonald (left) and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan open the Smart City Conclave in Bhopal. (Bidesh Manna)

A smart city doesn’t mean high-tech one but a compact, connected and coordinated city where emphasis would be more on use of public transport, foreign urban governance experts said on Thursday.

At the Smart City Conclave here, MP Urban Infrastructure Investment Programme team leader Richard Slater highlighted the importance of mass rapid transit system in smart cities.

“In the smart city project, the emphasis will be more on increasing mass rapid transport system so that we can save energy and environment. In England, there is no concept of red beacon light over car. VIPs also travel in metro and buses there,” he said.

“As per a survey, the average vehicular speed in Indore is 16 km/hr while it is 30 km/hr in the UK. More usage of public transport system will increase the speed of vehicles and also save valuable time,” Slater added.

Bhopal could be developed as a hub for electrical part manufacturing as BHEL and other small and medium industries are here, he suggested.

World Resource Institute vice- president (communication) Lawrence MacDonald also spoke about the importance of public transport system in new age cities.

“India is a developing country where only 30% of its population lives in urban area. The use of public transport system is a major factor in the development of Indian cities otherwise people will have to live a suffocated life like the Chinese. Beijing is a city which has not developed for pedestrians and residents but for cars. Such development has not only increased pollution but is also responsible for many problems,” MacDonald said.

When asked about bus rapid transit system, Macdonald said, “It is a very good concept not only for cities of India but for foreign too. Those who criticized BRTS are not its users but car and bike owners.”

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