Nov 22, 2011

Intercity travel congestion - Need for a new regional planning approach

By - Anoop Jha

Too much focus on urban planning and too little regional planning

Intercity Transport
Regional Development Plans in terms of intercity mobility plan are long term planning process which are primarily Policy level decisions and most of the time such projects remain stagnant at strategic level. Very few of these projects gets implemented in time while situation keep becoming increasingly critical, for example- intercity traffic congestion.

Most of the proposed projects are capital intensive and hence undergo long review process and witness relatively less thrust from political arena, while other mounting  large numbers of smaller projects at urban level demands immediate attention at the same time and witness  more political willingness, due to relatively shorter implementation period and medium to small  investment in comparison to regional development project, particularly in Transport sector. 

At national and regional scale government has so many pressing priorities in terms of public welfare and social infrastructure like, health, education, water and sanitation etc. that they tend to push  back some elements of physical infrastructure projects like upgradation, widening of existing intercity roads, crucial regional transport junctions, new bypasses, and expressways link roads.  In regional transport plan another reason of choked intercity transport corridors and delayed project implementation is that regional plan are placed lower in terms of prioritized projects, because their immediate priorities are close to core of the city and as we go further from center of the city nature of project starts changing from urban to regional, and projects in regional category are part of later phases of the projects and mostly strategic in nature with some physical planning proposals. 

Need is to identify and prepare  exhaustive list of planning indexes like, demography, revenue, technology,  covering large spectrum of subjects and society, and based on those index a blanket matrix should be created to arrive at more realistic priority list of project.

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