22 Sep : US delegation headed by Mr. James Simpson, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) called on Shri Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for urban Development, here today.
Welcoming the delegation, Shri Reddy said that this meeting would identify opportunities for joint activities and projects between the public transportation industries in India and the United States. Shri Reddy highlighted some of the initiatives like Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transport System projects taken up by the Ministry of Urban Development
The purpose of the delegation is to further develop cooperation and information exchange that was finalized by the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the Ministry of Urban Development and US Department of Transportation in September, 2007. Earlier addressing the Indo-US delegation level meeting, Dr. M. Ramachandran, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development stated that there is lot to learn from United States regarding the various initiatives taken in the field of public transport at the federal level. He said that Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) will facilitate the exchange of scientific technical information on subjects of mutual interests, exchange of specialists, delegations, scientific and technical personnel. It would also help in jointly organizing symposia seminars, training and joint research in urban transportation, Science and Technology and other forums of cooperation as mutually agreed.
Highlighting the initiatives taken in the field of urban transport Dr. Ramachandran mentioned about sanctioning of metro projects in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkatta, Hyderabad and Mumbai at a total cost of 13.5 billion US $. The metro projects in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkatta are being taken up on a joint ownership pattern with Government of India and the concerned State Government as project promoters, the metro projects in Mumbai and Hyderabad have been taken up on public private partnership (PPP) basis. He further stated that Metro projects are also envisaged in Chennai, Kochi and Chandigarh. Delhi Metro is the shining example of world-class metro and the delegation’s visit to Delhi Metro would be quite fruitful, he added. Dr. Ramachandran also referred to Bus Rapid Transport System Projects (BRTS) in ten cities namely, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Rajkot, Indore, Bhopal, Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam. These BRTS projects are envisaged in all the 35 million plus cities. US Delegation is very keen to know about the BRTS.