Amritsar takes bold steps to tackle air pollution & reduce carbon footprint

Tue, 2019-03-12 18:30 -- SCC India Staff

Amritsar

Amritsar has an existing bus network (BRTS) and city bus network, but the current system is not sufficient to cater to the public transportation requirements of all citizens. This has led Amritsar Smart City (ASCL) to develop a last-mile connectivity project for all citizens through feeder service. The present modal share for public transport is 1.5 per cent. The proposal aims at increasing it to 20 per cent through simultaneous reduction of private vehicles. The project also aims at an overall improvement of air quality and reduction in carbon footprint.

Objectives

  • To provide an e-mobility experience to all residents and visitors in the holy city of Amritsar,
  • to improve modal share of public transport in Amritsar and increase it to 20 per cent,
  • to reduce air pollution caused by diesel powered public transport (PT) and intermediate public transport (IPT) services,
  • to provide a comprehensive system of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles,
  • to ensure eco-friendly and convenient mode of last mile connectivity, and
  • to reduce operational expenditure of city bus service fleet by introduction of e-mini buses.

Relevance & feasibility
There is lack of adequate public transport infrastructure and poor last mile connectivity in Amritsar. The project proposals integration of e-rickshaws and e-mini buses for increasing the modal share of public transport. Current BRTS in Amritsar has a fleet of 93 buses alongwith an integrated command control centre. Building on this, ASCL intends to extend it to sustainable modes of transport in the city. ASCL and Amritsar City Transport Services (ACTSL) shall be responsible for planning and implementation of the project. The upcoming integrated command and control centre facility is state-of-the-art ICT-enabled platform from where various smart components shall be operated and monitored such as city surveillance, emergency call box, environment monitoring systems, information dissemination systems, etc. The SPV envisages to capture funds through monetizing land banks, improvisation of property taxes, betterment costs for improved service delivery, betterment cess for improved service delivery.

Sustainability aspects
A key element of this project is equitable access of the public transport system to all the city residents. The envisioned e-bus services will enable cost-effective and friendly. Convergence of the project with other IT-related initiatives (e.g. ICCC project) launched under Smart City Project, will help in creating a safe and secured environment specially for women. ACTSL shall select a suitable private operator who shall be responsible for running the buses on the defined routes based upon the predefined rules, regulations and associated covenants.

Innovation & Integration
The proposed central command and ITS-based intervention will help in real-time tracking of e-Buses and adherence to the schedules. Interactive mobile application developed during the project would help the citizens in planning the journey in advance and minimize wait time. Public information system will be provided on all the bus station as well as IPT stops to alert the passenger and facilitate seamless transfers.

Common smart card for all the PT modes will be developed that avoid the inconvenience of buying ticket every time of travel. The cost of the operation and maintenance shall be borne by the private operator selected through transparent bidding process. The private operator would recover the O&M cost through pre-decided fare system.