The 9th UITP Asia-Pacific Assembly was held at Bangalore from 10-12 March 2008. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has hosted the assembly. Some 40 UITP members and around 80 Indian delegates have participated in the assembly.
The assembly was inaugurated by Mr. K. Rahman Khan, Hon'ble Dy. Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Government of India, Mr. Roberto Cavalieri President, UITP, Mr. Hans RAT, Secretary General, UITP, Dr. EUM Sung Jick, Chairman, UITP Asia-Pacific Division, Mr. P. K. H. Tharakan, Advisor to the Governor of Karnataka, Mr. D. Thangaraj, Principal Secretary, Transport, Government of Karnataka and Mr. Upendra Tripathy, Managing Director, BMTC.
Mr. K.Rahman Khan, Hon'ble Deputy Chairman in his presidential address mentioned that a good public transport system is very important for the smooth functioning of the City. BMTC is providing a good public transport in Bangalore but still the public transport needs improvement. With the introduction of Metro and BMTC would meet the Public Transport requirements of the city. He appreciated the move taken by BMTC on the proposal to establish a Centre for Sustainable Transport and Urban Planning (CSTUP) in Bangalore and such institutes are very important. Planning is very important and total co-ordination is required. He mentioned that by 2030, it is estimated that 54% of the Indian population will be in urban centres and there is a need to plan for what type of public transport is required for the cities. UITP’s experience is very useful and as a world organisation on developing the urban transport and extending all assistance to its member countries, it is very important that such assemblies will give opportunities to share their expertise and knowledge. He also mentioned that various topics that are planned are very vital topics for discussions during the assembly.
Mr. Roberto Cavalieri, President, UITP mentioned that India is becoming one of the most important economic forces in the world. It is a country with full of young people who are facing important challenges and it is also facing challenges in mobility and great opportunities to develop its public transport systems and that is why UITP is in Bangalore and holding the Assembly.
Mr. Hans Rat, Secretary General, mentioned that UITP aims to support the solidarity of all members of the world-wide public transport family circulating the light of knowledge amongst the members to enable us to serve the community better the public transport making sure that all the members of the world wide public transport family whether they are authorities responsible for the structure of the public transport and public transport legislation, whether they are supply industry, whether they are operators, have the opportunity to show each other the light of how to do the job better. The Secretary General further mentioned that UITP and UNEP has launched a joint TV campaign valuing the role of public transport in alleviating climate change. A 30 second animation film titled with the slogan “The World is your home. Look after it”, is running across 9 international broadcasting stations, which includes BBC World, CNN and Euro News also. He mentioned that this video is available for members to use at free of charge and copyright free.
Mr. P.K.H. Tarakan addressing the gathering said that it is appropriate that the liaison office is in Bangalore. This is a city, which has grown tremendously in the last couple of decades, and the growth has actually overtaken the infrastructure. The problem we have are monumental, and we strive to tackle them. Improvement of the public transport system is the strategy around which we try to build our plan of action. And therefore it is indeed appropriate that the Liaison office is here and the assembly is being held in Bangalore. He said that he anticipate a fruitful outcome for the development of transport system in India and in Karnataka in general and Bangalore in particular.
Mr. D. Thangaraj, Principal Secretary, Transport, Government of Karnataka while addressing the gathering expressed that the State Transport Undertakings in India who have participated in the assembly though have not become members of UITP have the great potential to share their experience with the international delegates and thus consider as a Win-Win situation for both.
Mr. Upendra Tripathy, Managing Director, BMTC while addressing the gathering mentioned that it is a great pleasure that the President of UITP is with us. It is a proud occasion since may experts are here and one of the way to improve things is to know what is happing elsewhere. He mentioned that BMTC has signed a Charter on Sustainable Development with UITP, which is to promote Environmental sustainability, Economic sustainability and Social sustainability in the transportation sector. He mentioned that they are planning to establish an institute called Centre for sustainable Transport and urban Planning (CSTUP) and a corpus to the tune of Rs. 60 crores will be mobilized and BMTC is contributing Rs. 15 Crores.
The assembly had five-business sessions viz., (a) Current Public Transport Scenario in India (b) Financing of Public Transport (c) Institutional Organization of Public Transport (d) Best practices in Promoting Public Transport – Quality & Sustainability and (e) Presentations on Current Developments and Future Plans by UITP members. Indian experts as well as members from the regions, including Seoul Metropolitan Government, Shanghai Urban Transport Bureau, Gyeonggi Provincial Government, LTA Singapore, MTRC Hong Kong, JR East and Taipei Metro had presented their views and shared their experiences.
As a part of the assembly, there was a technical study visit to Volvo Bus Body Technologies India private limited organised to have first hand information on the body building process and chassis manufacturing activities of Volvo.
The 10th UITP Asia-Pacific Assembly will be held in Taipei in March 2009. The local host will be Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.