New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): In a significant stride towards a comprehensive transportation strategy, the Indian government is contemplating the establishment of an Integrated Transport Planning Agency (ITPA). Crafted by a special group of secretaries, the proposed agency is envisioned to oversee the transportation strategy encompassing all modes of surface transport, railways, shipping, and civil aviation at the national level.
The concept mirrors the transportation departments of leading economies such as the United States and Australia. This strategic move aims to streamline planning and coordination, minimizing competition between different modes of transport and fostering a more complementary approach.
The rationale behind the ITPA stems from the recognition that integrated planning plays a pivotal role in reducing logistics costs. Currently, in India, the absence of a unified approach results in various modes of transport vying against each other instead of working synergistically. While the GatiShakti platform for integrated planning is gaining traction, its current scope is primarily limited to central government projects.
Top officials from Niti Aayog, along with representatives from the road transport, railways, civil aviation, shipping, commerce, and urban affairs ministries, have engaged in preliminary discussions to finalize the modalities of the proposed ITPA. These discussions signify a concerted effort to create a unified, streamlined approach to transportation planning in the country.
If the proposal gets the nod, the ITPA will emerge as the solitary agency responsible for the development and monitoring of transport strategy over an extended planning horizon of approximately 15 years. The agency will play a crucial role in achieving national goals, including targets for net-zero emissions. Additionally, it will establish liaison mechanisms with ministries and departments involved in the execution of infrastructure projects, ensuring a cohesive and well-coordinated approach.
One of the primary objectives of the ITPA is to enhance coordination between the central and state governments concerning key infrastructure projects. This move is expected to foster better collaboration and ensure that transportation initiatives align with broader developmental goals.
Given the exponential growth in India's infrastructure requirements and the government's substantial investments in new projects and upgrades, the proposal for an integrated transport planning agency gains particular significance. The envisioned ITPA is seen as a strategic tool to channelize government investments effectively, fostering a more organized and efficient approach to transportation planning in the country.
As the proposal advances, India anticipates a new era in transportation planning that not only addresses the current challenges but also sets the stage for a sustainable and integrated future.