“Our collaboration with the private sector in West Bengal’s transport sector is driven by a shared commitment to innovation, efficiency, and improved public services. By fostering these partnerships, we aim to create a sustainable and modern transportation system that benefits both our citizens and the private sector entities involved,” said Shri Snehasis Chakraborty, Hon’ble Minister in Charge, Transport Department, Government of West Bengal in an exclusive interaction with Puja Banerjee, Assistant Editor, Elets News Network(ENN).
How does the Government of West Bengal collaborate with the private sector to foster innovation in the transport sector?
The Government of West Bengal collaborates with the private sector in various ways to foster innovation in the transport sector. This includes public- private partnerships (PPPs), joint ventures, technology collaborations, and participation in pilot projects. The government encourages private companies to invest in and develop innovative solutions for public transportation, such as advanced ticketing systems, smart infrastructure, and clean energy technologies. Collaborating with private tech companies, we aim to incorporate innovative technologies into our transportation systems. This includes the implementation of intelligent traffic management systems, real-time tracking of public transport, and digital payment solutions for tolls and fares, all of which enhance the overall transport experience for citizens.
Our collaboration with the private sector in West Bengal’s transport sector is driven by a shared commitment to innovation, efficiency, and improved public services. By fostering these partnerships, we aim to create a sustainable and modern transportation system that benefits both our citizens and the private sector entities involved.
Can you tell us about any innovative transport sector projects or initiatives that the Government of West Bengal is currently working on?
The Government of West Bengal have been working on various innovative transport projects to improve the efficiency, sustainability, and accessibility of the transportation system. Examples could include the introduction of electric buses, development of integrated mobility platforms, implementation of intelligent traffic management systems, and the creation of pedestrian-friendly zones. We are in the process of implementing an Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) that aims to seamlessly connect various modes of public transportation, including buses, trams, and ferries, in Kolkata and other major cities of West Bengal. This initiative will provide commuters with a unified ticketing system and real-time information on routes and schedules through mobile apps, making public transport more convenient and efficient.
Electric Mobility: As part of our commitment to sustainable transportation, we are promoting electric mobility solutions. This includes introducing electric buses and
e-rickshaws in urban areas to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. We are also working on establishing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to encourage the adoption of electric cars and two-wheelers.
The Government of West Bengal is actively pursuing a range of innovative projects and initiatives in the transport sector. Our goal is to create a sustainable, efficient, and integrated transportation system that benefits the people of West Bengal and contributes to the state’s overall development. We remain committed to embracing emerging technologies and best practices to meet the evolving transportation needs of our citizens.
How is the government addressing the issue of urban congestion in West Bengal?
To address urban congestion, the government focuses on a combination of measures, including improving public transportation options, promoting non-motorized transport like cycling and walking, implementing congestion pricing in certain areas, enhancing traffic management systems, and investing in urban planning that prioritizes efficient transportation modes.
The Government of West Bengal recognizes the significance of addressing urban congestion as a critical aspect of improving the quality of life in our cities. To achieve this, we are taking a multifaceted approach that encompasses the enhancement of public transportation, promotion of non-motorized transport, consideration of congestion pricing, implementation of advanced traffic management systems, and urban planning that prioritizes efficient transportation modes. These measures collectively aim to reduce traffic congestion, decrease pollution, enhance mobility, and create more livable and sustainable urban environments for our residents.
What steps is the government taking to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in West Bengal?
The Government of West Bengal is taking several steps to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). This might include providing incentives such as subsidies, tax exemptions, and reduced registration fees for EV buyers. Additionally, the government might be working on building EV charging infrastructure across the state to alleviate range anxiety and make EV ownership more feasible.
Firstly, we are implementing a robust EV charging infrastructure plan. This includes the establishment of charging stations across major cities and highways, making it convenient for EV owners to charge their vehicles. By expanding the charging network, we aim to alleviate concerns about range anxiety and make EVs a practical choice for our citizens.
Secondly, we are introducing incentives and subsidies to make EVs more affordable. This includes incentives for manufacturers to set up EV manufacturing units in West Bengal and reduced registration fees for EV buyers. These measures not only promote the adoption of EVs but also support the growth of the EV industry in our state, leading to job creation and economic growth.
Furthermore we are engaging with EV manufacturers and investors to attract investments in the EV sector. We believe that collaborations and partnerships will play a crucial role in accelerating the transition to electric mobility in West Bengal.
How does the government plan to address the issue of safety in the transport sector in West Bengal?
The safety of our citizens in the transport sector is of paramount importance to the Government of West Bengal. We have devised a comprehensive strategy to address safety concerns and ensure that all modes of transportation, whether on the road, rail, or water, prioritize the well-being of our people. First and foremost, we are committed to enhancing road safety. This includes the strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations, as well as the deployment of advanced technology for traffic management.
We are also investing in the development of safer road infrastructure, including the construction of well-maintained roads, bridges, and pedestrian- friendly pathways. Our goal is to reduce accidents and create a safer road environment for all.
Additionally, we are working on improving public transportation safety. This involves the implementation of safety measures on buses, trams, and trains, such as the installation of safety cameras and emergency response systems. We are also conducting regular safety inspections and audits to identify and address potential risks.
Waterway safety is another critical aspect of our strategy, given the extensive river network in West Bengal. We are enhancing safety measures for ferry services and other water-based transportation. This includes improving vessel maintenance, ensuring the availability of life-saving equipment, and promoting awareness of safety procedures among passengers.
Furthermore, we are focusing on driver and operator training and certification programs to ensure that all transport personnel are well-prepared to handle emergencies and prioritize passenger safety. We are also engaging in public awareness campaigns to educate citizens about safe transportation practices and the importance of following safety guidelines.