---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NAPM India <napmindia@...
Date: Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Subject: Update from meeting on Public Transport : BRT is not only a 5.8 Km
*BRT is not only a 5.8 Km Long Road but Synonymous with Democratic
Development Planning in Cities*
*New Delhi, December 18* : In the backdrop of the Delhi High Court
Judgementupholding the right of the state to develop 'a sustainable
policy' and common people’s democratic right over the road, in the case
asking for scrapping of the BRT project, a meeting in was organised today
by the National Alliance of people's Movements at N D Tiwari Bhawan. *The
meeting was attended by nearly 150 cycle users, enthusiasts, workers,
students, IT professionals, activists and experts who use various modes of
public transport and are concerned about the overgrowing burden on the city
roads due to exponential growth of privately owned vehicles.*
*Domestic Workers of Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union *from Gautampuri Basti
who take cycles to their workplace narrated their experience of using roads
in Delhi. They said, “Delhi roads are not safe for women, so negotiating
space on the road is a double challenge. We not only negotiate arrogance of
motor bike and car owners but also face harassment from men. In a such a
situation, if cycle is empowering and provides mobility to us then a
concept like BRT, with dedicated cycle lanes will go a long way in
promoting gender equality, making city safe and also uphold fundamental
rights of the citizens.”
*Prof. Geetam Tiwari, Indian Institute of Delhi,* said, “the HC judgement
is a milestone for the development of public transport in the country and
has certainly brought relief to the struggling groups and public transport
users in various cities. Delhi is not only the capital but as a city is the
role model for city development across the country. Scrapping of BRT could
have set a bad precedent”.
*Prof. Dinesh Mohan, Indian Institute of Delhi,* said the development of
infrastructure in cities can not be out of sync with the citizens. The fact
that a meeting like this is being oganised now speaks for itself, since ten
years before we would talk about communalism, caste, rural development,
land acquisition, migration, agrarian distress but not about urban
development, transport and issues of equity and justice. So, it is a
welcome change and reflective of the growing urbanisation. This means the
political class and planners have to pay attention to an integrated and
comprehensive planning with view to ensuring the rights and basic services
to the majority – workers, slum dwellers, small traders, artisans, urban
poor and so on. The current model of city development is unsustainable and
we can't go on like this”.
*The meeting was also attended by **Ashok Dubey and Shree Prakesh
(Indore); Virendra Vidrohi (Alwar); Sudhir Badami (Mumbai); Sujeet
Patwardhan (Pune); Leo Saldanha (Bangalore) *who shared their experiences
of the public transport in respective cities. Narrating the experience of
development of BRT corridors or public transport in their respective cities
they said, there are mainly two kinds of challenges. Firstly, is opposition
and pressure form the car, auto mobile and builder lobby which sees it as a
threat to their business. Secondly, which is socially much deep rooted,
where owning a car is considered a sign of prosperity and class status, as
a result, enforcement agencies or those responsible for its development
don't embrace the idea and concept and are never serious about it. There
have been cases where, even after construction of dedicated lanes for
buses, cycles and pedestrians they are encroached by private vehicles. So,
the need for change is at much larger scale across the society.
*Leo Saldanha of Environment Support Group*, Bangalore said, the questions
at stake are more fundamental and central to the democratic principles of
governance, it is not about some rules or legislations, since they can be
changed at will. Our struggles are an assertion of these fundamental
democratic rights and moral rights of the communities.
*Rajendra Ravi, State Convener of NAPM,* who moderated the discussion said
that a myth is being created of Delhi being a global city. However, Metro,
flyovers, broad roads and shining buildings don't make a city global.
Global and sustainable cities are those in which even *aam aurat *finds a
space for realising their dream of a happy family and home with the basic
facilities. Today's Delhi is not that, and to reach there a city based on
the principles of equity and justice has to be built. It can't only cater
to the needs of the rich citizens.
Those gathered at the meeting showed their commitment to the cause of
public transport and vowed to oppose any challenge to the BRT and struggle
for its widest possible coverage in the city and elsewhere.
*Prof. Ajit Jha from Delhi University, Romy Roy, Unified traffic and
Transportation Infrastructure Centre(UTTIPEC), Sandeep Gandhi, Urban
Transport Planer, Delhi* and many others participated in the meeting.
*Anita Kapoor, Nanu Gupta, Sunita Rani, Seela Manaswanee*
Contact : 9868200316 *napmdelhi@...
*National Alliance of People’s Movements
*National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg,
Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai - 400 014;
6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org
Facebook : www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia
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