In an important policy decision, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will from now on also look after the development of ropeways, cable cars and alternate mobility solutions.
Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said the step will go a long way in developing sustainable alternative mobility solutions in the transport sector. It will now be the ministry’s responsibility to develop ropeway and alternative mobility solutions technology, construction, research and policy in this area. Formulation of institutional, financial and regulatory framework for the technology will also fall under its ambit.
Gadkari said he believes that alternative mobility and ropeways etc are important for development of the transport sector in the country, achieve last mile connectivity for remove locations, reduce congestion on mainstream roads, develop world class ropeway infrastructure by setting safety norms for unregulated ropeways and also an organised and dedicated rope-way and alternative mobility solutions industry. Further, it will help promote the Cable Propelled Transit coming to the sector, allow freight and goods at remote stations and regulate tariff structure for the technology.
He further stated that with growing mobility and diverse terrain across the country, it is imperative that all solutions be enabled and implemented. With this change, a holistic view can be taken, he added.
As per the notification amending the allocation of the business rules issued by the Cabinet Secretariat in this regard "Coordination, research, standards and policy matters in respect of ropeways and other innovative/alternative mobility solutions" will come under the ambit of Road, Transport and Highways Ministry.
The Centre’s decision came at a time when it has set up an ambitious target to make India a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. Its various programs, including FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles), are steps towards achieving this goal. In line with that, the government is allowing adoption of new mobility options and has also cut taxes on the lithium-ion batteries which are used in electric vehicles.
NITI Aayog in its recent report had considered various alternative mobility solutions including electric vehicles and intelligent and potentially autonomous vehicles. Further, it said that more than 70 per cent of demand for mobility is still largely served by non-motorized public and commercial modes of transit.