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Ahmedabad BRTS popularly known as Janmarg , continues its glorious run both on and off the road. On the road, it caters successfully to thousands of people everyday. Off the road, Ahmedabad BRTS has won various award of national and international repute.

The latest award comes from the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), which is the international body of Urban Transport agencies in the world. Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited –AJL has won two awards at 60th UITP World Congress, Geneva on 27th May, 2013. AJL-AMC and CEPT have received award in the category of ‘UITP India Political Commitment Award’ and ‘Design Award for BRTS’. This award was given by Mr. Peter Hendy, President Elect UITP, in the presence of other UITP delegates from all over the world and delegates from India.

Ahmedabad started its BRT system in 2009. Since its inauguration in October 2009, Janmarg has been accepted as the first “complete” BRTS in India and has influenced planning and design choices in other cities – in India and abroad. The trans-vision of Ahmedabad is captioned as ‘Accessible Ahmedabad’. As part of this vision, the Ahmedabad BRTS is officially called ‘Janmarg’ - the people’s way.

Janmarg in Ahmedabad went through the whole gamut of choices before choosing a certain design approach.  Ahmedabad was willing to be flexible to change key design elements even during implementation stage.  Janmarg was and is still seen as a long term infrastructure provision and every element was discussed, debated, and even experimented before the final decision.  Many of these experiments led to innovations and best practices.

Janmarg is designed as a strategic intervention, to attract latent transit demand, improve air quality and help the city remain compact. The guiding principles for the selection of the network corridors are the ability to reach a larger segment of people. Also considered was the corridor’s ability to accommodate BRTS treatment, integrate well within the existing infrastructure, contribute to ease the traffic problems in a significant way, provide opportunities for improvements in land use, be implemented quickly, inexpensively and provide potential for cost-recovery.

In today’s world of advanced technologies, Janmarg employs an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) to improve customer convenience, speed, reliability and safety. This system continuously monitors buses from the control centre through GPS (Global Positioning System) devices fitted in all buses. ITS gives passenger’s information about the real-time bus arrivals at the bus stations. Announcements are made in the buses about the arrival of the stations.

Today, Janmarg operates over a network of 63 km and has a daily ridership of 1.4  lakh people.  127 buses operate everyday with headway of 2 minutes in peak hour.  Almost 20% of the commuters on Janmarg today have shifted from their 2- wheelers.  Plans have been finalized now to extend the network by another 50 km taking the corridor length to 135 km by the end of 2015.

This isn’t the first or final award won by the Ahmedabad BRTS. Recently it won Silver rating from globally renowned experts on the BRT. The Ahmedabad BRTS has won numerous national and international awards in the past too. The Prime Minister adjudged the BRTS as the best Mass Rapid Transport System in the country. Ahmedabad BRTS also won the ‘Best New Innovation Project’ award under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for excellence in Urban Transport. The Central Government awarded it again with the National Award for ‘Best Intelligent Transport System – 2011’ at the 4th Annual Urban Mobility Conference, New Delhi. On the international front, it won the Sustainable Urban Transport Award (2010) in Washington. Ahmedabad BRTS was the Joint Runners up for the award for Outstanding Innovation in Public Transport, 2010 at International Transport forum, Innovators meet, Germany. It got yet another accolade from United Nations Climate Change Secretariat for Momentum of change light house activity, December 2012, at Doha, Qatar.

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.