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Narendra Modi announces constitution of MATA, a multi-modal authority, for integrated transport management of sky, land & water routes

Ahmedabad, Thursday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today announced setting up a Multi-Modal Affordable Transport Authority (MATA) for integrated transport management, coordinating travel on all the three horizons – sky, land and water routes.

Inaugurating a three-day ‘Asia BRTS Conference’ here, he said that it was for the first time that Ahmedabad hosted this conference of management experts from Asia, Latin America and Africa, keeping Ahmedabad’s best practices of Janmarg Limited BRTS model in view. In this system, he said, Gujarat has succeeded where Delhi has failed.

He said that Gujarat would not sit back after extending BRTS to Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara and other municipal corporation areas, but would embark upon all round urban development of roads, transport, gas-grid and broadband connectivity. He cited 108 Emergency System, Jyoti Gram Yojna and pro-poor Awas Yojna as other welfare schemes undertaken in Gujarat, neglected by the state’s rulers of during the preceding 40 years due to their lack of farsightedness and intellectual poverty.

Talking about world-class cities being developed along Gujarat’s 1,600-km long coastline, he said, developing a multi-modal transportation system is essential for safe and fast waterways, Ghogha-Dahej roll-on-roll-off service, besides using the 468-km long Narmada Main Canal for waterway transport. Water buses have already been started in River Ahmedabad for tourists. Metrolink express between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad for connecting the twin cities is on the anvil. Indo-Japanese partnership for Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) is progressing.

Mr.Modi said that fast growing urban population worldwide with corresponding rise in vehicles, mobility and incidence of accidents vis-à-vis fast depleting fossil fuels and has put pressure on urban transport system, particularly in developing country. There are many cities in India which takes 45-60 minutes to travel within the city, while Ahmedabad and Surat are fortunate with average travel time of 20 minutes.

Gujarat’s Urban Development and Urban Housing Principal Secretary I.P. Gautam and Ahmedabad’s Municipal Commissioner Guruprasad Mahapatra spoke about Ahemdabad’s experiments with BRTS. CEPT University’s Centre for Excellence in Urban Development H.M. Shivanand Swamy proposes a vote of thanks.

The conference is being attended by functionaries from USA, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapor, South Korea, Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, besides officers from New Delhi, Hubli, Indore, Bangalore, Jaipur, Shimla, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara.

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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
Combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed in this fight: PM
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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.