Nagpur: The NMC’s Smart City summit organised in Nagpur amid the presence of key politicial leaders like Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been drawing sharp criticism from the rational minds who believe that it was primarily focussed on driving the privatisation of public transport in top gear. Instead of churning out solution for cycle rickshaw and auto rickshaws, the government appeared inclined towards making a strong pitch for elevating cabs and plying Scania buses on city roads.
The intellectuals are worried that the trend may push the traditional transport system into the dark and result into rising unemployment.
No rules for pvt cabs
The auto rickshaw union members have been countering the decision to keep the private cab aggregators out of the purview of meter permit and regulations. It was demanded to make the permit compulsory to private cabs thriving in the city. Sources said the representatives from Uber, one of the prominent app based cab service providers in Nagpur, also attended the summit.
Gadkari’s double talk
Addressing the summit, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the local auto rickshaw fellows and other modes of transport are quite scared of app based cabs like Ola and Uber. However he has assured of early resolution to same auto rickshaw union when they met him in Delhi.
Back in 2014, the then NMC Standing Committee President had tried to bring the system currently adopted by private cabs, into the local transport. This could have been effective in generating employment too however the proposal could not be moved ahead due to internal politics. Later, the cab aggregators patented the model and gradually spread its reach.
Making pitch for Scania
Interestingly, the representatives of Scania bus were also present in the summit. They lauded their agreement with NMC to provide more Scania buses in the city. It may be mentioned that these buses run on ethanol as its primary fuel. Interestingly many ethanol producers are top guns having strong political roots in Nagpur. This will further pave way for the government to bring in these heavily priced Scania buses and phase out the existing ones.
– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA