Karnataka Assembly Passes Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) Bill To Ensure Seamless Urban Mobility

BMLTA will be a unified transportation agency that unites several government agencies and develops initiatives like the common mobility card and multimodal transportation hubs.

The Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) Bill, 2022, which aims to improve the integration and management of the city’s urban transportation, was approved by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

It plans to establish the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority, among other initiatives.

BMLTA will be a unified transportation agency that unites several government agencies and develops initiatives like the common mobility card and multimodal transportation hubs.

According to the Bill, which was launched by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy on behalf of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the proposed authority would strive to regulate the creation, operation, maintenance, monitoring, and supervision of urban transportation comprehensively.

The Bill covers 279 sq km of the Bengaluru Metropolitan area and is a precursor to a similar Bill at the central level, where all departments concerned with transport will be brought under one roof, said Swamy, reports The New Indian Express.

Although a committee was established in 2007, it lacked statutory backing. The BMLTA bill seeks to establish the authority with statutory support to oversee and coordinate urban mobility efforts in the Bengaluru Metropolitan region under the National Urban Transport Policy’s recommendation.

Bengaluru currently has multiple agencies and departments, such as the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), Transport Department, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), etc., which cater to the city’s transportation and mobility needs.

Because of the numerous agencies looking at providing mobility solutions in the city, there are often coordination and planning issues. In some cases, there is a lack of alignment between the works undertaken by the city’s various mobility providers.

The BMLTA will serve as the nodal authority for improved coordination among multiple agencies such as BMTC and BMRCL. It will ensure lowering traffic and provide last-mile connectivity. In addition, the organisation would be responsible for planning Bengaluru’s urban mobility requirements.

Since September 2021, a draft Legislation prepared by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has been available to the public.

The bill envisions the authority as a statutory professional body with the financial authority needed to coordinate among the various stakeholders in urban mobility, plan for a comprehensive and integrated mobility vision for the city, and bring together the multiple stakeholders, including civil society, in the Bengaluru metropolitan area (BMR).

The proposed legislation states that BMLTA will have 21 members, with the chief minister serving as chair and the ministers of development and transportation serving as vice chairs.

Other members include the mayor of the BBMP and representatives of the following agencies: the police, BBMP, BDA, BMRDA, BMRCL, Directorate of City and Nation Planning, Air Pollution Management Board, and Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Improvement Enterprises.

There will be two special invitees from the Indian National Highways Authority and South Western Railway.

BMLTA would also have ten non-official members, including three consultants on business governance, finance, and mobility in cities, two representatives from civil society organisations, three from organisations that represent the private sector and professional organisations, and two from educational institutions.

The authority is supposed to prepare a comprehensive mobility plan for the city within two years of its establishment to ensure coordinated, comprehensive, and planned development of urban mobility.