Innovating West Bengal’s transport sector with tech solutions

Shri Dilip Mondal

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and an urgent need for sustainable solutions, the transportation sector is going through a transformational journey. From leveraging cutting-edge technology to boost urban mobility to promoting electric vehicle adoption and building robust charging infrastructure Dilip MondalMinister of State, Department of Transport, Government of West Bengal In an exclusive conversation with Pooja Banerjee, Assistant Editor, Elite News Network (ENN) presents a comprehensive look at how West Bengal is transitioning itself towards a greener, smarter, and more accessible transportation ecosystem. Edited excerpts.

How do you envision leveraging modern technology to grow the transport sector in West Bengal?

Government takes advantage of modern technology in West Bengal. Transport sector In several ways:
Smart Traffic Management: Using sensors, cameras and data analytics to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and improve overall transportation efficiency.

Integrated Mobility Platforms: Developing apps or platforms that provide real-time information about different modes of transportation, allowing users to seamlessly plan and pay for their trips.

Electric Mobility Solutions: Promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and building the necessary charging infrastructure to support them.

Intelligent Fleet Management: Using GPS and telematics to monitor and manage public transportation fleets for better scheduling, route optimization, and maintenance.

Contactless Payment System: Implementing digital payment solutions for fare collection to enhance passenger convenience and reduce cash transactions.

How is the government promoting environmentally friendly transport methods to reduce the environmental impact of the transport industry?

To reduce the environmental impact of the transport industry, the government has adopted measures such as:

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  • Electromotive force stimulation: Providing incentives for EV adoption, promoting EV manufacturing, and developing charging infrastructure to transition from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles.
  • Promoting public transport: Increasing the quality, coverage and efficiency of public transport to reduce the number of individual vehicles on the road.
  • Cycling and Walking Infrastructure: Developing dedicated cycling lanes, pedestrian-friendly zones and infrastructure to encourage non-motorized transport.
  • Green Fuel Alternatives: Promoting the use of cleaner fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and biofuels in public and private transport.

In light of the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), what incentives and policies has the government implemented to encourage their adoption in the state?

The government offers incentives and policies to encourage EV adoption, including:

  • Subsidies and tax benefits: Providing financial incentives such as subsidies and tax breaks for EV buyers to reduce the initial cost of electric vehicles.
  • Low Registration Fee: Reducing or waiving registration fees to make EVs more affordable.
  • Charging infrastructure incentives: Offering incentives for the development of EV charging stations to address range anxiety.

How is the government supporting the development of EV charging infrastructure to facilitate the growth of electric vehicles in West Bengal?

The government supports EV development through the following initiatives:

  • Charging Station Subsidy: Providing financial support or subsidy for installation of EV charging infrastructure.
  • Public Private Partnership:
    Collaborating with private companies to set up charging networks across the state.
  • Fast Charging Corridors: Developing fast charging corridors along highways to facilitate
    Long distance travel for EVs.

How is the government addressing the challenges of last mile connectivity and public transport in rural areas?

The government tackles the challenges of last mile connectivity and rural transport. Introducing feeder services, such as minibuses or modes of transport that connect rural areas to major public transport hubs. Flexible pathways, such as providing flexible or demand-responsive services to the needs of rural communities. Local transport solutions such as encouraging the use of shared vehicles, such as e-rickshaws, for intra-village transport.

What role do you see ride-sharing and other shared mobility solutions playing in improving urban transportation in the state?

Shared mobility solutions, including ride-sharing, can play an important role in improving urban transportation in the state by:

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  • Reducing congestion: Carpooling can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, reducing traffic congestion.
  • Affordability: Shared rides can be more cost-effective for users, making public transportation options more attractive.
  • Effect of environment: Fewer vehicles on the road means reduced emissions and environmental impact.
  • First Mile/Last Mile Contact: Shared mobility can bridge the gap between public transport and consumers’ final destinations.
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