United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Mr. Chairperson
I am grateful for giving me the floor. The transport sector is
fundamental to economic growth as well as attainment of Millennium
Development Goals in the developing countries. India is expanding its road
connectivity, particularly all-weather road penetration in rural areas, to
facilitate access to markets on one hand and to goods and services on the
other, thereby enhancing livelihoods security. We have taken a major
initiative in terms of Prime Minister?s Rural Road Programme, which has
transformed rural accessibility. In addition, the National Highway
Development Project, includes the ?Golden Quadrilateral? providing highway
connectivity of international standards between the four metropolises, and
the ?North-South & East-West Corridors? crisscrossing the country. The
Delhi-Mumbai rail-road stretch is a vital part of the proposed dedicated
freight corridor linking industrial production clusters with export and import
Mr. Chairperson
Developing countries face huge but surmountable challenges in this
direction. I will flag three important issues for your consideration.
The first issue is that how do we ensure all-weather road connectivity
in the rural areas coupled with safe and affordable transport? Achievement
of such kind of connectivity in rural areas entails huge financial implications
for the developing countries. Also related issues of technological support,
R&D and capacity building need to be addressed. In addition, mechanisms to
sustain subsidized and reasonably priced travel on not-so-profitable routes
need to be devised at the national level.
Mr. Chairperson
The second issue is how do we overcome the technological and
financial barriers for greater usage of cleaner fuels? The need of the hour is
to promote alternate fuels like CNG, LPG and to promote enabling
infrastructure like development of gas highways. India has taken some
concrete steps in this direction. For example, the Delhi Transport
Corporation operates today the world?s largest fleet of CNG buses.
Cleaner fuels and related technologies are capital intensive which
developing countries find hard to afford. India has introduced Euro-IV
equivalent auto fuels in select cities and Euro-III equivalent in the rest, and
our refineries have invested INR 350 billion for this roll over. For
universalizing Euro-IV equivalent fuels in the next phase, massive
investment of financial resources is required to build appropriate refining
capacities. This exemplifies the magnitude of the challenge.
Mr. Chairperson
The third issue is how do we augment mass transportation in urban
areas and forge seamless modal integration? A fully integrated network of
public transport systems supported by ICT and GIS/GPS technologies shall
not only solve the crisis of urban mobility but also improve the urban air
quality and reduce the Green House Gas emissions.
The implementation of Bus Rapid Transport System involves structural
as well technological changes. A vibrant system would necessitate its
integration with urban land use planning process, establishment of Unified
Metropolitan Transport Authorities, right fiscal policies and robust transport
management with feeder buses and promotion of pedestrianism. Institution
building at national level and international cooperation are important
instruments in achieving these objectives.
To conclude, a holistic approach at national level to address various
issues of mobility along with international commitments for flow of greater
resources and technological support is the way forward. I hope this meeting
will come up with practical solutions for the same.
Thank you Mr. Chairperson.