By Levent Toprak
Partial driving ban, handing out anti-pollution masks and closing schools give you a glimpse how badly the air pollution in Delhi is once again.
On 1 November 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met her Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the fifth German-Indian government consultations. On many of the crucial issues that will shape the future, Germany and India intend to step up cooperation.
One of the corner stones will be the cooperation on sustainable urban mobility. India and Germany agreed to act together and speed-up the construction of sustainable transport infrastructure, rollout of e-busses, and integration of various modes for seamless travel. Specifically, both sides signed a new Joint Declaration of Intent on the Indo-German Partnership on Green Urban Mobility wherein the German side expressed its readiness to provide additional concessional finance of Euros 1 billion to support improvements of green urban mobility infrastructure and services and strengthen capacities of national, state and local institutions to design and implement sustainable, inclusive and smart mobility solutions in Indian cities.
In addition, both leaders welcomed that e-Mobility is being envisaged an important area of collaboration, including under the already well established Joint Working Group on Automotive.
During her visit to India, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Dwarka Sector 21 metro station in Delhi. The station is equipped with solar panels, funded by German KfW Development Bank with technical assistance of GIZ.
At the same station, Chancellor Merkel could also witness the deployment of electric rickshaws first hand. Rajkumar, the driver of the e-auto, said the German chancellor asked him about the vehicle and his work during their three-minute conversation: “I am so elated that I could shake hand and talk to her,” he said about his interaction with Merkel.
Stressing on the need for cleaner modes of transport, Ms Merkel had earlier said, “Whoever has looked at pollution in Delhi yesterday would find very good arguments to replacing diesel buses with electric buses.”
Additional information: TUMI activities in India
• TUMI Partner KfW takes a prominent role by providing finance for the intended projects. Also other TUMI Partners will further support the Indo-German ambitions, as they already do.
• India is the country with the most TUMI Challenge projects, namely, Re-imagining Fort Kochi: Moving People Towards Improved Access and Safety; Chennai Inclusive Urban Street Design Improvement Project; Green City Journey Planning App in Nagpur. The later one being a spin-off from TUMI Hackathon in Nagpur at the Urban Mobility India Conference (UMI).
• The green metro station with solar panels visited by Chancellor Merkel was developed with support of GIZ on behalf of BMU.
• Through the project Integrated and Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities in India, GIZ on behalf of BMZ supports the three Smart Cities of Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, and Kochi and their state governments to promote low carbon comprehensive mobility planning, and to plan and implement sustainable urban transport projects in the fields of public transport, non-motorised transport and modal integration.
• The ITDP India Program has had many successes over their two decades of work in cities all over India. This includes the major wins of BRT systems and street improvements in Ahmedabad and Pune. Today, the ITDP India Program continues to support BRT and bus improvement projects, advocate for complete streets, and assist cities in improving infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as parking and policy reform.
• WRI India’s Sustainable Cities program catalyzes environmentally and financially sustainable transport solutions to improve quality of life in cities. For example, WRI reviewed the Comprehensive Traffic and Transport Plan of Bengaluru. The recommendations included scaling up bus-based mass transit, investing in walking and cycling infrastructure, and developing a parking policy that restricts the use of cars.
• ADB is financing various mobility related projects in India, e.g. metros and regional high-speed rail networks but also rail more general with electrification projects and modernization of rolling stock.
• Also C40 is active in India, more specifically in five cities, supporting better air quality through electrification, parking policies, bike sharing schemes and transforming streets for walking and cycling.
• ICLEI has several activities in India, through the Cities SHIFT: capacity building network for Climate and people friendly mobility program, ICLEI assist cities to identify challenges and opportunities of its urban mobility system through EcoMobility SHIFT tool, so that they could shift towards more ecomobile modes of travel i.e. walking, cycling, shared and public transport.
• Together, TUMI supports transport projects in India and around the world and enables policy makers to transform urban mobility. We believe in sustainable mobility for a better future and are happy to support the Indo-German efforts.
Martin Schäfer, email@example.com