Kamal Nath, Urban Development Minister, speaking at the India Japan Business Summit, said, “The strategic partnership between India and Japan holds tremendous potential to bring prosperity and progress to our two Nations. So significant has been the contribution of Japan in India and so deep rooted is the goodwill that our relations and engagement enjoy a national consensus.” Minister Nath added that India and Japan together can be the engines of the Asian economic community.
In his meetings with the Mr Takeshi Maeda, Minister of Infrastructure, Land and Transport and Mr Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Mr Nath acknowledged significant contribution of Japan in the development of India’s infrastructure, particularly in the area of urban transportation. The significant areas for further co-operation sought from Japan included interalia urban monorail projects, intelligent transport systems and Regional Rapid Transit Systems (RRTS). Explaining the need for safe, reliable, economical, quick, comfortable and effective mass public transit system, monorail projects were discussed as feeders for metro rail in bigger cities as well as stand alone systems in tier II cities. The high speed rail based RRTS would enable people living in the suburbs of metropolitan cities, say within radius of 100 kms, to commute for work thereby easing the pressure on the infrastructure services within the metropolitan city.
The other issues discussed included the need for closer co-operation and sharing of knowledge in the areas of Transit Oriented Development along Mass Transit Corridors. Proper development in transit corridors implies densification in these areas thereby reducing the overall travel demand and generating substantial urban space. Capacity building including design of Metro Stations to do multimodal integration and revenue generation was also discussed. Other aspects of urban infrastructure such as water supply, waste management and sewage disposal also formed part of discussion. These issues would be further discussed in the working groups under the existing MOU between the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Infrastructure, Land and Transport, Japan.
In a separate meeting, Mr Nath thanked Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) for its assistance, especially for Metro rail project and urban infrastructure projects in India. JICA assured continued support for ongoing and future urban infrastructure projects.JICA assured that they would further examine technical assistance in urban monorail projects, intelligent transport systems, Regional Rapid Transit Systems, Transit-oriented Development for preparing master plan and detailed project reports for other urban infrastructure projects.
Mr Nath is on a two day visit to Japan for meetings with the Japanese side to seek their co-operation in meeting the infrastructure needs of Indian cities.Mr Nath, met Mr Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan and Mr Koichiro Gemba, the Foreign Minister of Japan on the side lines of the India-Japan Business Summit at Tokyo, where he led the Indian delegation at the Summit.
25 May 2012