Another year has passed and the ceremony for the 6th Edition of the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards was held in New Delhi the 12th of January.
The guests were welcomed by Volvo Bus President Håkan Agnevall who hosted the meeting together with Volvo Bus Senior Vice president Akash Passey and Managing Director Volvo India, Vrv Sripasad.
As last year, the morning session contained seminars and panel debates with distinguished guests. The sessions were moderated by Mr. V Ravichandar, Chairman Feedback Consulting. Some of the important speakers and panelists included Abhay Damle, Joint, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy Resources Institute, Mr. Girish Shankar, Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Durga Shanker Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development.
The award distribution ceremony took place in the evening.
The work of the jury was particularly hard this year with 50 excellent contributions. The contributions had an equal mix of private and public sector individuals and organisations. In all, 32 contributions were shortlisted.
Together with myself the jury members were:
Dr. OP Agarwal, Executive Director, Indian School of Business, Mohali
Prof. Geetam Tiwari, TRIPP Chair Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Sanjay Sridhar, Regional Director, S Asia and W Asia, C40 Cities
Amit Bhat, Strategy Head, Integrated Urban Transport, EMBARQ India
Ashwin Mahesh Co-Founder Mapunity & Lithium
Prof. TG Sitharam, Senior Professor, Civil Engg. Indian Institute of Science
Four contributions were selected for special recognitions
1) Udaipur Municipal Corporation was recognized for their project People centric restructuring of streets and intersections
The Udaipur Municipal Corporation (UMC) along with a few partners has initiated mobility improvements on one of the most important corridors in the city, which comprises multiple intersections spaced at a marginal distance ranging from 700 to 900 Mts. The streets and intersections along the corridor have been re-designed to prioritise the movement of people over movement of vehicles.
Award winners were: Mr. Sidharth Sihag, Municipal Commissioner, Udaipur Municipal Commissioner along with other partners for the project.
2) Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation was recognized for their project Route Planning for Efficient Mobility
The main objective of this project of BMTC is to provide public transport through a mix of services tailored to suit different travel requirements of all sections of the society. They fall under different categories depending on different parameters of bifurcation made on 1. Range and 2. Brand. Technology has been used to achieve optimal outcomes.
Award winner was: Dr. Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
3) Karnal Police contributed with a project called Sanjhi Cycle
A Public bicycle sharing (PBS) launched in a small city is an opportunity to exhibit how cities should incorporate a sustainable transport system with minimal investment and increased accessibility without dependence on motorised transport. On June 22, the first phase of public bicycle sharing was launched with 200 cycles in 18 docking stations.
The representative did not attend, hence, VRV Sriprasad accepted the award on his behalf
4) Oasis Designs Inc. was recognized for their project Multimodal Integration at Chattarpur Metro Station
This project will be contributing to improving the last mile connectivity within a 2 kilometre zone of all Metro Stations to help people optimize travel trips in terms of time and money and providing efficient, comfortable and safe connectivity for all users.
The award winners were: Mr. Akash Hingorani, Principal – Architecture, Public Realm Design and Master Planning, Oasis Designs Inc and Ms. Sujata Hingorani, Principal Landscape architect.
Two runners up were awarded with cash prizes:
SaveLIFE Foundationwas awarded for their project A “Good Samaritan” Law for India
SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF) took up the issue of bystander care through advocacy and litigation with the aim to provide a legal and ethical framework that encourages bystanders to help injured persons on the road. SLF filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in 2012, and the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment to provide legal, national-wide policy protection for Good Samaritans who help injured persons on the road on 30th March 2016, a policy which can potentially save up to 70,000 lives a year.
U+ Collective was awarded for their project Re-Humanising Industrial Streetscapes
This project attempts to design and develop an industrial estate in Nasik, as a model for the first ever “Smart Industrial Area” in India. It strives to transform its current ‘transit priority’ streetscape into a more vibrant and habitable urban realm for the diverse user base of industries and people.
And, the winner was…
Citizens for Sustainability (CiFoS) who was awarded for their project Inclusive Mobility
To promote the use of sustainable modes like walking and cycling to school for children and adults. CiFoS is now working with the Directorate of Urban Land Transport on the project “Neighbourhood Improvement Plan (mobility) Sanjaynagar” to provide better transport infrastructure for sustainable modes. (Mr. Subbaiah TS, representative CiFoS)
Personally, I’m deeply impressed by the power of initiatives of individuals, authorities and citizen groups in India. From European perspective, the bike sharing initiative made by the Kanal Police department, shows that progress and constructive thinking may come from a un expected direction, acting at the periphery of the official mandate. This is very inspiring. Last year the Crosswalk lab impressed us by doing full scale testing during rush hours in critical crossings. This year the SaveLIFE Foundation didn’t wait for a potentially slow federal process. A “Good Samaritan” law has now been introduced in about half of the states of India. And, this years award winner CiFoS, did not wait and see. By actively promoting walking and biking to school, even though conditions were not yet ideal, an improved street environment has been enforced and accelerated as the need became evident.
Those actions and the energy it releases impresses me.