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Cutting new infrastructure through India's clogged cities requires cutting through an alphabet soup of municipal and parastatal agencies. In order to harmonize their efforts in Delhi -- where in the past they had often proceeded with little to no regard for each other -- the central government has launched the mellifluously named Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Center, or Uttipec. Uttipec has the radical mission of ensuring that the various agencies planning and implementing transportation projects in Delhi meet on a weekly or monthly basis to coordinate their efforts. Crazy.
According to Uttipec's director Ashok Bhattacharjee, simply creating Uttipec was itself a major accomplishment; moving forward, the agency will work on initiatives including roadway construction standards and ensuring facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. As India moves toward the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, with some $40 billion in urban infrastructure funds available countrywide, unified planning holds the possibility of ensuring greater transparency and accountability.
Thanks to Rachel Proctor May