Urban transport infrastructure in our cities has not kept pace with this increasing demand for movement of people and goods. Because of lack of investment in high quality pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and reliable and efficient public transport, urban dwellers are increasingly turning to personal motorized vehicle. This rapid increase in number of motorized vehicles is one of the lead causes of deteriorating quality of urban life and aggravating problems of pollution, congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
To focus attention on such urban issues and improve the quality of life and infrastructure in the cities, the National Ministry of Urban Development initiated the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) in 2005. The mission was launched in 65 cities in India with the purpose of financing development of urban infrastructure. To guide the funding for urban transport component of the mission, the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) was launched in 2006. The NUTP was successful in bringing focus to the worsening transport situation and promoting a more sustainable approach to dealing with urban transport.
However more than 6 years of the launch of JnNURM and NUTP, many states and cities have not been able to leverage available funds or implement reforms. One key reason cited by the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) Report on Indian Urban Infrastructure and Services for slow progress of JnNURM reforms is the lack of capacity at local government level to prepare and implement projects in urban infrastructure (HPEC, 2011).
The objective of the Training Needs Assessment (TNA) study supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation was to assess the gap in capacities of senior and middle management staff in municipal corporations and development authorities to plan, operate and manage sustainable urban transport systems. The TNA exercise is envisioned as the first step in the establishment of a comprehensive training and capacity development program for cities in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the area of sustainable urban transport.