The Commissioner and Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Shimla, attended the second peer-city exchange held under the EcoLogistics project on the 30th of June 2021.
The Ecologistics project, under the Sustainable Mobility initiative of ICLEI, focuses on improving urban freight in cities. Under the project, peer city exchanges take place regularly for sharing knowledge and developing the capacity of the partner cities. The second peer-city exchange focused on cycle logistics. Berlin and Barcelona shared their experiences on the subject, in addition to micro-consolidation centres.
In his presentation, the Commissioner, MCS, spoke about Shimla, its location in the Himalayas, its population and other facts, besides information on traffic accidents, the vehicular registration rate and the private and government stakeholders in the city.
He spoke about the city’s topographical constraints that lead to ribbon development of the commercial areas along major transport corridors. Old commercial areas in the core zone are struggling to accommodate expanding economic activities, which are linked to the increasing population of the city. Several freight activities are taking place on city corridors, aggravating traffic woes.
The city’s eastern zone is also suffering from space constraints, with the bulk of the activities involving essential commodities taking place there. These activities attract a large number of heavy commercial vehicles and are causing an expansion of residential areas nearby. As a result, there is greater competition over road use.
The participants of the peer exchange were apprised of the interventions that have been identified for improving urban freight in Shimla, such as parking management through road signage, awareness drives, capacity-building of the freight sector stakeholders, and transportation of goods on public buses. Measures that could have a long-term impact include shifting of activities out of the core zone and the Eastern Activity Zone, and the introduction of e-cargo vehicles on Cart Road and in other major commercial centres.