Indian Roads Thread

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 08 Jun 2010 21:45

"It is going to go a lot worse before there is any chance of improvement."

Without in any way minimising the horrendous loss of life on Indian roads, the fact is that relative to the number of vehicles on India's roads, the number of deaths is not near the top of the list of countries. Ethiopia is evidently the worst in this regard. India is not even in the top ten using this yardstick.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Abhijeet » 08 Jun 2010 22:28

I would hope that India is not simultaneously at the top of two prestigious lists: number of lives lost per vehicle in addition to total number of lives lost in auto accidents. Thank goodness someone else is worse than we are.

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Another of the many bewildering things I've seen on Indian roads is that drivers keep their headlights off till it is pretty much pitch dark. You could be in the middle of deep dusk, and most of the cars around you will still resolutely have their lights off. I was used to turning on the lights as soon as the sunlight started fading, but as part of a resolve to go with the flow, I have now decided to wait till I see three other cars with their headlights on before I switch mine on.

Why do people do this? Is it to save money, or to be considerate to other motorists (since the high beam lights that most people drive with will blind both people in front of you and on the other side of the road)? Actually, that second possibility is ludicrous.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SK Mody » 09 Jun 2010 00:24

SSridhar wrote:India's Highways of Death- NYTimes Video
Every day in India, 320 people are killed in traffic accidents, the highest rate in the world.


It would be interesting to know how many of these involve 2 and 3 wheelers.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 09 Jun 2010 06:36

Abhijeet, almost all Indian drivers (two & four wheel) either drive with high beam or no beam at all.

I am posting here excerpts from an article that appeared in The Hindu yesterday.

Image

Nearly half of all traffic-related fatalities occur at night, despite less than 25 per cent of daytime traffic plying on the road between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., says A.Veeraraghavan, Transportation Engineering Professor at IIT-Madras. “Next to over-speeding, headlight glare is one of the primary causes for accidents. Apart from temporarily blinding a motorist, repeated exposure to glare can also result in eye fatigue which leads to an accident.”

The glare from the high-beam light forms a veil of luminance which reduces contrast resulting in poor visibility,” says P. Kanthamani, a neuro-ophthalmologist. “The problem is amplified by pitch dark roads, lack of medians in many places and inconspicuous speed breakers.”

Road users are not bothered to use dimmed lights,” says J. Krishnamoorthy, Joint Director, Institute of Road Transport. “It is an attitudinal problem if motorists do not dim their headlights even on roads that have proper illumination.”

While the Central Motor Vehicles Act prescribes that headlamps should not exceed 80 watts of power, he says that most goods vehicles use focus beams that exceed 100 watts.Though only two headlamps are allowed even on heavy vehicles, many use four or six lamps. Drivers must periodically undergo medical checks to test for night blindness. Right of way must not come at the cost of human lives.”

He adds that on arterial roads, the median must have at least two-meter-high vegetation to ensure reduction of glare from oncoming vehicles.

Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education, says that there are no systems in place to enforce rules. “There are no data on the number of motorists booked at night for using dazzling lights. Headlight condition is also not taken as part of vehicle fitness.
{AFAIK, there is no organization to check periodic vehicle fitness. Only emission is tested}

He adds that all major roads must be provided with reflective boundary markings, luminescent guard posts near sharp curves and reflective traffic control devices to ensure that the distance of illumination required for safe driving is also reduced.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Gaurav_S » 09 Jun 2010 10:00

SSridhar wrote:Abhijeet, almost all Indian drivers (two & four wheel) either drive with high beam or no beam at all.


Less regulated safety norms, lousy attitude of building contractors and municipalities can be added to this. Bring in high standards of safety norms and impose heavy fines on contractors for neglecting public safety. Surely will bring down number of deaths on Indian roads.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 09 Jun 2010 12:08

Not just hi-beam. The hi-beam from a misaligned, aftermarket, chinese 8000K HID kit, aided with a pair of foglamps of the same spec.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Bade » 09 Jun 2010 22:55

He adds that all major roads must be provided with reflective boundary markings, luminescent guard posts near sharp curves and reflective traffic control devices to ensure that the distance of illumination required for safe driving is also reduced.


This is the biggest reason other than attitude itself perhaps in using high beam all the time. On rural roads it is next to impossible to see the road in pitch dark conditions. During the rainy season visibility gets only worse. Reflective boundary markings and lane discipline would help too; otherwise every one relies on the high beam for "early warning" to see on coming vehicles and the road layout for night driving.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Gaurav_S » 17 Jun 2010 08:49

Another foreign delegation comes to study BRTS

AHMEDABAD: The fan club of Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) is growing with time. On Wednesday, a team of officials from Da Nang city in Vietnam, along with World Bank officials boarded a bus.

DaNang city, the third largest city in Vietnam, has million plus population with huge port, vibrant fishing and IT industry. The city does not have a public transport facility and commuters mainly depend on two-wheelers. The city is now developing a public transport system with the support of World Bank.

The team was thus here to study the BRTS which had been successful and recently the World Bank had identified Ahmedabad as a best practice city' for its BRTS Project. The 11 member delegation consists of senior officials from Da Nang municipal government and the WB experts. The team is attending a two-day workshop organised by AMC and CEPT and has met municipal commissioner IP Gautam.

AMC officials said that the delegation was interested in knowing more about Ahmedabad's successful run of the BRTS and other urban development experiences.

The team, in addition to attending a two day programme, visited BRTS control centre, depot, and took a ride on BRTS. The team also visited Sabarmati riverfront development project.

This is the third team to visit the city apart from team from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzaniam; Lagos in Nigeria. Also teams from Bangladesh, Manila and Sri Lanka have sought time to visit the city.

The officials said that the team from Bangladesh was coming next month while a team from Manila would be visiting the city in the next 45 days. Also the team from Colombo in Sri Lanka had shown interest in coming to study the project. Apart from these teams from almost all states in India have come to study the BRTS project
.


ToI

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Prem » 22 Jun 2010 22:49

Truck Hits Convoy of Indian Wedding Guests; 18 Die
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/06 ... .html?_r=1
HYDERABAD, India (AP) -- A speeding truck rammed into two tractors pulling trolleys loaded with guests returning from a wedding in southern India on Tuesday, killing 18 people, including the groom, police said. The bride and 19 other people were injured near Warangal, 110 miles (175 kilometers) northeast of Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh state, said Shahnawaz Qasim, a district police superintendent. Doctors in nearby hospitals described the condition of seven of the injured as critical. Road accidents claim thousands of lives every year in India, and most are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained vehicles and bad roads. Many passengers travel on makeshift, overcrowded means of transport such as carts attached to tractors.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Gus » 23 Jun 2010 02:13

Abhijeet wrote:Why do people do this? Is it to save money, or to be considerate to other motorists (since the high beam lights that most people drive with will blind both people in front of you and on the other side of the road)? Actually, that second possibility is ludicrous.


It is just legacy crap that gets passed on and people doing things blindly without thinking why they are doing it.

Back in the days, lamps used to get fused a lot and drivers were taught not to turn lamps on unless absolutely necessary (as in very dark)..in order to preserve lamp life.

Also, in the days of 'dynamos'(?) and poor batteries, (instead of alternators that we have now to charge battery), drivers were taught to floor the accelerator once or twice before switching it off for the day (presumably to give that extra bit of charge to carry it through the night and let the car start in the morning).

People do these things even now...

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Bade » 23 Jun 2010 02:16

Another thing I noticed is people give the vehicle a shake while filling gas ... as if the fuel pumped in is some sand pile that needs extra help to settle down and not in liquid form.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby RamaY » 23 Jun 2010 05:09

Prem wrote:Truck Hits Convoy of Indian Wedding Guests; 18 Die
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/06 ... .html?_r=1


So sad :cry:

The wedding party is mere 100 meters away from their destination. The truck hit two tractors and then ran over the wedding music band...

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Gus » 23 Jun 2010 06:29

Bade wrote:Another thing I noticed is people give the vehicle a shake while filling gas ... as if the fuel pumped in is some sand pile that needs extra help to settle down and not in liquid form.


Truck tanks have partitions (to prevent sloshing around) and I think this idea of shaking the tank must have spread from the 'theory' that shaking tank allows it to fill more fuel. Dunno abt car tanks. Could be a carry over.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 23 Jun 2010 09:24

Prem wrote:Truck Hits Convoy of Indian Wedding Guests; 18 Die

This is the second similar incident in the last two weeks. A week back a tractor carrying a marriage party rammed against a truck. This happened near Krishnagiri on the Bengaluru-Salem NH7. Luckily both the bride and groom survived. We dont have further details on how these accidents happen. As others already have noted down in this thread there is a "tradition" in these new four lane highways. Vehicles like mopeds, tractors etc. coming on the wrong side of the road to rather than taking a small detour. At many times it is these kinds of "short cuts" which finally cut shorts the lives of many.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 23 Jun 2010 14:42

Sachin wrote:As others already have noted down in this thread there is a "tradition" in these new four lane highways. Vehicles like mopeds, tractors etc. coming on the wrong side of the road to rather than taking a small detour. At many times it is these kinds of "short cuts" which finally cut shorts the lives of many.


Two days back, a big JCB earthmover was driven in the wrong direction in the Chennai Bypass killing a couple riding a bike.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 23 Jun 2010 14:52

shaking reminds of filling a large drum with rice. people use it before stuffing fuel to absolute brim...it is damaging to vehicle parts but idiots dont care.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Mort Walker » 23 Jun 2010 15:22

I've been in MP now for nearly 3 weeks on the road in a 400 Km radius from Bhopal. The highways have improved a lot over the last couple of years when I was here last, but there is disregard to safety. No one wears seat belts and there is no thought about wearing them in the back seat. Many people still crowd into a Tavera or similar vehicle like a clown car, packed to the max, and drive down the highway at over 100 Km/hr. Exits are abrupt with simply an intersection with zebra marking and stop sign which is disregarded. I was in an Inova doing 120 Km/hr and we just about T-boned a couple of motorcycle wallas with people riding pilon at some of these "exit/entrances". At night most trucks have broken tail lights and are stopped or going slow, you can rear end them easily and you will die. I noticed less Indian road flares as well, but truckers still leave their vehicles in the middle of the highway while doing repairs. My estimate is that between Bhopal - Indore, (< 300 Km) that there are at least 3 fatal accidents daily.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 23 Jun 2010 15:41

did you by any chance visit Orchha ? I have a desire to visit that neck of woods - orccha, khajuraho, bandavgarh - is it naxal infested or safe ?

orchha has a line of Cenotaphs by the river...
Last edited by Singha on 23 Jun 2010 18:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby neerajb » 23 Jun 2010 15:56

Bade wrote:Another thing I noticed is people give the vehicle a shake while filling gas ... as if the fuel pumped in is some sand pile that needs extra help to settle down and not in liquid form.


IMO two wheeler drivers do that to mix the 2T oil that is added separately to Petrol. Though not needed but still they do that.

Cheers....

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Prem » 23 Jun 2010 21:47

I think most of the tragic accidents can be avoided by applying little common sense and following of the safety rules. Early this years when i went to india , road etiquettes did wonder for me in lossing about 10-12 Pounds within a week.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Mort Walker » 23 Jun 2010 23:34

Singha wrote:did you by any chance visit Orchha ? I have a desire to visit that neck of woods - orccha, khajuraho, bandavgarh - is it naxal infested or safe ?

orchha has a line of Cenotaphs by the river...


No. I did go to Bandhavgarh though and got some good photo opportunities. No problem of naxals its safe to plan a visit. I was there with family.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Gus » 24 Jun 2010 06:16

neerajb wrote:IMO two wheeler drivers do that to mix the 2T oil that is added separately to Petrol. Though not needed but still they do that.


I remember TVS 50s needing oil to be added to petrol while pumping. And some smaller scooters like scooty etc.

And the pump fellow would cheat by reducing oil...and cheat on petrol too if you are not careful.

Heck, that's one of the things that wears you down in desh...the need to be constantly on alert.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 24 Jun 2010 07:38

Some initial crop of 100CC bikes also needed oil in petrol.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 24 Jun 2010 08:14

Prem wrote:I think most of the tragic accidents can be avoided by applying little common sense and following of the safety rules.

Both are at a premium on Indian roads. 'I have a vehicle and I will go any which way I desire', is the motto. Patience is another rare quality on Indian roads. The behaviour on the road reflects the society.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 24 Jun 2010 08:40

the thing is all who grew up exclusively in india (without a spell of living in more disciplined countries) have never seen any more orderly form of behaviour . driving the way people do, parking to cause maximum takleef to others, jumping all manners of queues, throwing waste paper everywhere - its the norm and nothing better is seen anywhere in india. so they grow up like that and think its "normal"

eyes are opened only after a extended spell of living abroad and after coming back you get irritated by all this.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 24 Jun 2010 09:29

Singha is right. Such behaviour was all right when vehicles were few and were Amby, old Fiat etc. but with a massive growth of high performance vehicles, and better roads it is leading to huge problems.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby abhischekcc » 24 Jun 2010 09:51

saip wrote:Unless there is strict enforcement of road rules and strickter tests for new drivers there wont be any change. Few months ago we were driving on 6 lane divided highway and I see farm tractors and trucks coming in the opposite direction. I have not seen any police patrols on these roads. People are plain lazy to make a u-turn.


Why do we need stricter enforcement?

Why is it so difficult for people to follow traffic rules?

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 24 Jun 2010 10:22

abhischekcc wrote:Why do we need stricter enforcement?

Stricter enforcement only comes when society as a whole feels some thing is really going wrong. For example a murder case in India gets some proper investigation by the police. Or for that matter a major robbery/dacoity. I feel this is because the Indian society at least have not taken a chaltha hein stand when it comes to such crimes. The same enthusiasm is not shown by the "Mango Man" when it comes to other areas of law enforcement (for example highway policing). A large number of people in India still dont own/drive vehicles and this could be the reason.

Why is it so difficult for people to follow traffic rules?

Driving etiquettes are yet to reach people fully. Also a wierd kind of "independence" also gets into the minds of drivers and road users I feel. "I know how to drive, now leave it to me - hell with the rules" kind of an attitude sets in. The road becomes a place to shows one's ego. Perhaps with more people having/driving vehicles some sense of discipline may come say in another 5-10 years.

Also traffic policing is considered as a kind of "money making scheme" either for the traffic policemen or the government. So rather than thinking about the driver's mistake, the focus is more on whining against the traffic police or the government. For eg: In the socialist republic the general feeling is that traffic policemen have a quota (of charges) to be filled every month, and so at the last week of every month they go on a spree and catch the traffic offenders. The fact that many times the driver/rider has done some violation of rules is totally ignored.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 24 Jun 2010 10:49

Sachin, the 'quota' system is a reality here. Moreover, rather than looking for the real violations that matters for road safety, the police tend to check 'book & paper' and slap some ridiculous charge like "you were speeding".

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 24 Jun 2010 12:03

trucks, LCVs are prime sources of money. hitting on the village tractor or bike going in wrong way is lean pickings - no meat on the bone there. local buses are protected by transport mafia and are generally left alone - "arrangements" are made in bulk beforehand.

in BLR police have recently started a drive using speed guns and cameras on many stretches to catch offenders and also seem to be going after out of state license plates who did not re-register here and pay the steep road tax (19% here, 8% in TN and kerala).

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Mort Walker » 24 Jun 2010 14:27

In MP a highway "trooper" is not a desirable position for a police walla. These fellows have no source of revenue other than pulling over a slow vehicle. They are on a 125cc motorcycle with no helmet, only chappals, no radio, no firearm and only a short lathi or baton with them. I was in an Innova and whizzed by at 110 Km/hr when signs clearly indicate 60 Km as the limit, but the roads can easily handle sustained speeds of over 100 Km/hr. The cops looked in our direction, but kept on talking to each other. Our driver was not concerned, but I did ask him to put on his seat belt for his own safety.

There is no driving etiquette as people are in a learning state. It reminds me of driving through rural state highways in the US during the mid 1960s. Lots of traffic deaths, speeding and hot rod behavior. I will say its an improvement over a couple of years ago, and I'm confident it will improve because more people will be aware of road fatalities. I will say that 2 & 4 legged mammals should not be on the road or shoulder; along with hand carts, bicycles, scooters and bikes less than 125cc.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 24 Jun 2010 14:57

but the usual response to an accident is to raise a lumpy dangerous speedbreaker that is very dangerous to cars and tiresome for the driver.

seen it happen over 5 yrs on the SH to Mysore. what was once a smooth and pleasant pavement is now marred with strange speedbreakers and zig zag barriers.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 24 Jun 2010 16:58

We have only two options. 50kmph roads with open sides, or 120kmph roads with barricades. You can't build a 100kmph road and leave it open, so that people can build a town straddling it, and then build speedbreakers.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 24 Jun 2010 18:01

Dileep wrote:Sachin, the 'quota' system is a reality here.

Okay, but is this a recent invention? Because there is now a move in the K.P to do some kind of statistical analysis (and kind of performance appraisal for Sub Inspectors). A recent trend I heard was that there was a kind of a verbal order (issued by all S.Ps) that an SI can only call it a day (or go home) after he has booked atleast one case for drunken driving and two for other traffic violations ;).

Singha wrote:in BLR police have recently started a drive using speed guns and cameras on many stretches to catch offenders and also seem to be going after out of state license plates

The reverse happens in socialist republic as well. I have a non-KL registration vehicle and was booked for over-speeding in a state highway first thing in the morning (at around 8AM). But it was not harassment in any sense of the word. The police had kept a speed radar, which takes all the details and even a snap of the vehicle (with the number plate). All this is fed into a laptop. The SI actually showed me all these devices before asking me to pay a fine of INR 300/-, and promptly provided a receipt (TR5 - Acknowledgement for Receipt of Money). I (or for that matter any one) can insist a Vehicle Check Report, not pay the fine and challenge the case in the court. But the police very well knew that an out-side state driver is not going to come down to the local town Magistrate court and fight it out. It is not worth the hassle.

PS: This idea of stopping and charging "out-of-state" drivers it seems is quite common in Massa too. I heard they have a provision to plead guilty and send the fine by a cheque by post :). The cops know that it is very rare that these drivers would land up in court to challenge their charge sheet.

Mort Walker wrote:The cops looked in our direction, but kept on talking to each other.

Karnataka, I dont think they have thought about a highway patrol wing so far. Never have seen any. In TN, they have lots of Highway Patrols. But usually have found them parked on the side, with one chap remaining alert and the other two taking a short nap. For a tiny state like Kerala, we have around 45 Highway Police vehicles. Allegations of bribery is there, they have also managed to chase a few people which made them speed more and die in motor crash. A new invention of theirs is to offer black tea to the drivers who drive between 2AM and 4AM. Routine traffic stop->checking of papers->free black tea->some genuine advice not to drive at such odd time (2AM to 4AM).

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 27 Jun 2010 09:24

Sachin wrote:In TN, they have lots of Highway Patrols. But usually have found them parked on the side, with one chap remaining alert and the other two taking a short nap.


On NH46, I even know where they park their vehicle and sleep. I have invariably found them at exactly the same spot.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 27 Jun 2010 11:15

The Outer Ring Road Project for Chennai: Nod for Japanese Funding
The Union Planning Commission has cleared Phase II of the Outer Ring Road project, from Nemilichery to Minjur, for inclusion in the list of projects seeking funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.


This project interconnects all the NHs radiating from Chennai, NH45, NH46, NH4 & NH5 and has a length of 62 Kms. Phase I is already approved. The land acquisition for the first phase of 30 Kms is now complete and road construction activities are going on. This ORR will be 120 m wide with a 50 m median for likely metro project (that can be used to connect the proposed Sriperumbudur airport with the city and also Meenambakkam) and 3 lanes each direction. Each side will also have a 50 m shoulder (apart from the service lanes) for later expansion of the road to 5 lanes each direction. In the centre median, 22m are reserved for railways and the rest for utilities.

The Japanese are evincing keen interest in upgrading infrastructure in Chennai (roads, ports and water) in view of the upcoming Bangalore-Chennai corridor. It is for this same reason that a new alignment is proposed between the two cities cutting down the distance to ~250 Kms from the existing 350-odd Kms. That project is also likely to be funded by the Japanese. So is the Hoganekkal water project which would augment/solve the water availability in the stretch especially around Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and even upto Vellore, again funded by the Japanese.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 27 Jun 2010 12:54

they are also taking a leading role in the delhi-mumbai industrial corridor and evinced some interest in high speed freight corridors. no doubt it opens huge opportunities for their construction machinery, project consultants, transport machinery and eventually their industries....which is a good thing because they need a strong place to invest which will generate good returns and we need their standards, technology and funding.

I like the fact the road is speced out for future expansion rather than the usual limp dick least cost approach favoured by state govts of 2+2, zero shoulder, thin median and no room for future growth. I hope at major intersections, the underpass/overpass work will be done with the project as L&T did on the BLR-Salem-Madurai highway.

someday one looks forward to a soothing 130kmph sustained blr-chennai expway ride, flanked on both sides by huge manufacturing parks and new townships. eventually like tokyo and yokohama, eisengaard and mordor the two towers should join and unite their energies. likewise NCR-faridabad-jaipur as one unending urban area, one city starting where another's suburbs end....and NCR-ghaziabad-noida-meerut on the other side....the twin prongs of the bident.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Suraj » 28 Jun 2010 11:39

Talking of TN roads, here's an image of the NH7 - NH47 interchange at Salem , that I found on the SSC India forum. Looks very TFTA indeed; it's great to see things like this coming up away from a major metro. Would someone please translate the Tamil ?

Prasad
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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Prasad » 28 Jun 2010 11:46

"bangalore, Kovai, Trichy sellum vaganangalal Selathukul pokuvarathu nerukadi yerpadamal thaduka Selam Kandampatti Kondalampatti yidaye kattapattulla puthiya mempalam pokuvarathuku thirakapatulathu. pasumai pongum thennai mangaluku yidaye ezhulai katchiyalikirathu membalam."

To prevent congestion due to vehicles travelling to b'lore, coimbatore and trichy, a new flyover has been opened between Salem, Kandampatti and Kondalampatti. The flyover presents an elegant picture amidst the greenery of coconut and mango trees.

SSridhar
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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jun 2010 15:26

That appears like a nice flyover. I have found one irritating thing (among the million miseries of Indian roads and road-users) about these flyovers, lack of signages. Even in Chennai, at the Kathipara cloverleaf, there is just a minimal set of signages and not conspicuously and repeatedly placed so that if you miss one, you may miss your exit. Even in the above Salem interchange, I do not see overhead signages.

At the Chennai Kathipara interchange, for example, vehicles take a wrong turn and then try to reverse causing serious accidents. While trying to reverse is a senseless, dangerous and usual Indian short-cut, the authorities do not learn from accidents and place visible, clear and enough number of signage boards.


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