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Indian Roads Thread

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Indian Roads Thread

Postby Rakesh » 09 Jan 2007 23:29


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Highways and bhai ways

Postby Nayak » 15 Jan 2007 10:07

Highways and bhai ways

[quote]
WIDE ANGLE
By Huzir Sulaiman

TELL people you’re travelling 2,500km across India by train, and a wistful expression will play across their features.

“Ah, the railways of India! How romantic!â€

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Postby Singha » 18 Jan 2007 11:01

I should say, in all fairness, that 70% of the Indian national highways that we drove on were wonderful, easily equal or even superior to Malaysia’s highways.

can someone who has done some real travel in malaysia (not just a few showpiece tourist tracks) comment on this ?

and the remark about road rage there ?

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Postby shaardula » 18 Jan 2007 21:12

Tell us something we don't know type of article, but the comment of PB Mahishi, now the current chief secretary is a surprise.

Bangalore's Autobahn
FORTUNE Magazine

(Fortune Magazine) -- Far from his 18th-century colonial mansion in Philadelphia, Ashok Kheny has been waging a ten-year battle to build a $600 million, 111-kilometer toll road connecting Bangalore to Mysore, the second-largest city in the state of Karnataka.

His opponents: Indian environmentalists who have labeled the project a land grab, and local politicians reluctant to give up property they own or control. The road, about 40% completed, may be called NICE (for Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises), but getting it built has been far from that.

The project, which includes the construction of five new townships, a convention center, and a bypass road--a $4 billion development in all--was conceived in 1995 as a way of easing congestion in Bangalore, the hub of India's tech revolution. The city's population has grown from 200,000 in the 1960s to 7.5 million today, with 500 vehicles a day added to already crowded roads.

But getting things done in India is never easy. Kheny, a 56-year-old serial entrepreneur and managing director of the project, has spent a decade obtaining the required permits, pushing 18 legislative acts through congress, and fighting more than 300 writs and three supreme court appeals trying to stop the project. He has seen seven Prime Ministers and 15 public works ministers come and go. Ask Kheny what took so long, and his reply is blunt: "Corruption. There are too many payoffs involved."

Kheny says his refusal to pay any bribes slowed things down. Others say the delays had more to do with bureaucracy. "Too many agencies come in play when it comes to any decision-making, and there is a lack of coordination among these agencies," says Mohandas Pai, head of human resources at Infosys Technologies, who along with other IT chieftains has been trying to improve Bangalore's infrastructure. Still others say the problem has to do with a lack of urban planning. "There's not a single qualified urban planner in the government," observes V. Ravichandar, CEO of Feedback Consulting and a former member of a Bangalore infrastructure task force. All agree that if land acquisition procedures were more transparent, infrastructure projects would see the light of day much faster.

But opponents of the project, which is being funded by a consortium of a dozen Indian banks, have a different view. "He is acquiring more land than is necessary for the project and displacing poor farmers," says Leo Saldanha, coordinator of the Environment Support Group, an Indian organization fighting the project. Similar charges about excessive land acquisitions by developers have been made across India as land prices have shot up.

Kheny, who made a fortune in the U.S. by starting engineering construction companies that laid fiber-optic cable networks, denies buying more land than the project requires. And he says that far from displacing farmers, the road will make them rich. "We are not only trying to construct a world-class infrastructure project that would decongest the city, shorten the commute, and encourage companies to go beyond Bangalore," says Kheny, "but we are also creating millionaires out of thousands of poor and illiterate villagers."

Typically, Kheny explains, villagers own three to ten acres of land but remain poor because the land has little agricultural or residential value. He says he not only paid double the market rate but also gave sellers 2,400 square feet of land near the new townships for each acre he bought. A villager who sold ten acres would have ten such sites. "At the current price of $125,000 per site," says Kheny, "he is worth a million-plus dollars."

The last hurdle was cleared in early November with a supreme court decision allowing the project to continue. When the toll road is completed in 2008, it will be the autobahn of Bangalore, allowing heavy trucks and other vehicles to bypass the city. More important, the integrated corridor project will create green areas out of barren lands, generate employment in the new townships, and lessen the burden on the city's infrastructure.

Opponents of the project say most commuters will not be willing to pay the 2-cents-a-kilometer toll. But P.B. Mahishi, Karnataka's special secretary who is also in charge of the state's public works projects, thinks otherwise: "When people want to drive on good roads, they will pay."

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Postby SaiK » 18 Jan 2007 22:14

recently met a desi who returned back from chincom visit.. he said roads in china are as good or even better than the interstates..!?!? can someone comment?

PS:

http://www.hindu.com/2007/01/19/stories ... 591100.htm

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Postby bala » 26 Jan 2007 04:45

The Golden Quad is the only visible work that I could see travelling the nation. (Can others comment on whether they have seen other projects listed here.) Road quality on golden quad is good except for the narrower lane widths compared to US California Highway Lanes. Also the two lane concept needs to be augmented with 1 more lane, since both lanes seem to be clogged with slow moving Lorrys/Trucks/Buses. Frequent toll booths is another bugabear for fast travel. Roadside pitstops are also missing.

All other major highways are antiquated and dangerous at times, no proper banking for the fast turns, no center lane demarcation either. I saw a lot of night traffic of people, bicycles with no lights which is scary especially with oncoming traffic. A long way to go for Indian roads.

You would expect a faster pace of completion but according to this we have to wait it out until 2012...

Major highway works to be over by 2012

Infrastructure works covering over 50,000 km and on an estimated outlay of Rs 2,27,000 crore would be complete by the end of the current Plan period. (when is this???)

National Highways Project phase I and II, works for widening and upgrading 14,300 km of roads into four lanes have been undertaken under the Golden Quadrilateral, North-South and East-West Corridor projects.

In phase III, 10,000 km of roads will be taken up and in phase IV 20,000 km of roads will get double lane with pavement shoulders.

In the fifth phase, 6000 km of roads (with heavy traffic) will be converted into six lane.

The Centre has also initiated a project for developing expressways in a 1000 km stretch, he said and added that in phase VII, construction of rail and road over bridge and under bridges would be taken up.

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Postby Singha » 26 Jan 2007 07:55

in some of these phases, roads which were 4 laned earlier will get 6 laned.
this will be for high density stretches initially. tendering has already started.
some like guragaon-jaipur and near chennai have attracted lots of bidders
who will pay Govt a fee rather than Govt giving a initial grant.

tendering was slow in 2006 as noted below because MMS/his handlers
appointed a monkey eGOM type council to add more red tape to the
whole NHAI functioning which used to be lean show-me-the-money in
Khanduri's charge. they are trying hard to make it another Bihar PWD.

Business Standard:


NHAI receives Rs 1,368 cr for NHDP
Animesh Singh / New Delhi January 16, 2007

In what can be termed as a success of the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative in the highway sector, nine projects under various phases of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) have generated funds to the tune of Rs 1,368 crore between January 2006 and December 2006.

These funds have been received by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for projects falling under the second, third and fifth phases of the NHDP.

According to the highways ministry sources, the concessionaires paid money in advance to the NHAI to bag the projects. This mostly happens for stretches where concessionaires foresee good returns through traffic density.

As per rules, the government pays 40 per cent grant to concessionaires for highway projects, subject to competitive bidding.

However, in certain projects (normally those with good traffic density), if
a concessionaire feels he can recover his costs well within the concession period, he offers money in advance to NHAI instead of seeking grant. It also shows the concessionaire’s confidence in the viability of the project.


During the whole of last year, the NHAI’s rate of issuing contracts was quite poor. In fact, seven of these nine projects were awarded in 2005, when NHAI had issued a large number of contracts.

Two of these projects were awarded in December 2006 by the government. In such a scenario, the concessionaires’ increased enthusiasm, shown through upfront payment, has indeed come as a shot in the arm for NHAI.

Of these nine projects, five fall under phase II of the NHDP. The NHAI has received Rs 96 crore for the Rs 270 crore Panipat elevated highway work from L&T Ltd, while for the Rs 267 crore Farukhanagar-Kottakata stretch, it has received Rs 70 crore upfront from the consortium of GMR Energy Ltd and GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

For the Rs 372 crore stretch between Krishnagiri and Thopurghat, it has received Rs 140 crore upfront from L&T Krishnagiri Thopurghat Toll Road Pvt Ltd, while for the Rs 472 crore Indore-Khalghat stretch, it has got Rs 6 crore upfront from the Oriental Structural Engineers Pvt Ltd-Delhi Brass consortium. For the Rs 195 crore Agra-Bharatpur stretch, NHAI has received Rs 3 crore upfront from the aforementioned consortium.

NHDP phase III, which involves four-laning of 4,000 km of national highways, has two projects for which the NHAI has received the money upfront. For the Guna bypass project worth Rs 46 crore, it has received Rs 19 crore from Guna Infrastructure Ltd. For the Rs 556 crore Dhule-Pimpalgaon stretch, NHAI has received Rs 59 crore upfront from IRCON-Soma consortium.

In December 2006, the NHAI received Rs 504 crore upfront for the Bharuch-Surat section. This is the highest ever amount it has received in advance for any project. The concessionaire is IDAA Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.

The project for which NHAI received the second highest amount upfront was the 83 km long Vadodara-Bharuch section on NH-8, worth Rs 660 crore (also under phase V), awarded to Larson & Toubro Vadodara Bharuch Tollway Ltd. The concessionaire paid Rs 471 crore to NHAI.

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Postby SaiK » 26 Jan 2007 08:06

i made a similar comment comparing massa standards.. later felt its desh!~.. converting existing highways with the street culture we have is no way difficult to acuqire land and build roads.. of course i do agree we have to stick some intl standardizations w.r.t road / lane widths (min)., that i felt was bad when i traveled in gq between CBE and BLR 2 years back, at stretches. the lanes were so narrow, that a big lorry [truck] over loaded of course with say goods or haystack, can cover the width of atleast 1.25 of the lanes. whats the point of having lanes.. without sticking to stds (if its only in books).

otoh, we should develop new express ways like interstates entirely new lines, and we can talk comparing massa land. else, we should just let the gq and nsew roads as yet just another road that is getting enlarged. nothing more nothing less.

we can't talk stds. if somebody says we don't need intl stds for desi things.. we are poor, and we are like that.. are baba to get this done onlee we took this much time.. and with our baboos, we can't do expressways connecting all cities.. like interstates or autobhans.. are exactly like those people who say, ISRO/defence is a wasteful expense for us.

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Postby Dileep » 26 Jan 2007 23:29

I read on skyscrapercity that we follow oiropian stds which are narrower. comments anyone?

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Postby Sridhar » 27 Jan 2007 04:13

NHAI lanes are 3m wide, compared to the 3.5m-4m width of interstates in the US (with lanes sometimes being even wider). European and Australian expressways are regularly built with 3m wide lanes. So yes, one may say that NHAI standards (which are actually the standards set by the Indian Roads Congress) are closer to European standards.

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Postby SaiK » 27 Jan 2007 04:51

euro-pee-ans have small space compared to mighty needy India!~ bad stds

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Postby bala » 29 Jan 2007 23:16

I agree that 3M is far from ideal and too narrow. 3M is less than 10 feet and standard garage sizes are around 10 feet wide per car. Imagine driving at high speed in a lane that is your garage size and not hit the side walls. I also noticed that in certain stretches of the Golden Quad there is an extra half width lane, I do not know the purpose of the lane. The only thing the Golden Quad did right was the hefty foundation work for the road. This should last for a long time. The next phase is to expand from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in high traffic zones. Even though the golden quad tries to skip major towns/villages, there are newer settlements right next to the roads. This is not the ideal. We should have some 50 ft buffer on either side. People cross the golden quad brazenly and some local traffic tries to use both lanes in whichever way they deem fit! What is the purpose of paying toll if they cannot police these sections and clamp down on such behavior. As it is driving past slow moving vehicles often in the fast lane, with narrow lane widths is a major challenge.

Having said this, the BJP govt did a fine job in expediting the massive work under Khanduri's watch. Many people refer to the golden quad as the Vajpayee Highway.

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Postby Suraj » 30 Jan 2007 00:39

Indian highway road lanes didn't strike me as particularly narrow. Keep in mind the average Indian car is not as wide as their US counterpart. I found it comfortable to drive at ~90-100km/h without any issue with staying in the lanes, while in a Honda City or similar sized car. The primary limiter wasn't the lane width but ensuring there was no drifting mud on the right corner of the fast lane, which would be a safety hazard.

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Postby hanumadu » 30 Jan 2007 10:03

Sridhar wrote:NHAI lanes are 3m wide, compared to the 3.5m-4m width of interstates in the US (with lanes sometimes being even wider). European and Australian expressways are regularly built with 3m wide lanes. So yes, one may say that NHAI standards (which are actually the standards set by the Indian Roads Congress) are closer to European standards.


Indian buses and lorries are wider than the US trucks. If anything we should be having wider lanes than those in the US.

--Ranadheer

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Postby Singha » 30 Jan 2007 16:17

what is the width difference between indian CVs and usa CVs (8ft) ?

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Postby shaardula » 30 Jan 2007 18:49

Suraj wrote: drifting mud on the right corner of the fast lane


how does this come about?
also what are sustainable ways of preventing this?
on city roads and on highways?

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Postby hanumadu » 31 Jan 2007 09:26

Singha wrote:what is the width difference between indian CVs and usa CVs (8ft) ?


The standard dump trucks that you see on the US roads are 8 feet wide. The US buses seem to be of the same size too.

Some of the tata buses are 2600 mm wide. The volvo and Ashol Leyland sites do not have width for their trucks or buses.

--Ranadheer

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Postby ratnendrap » 04 Feb 2007 13:21

As per tender documents and drawings available at nhai.org site, the NHAI designed highways have carriageways (two lanes) of 7.25 meter width in each direction. This means that each lane is about 3.62 meter (~12 feet) wide - sounds about same as the width of the riding lanes of US interstate highways.

What I think indian highways definetly lack is a good width shoulders along the median and wider median to seperate traffic in opposite direction.
Considering that NHAI has designed most highways for 90 or 100 kmph (55-65 mph), this may lead to fatalities if accidents happen at such speeds.

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Postby Jaspreet » 04 Feb 2007 17:32

I believe a discussion on road discipline should be a part of a roads thread.

If past experience is anything to go by then the shiny new wide highways would quite likely end up like roads of any other town of India (barring perhaps Mumbai) - with all sorts of vehicles trying to elbow their way ahead - and speeds being bogged down to 20-40 kmph.

In Delhi with its wide roads and lane markings I noticed that the width of a lane is not what the two lane markers on either side say but half of it. So I frequently noticed two Maruti vans occupying the same one lane and moving without a problem. If you are on the far right of a road in your direction of movement and hogging the overtake lane and someone behind you honks at you, you move a few meters (depending upon the width of the vehicle behind you) to your left, not to the lane to your left, to give them way.

The comfort distance between two vehicles in Delhi at least is much less than the two other countries I have lived in - US and Canada.

At this time there seems to be no debate about moving at higher speeds but on issues like signal free movement. When accidents start happening on a comparatively better stretch of a road, the first response of DTP is to slow things down, which is the best under given conditions.

However, I believe these two should be combined. Signal free movement with discipline can be used to boost speeds while making the traffic quieter (a grave necessity), calmer and safer.

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Postby ratnendrap » 06 Feb 2007 23:28

Road discipline or lack of it is secondry to design issues with highways. An argument can be made (though in theoritical sense) that lack of road discipline may lead to optimal utilization of resources. Accidents happen where the traffic is very disciplined just as they happens where there is no discipline.

Western experience of highways is that it is ultimately the design that has profound effect on the safety and efficiency.

A case in point is what is commonly known as "california stop". California traffic laws allow a safe right turn on red lights though in some state this is illegal. It is not uncommon to see near misses when cars from opposite direction are turning to same direction. But, rate of accidents are no more bad than other states where right turn on red is illegal This does not mean californias streets are less safe.

California stops may be seen as a little anarchic and lacking discipline, but it leads to shorter queue at red lights and faster clearing of intersections.

Chaos is sometime indeed efficient. Many studies conducted by researchers found that the efficient way to load a plane with passangers is just to open the door and leave passangers to figure a way in.

A good example of chaos being more effective is to watch how mumbai suburban train load and unload. The amount of passangers getting in and out of mumbai train in a two minute stop is just mind boggling. I wonder that kind of efficiency can ever be achieved on western suburban trains where level of discipline is very high.


Of course if there is enough capacity and enough time, discipline is more pleasing than chaos. But, like other quality things in life, discipline comes at cost. Unless we build enough capacity, discipline is not going to work.

My experience of standing in queues is that so long as the last person in queue is assured of service, the queue will work, else people would find a way to get around the queue and get before others.

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Postby Jaspreet » 07 Feb 2007 01:12

Accidents happen where the traffic is very disciplined just as they happens where there is no discipline.


(a) Fewer accidents happen when the traffic is disciplined versus when it is not. Delhi is frequently cited as a city with the highest number of accidents in the world for the number of vehicles it has.
(b) Further, in case of an accident in a disciplined setting, it can be comparatively easier to determine (note: it is not always easy, but easier than the non-disciplined case) who was at fault, since right of way is clearly defined. In an indisciplined environment, both drivers will attempt to beat the heck out of each other. In case it happens in a rural setting in India or in a shantytown, then irrespective of who is at fault, the villagers/slum-dwellers will extort a large amount of sum from the hapless driver or passengers with the threat of force.

Western experience of highways is that it is ultimately the design that has profound effect on the safety and efficiency.

I partially agree with this. The part I disagree with it is the implication that only the design is responsible for safety and efficiency. The road design as well as the people who use it both have a bearing on safety and efficiency.

A case in point is what is commonly known as "california stop". California traffic laws allow a safe right turn on red lights

Another example may be the provision of turn lanes. I cite this as an example even though it is such an ordinary thing because the lack of such lanes in Delhi causes huge chaos (but no quick clearing). Everyone goes to the far right lane whether or not they need to turn right (when you visualize, keep in mind that in India we drive on the left). As soon as the lights turn green, some people want to turn right, some want to go ahead, and even those who are on the far left want to turn right.
In the following figure,
[] = traffic divider
/ = car wanting to turn right
| = car wanting to go straight
(Not pictured: a two or a three-wheeler in the space between two cars)

/ / | | / / []
| | / / | | []
| | | | / / []


Honking at jet-plane decibel levels ensues. A few people manage to turn, a few don't. Meanwhile, the lights turn red again and some people are caught in the intersection and the traffic from other sides is blocked too.
(Which is why in rush hours, traffic lights are turned off and instead manned by a cop who can do a better job than a light).

Chaos is sometime indeed efficient.

If you consider only the short term aim of clearing an intersection, perhaps you are right, but if our aims are:
1. Optimal usage of fuel. I may be wrong, but a modern car is most fuel efficient at 50-70 kmph, not at the 20-60kmph, which are the speeds that obtain in Delhi during daytime. For comparison, in Mississauga, Ontario, speeds are 40-70 kmph during rush hour on city streets and 40-120 on highways. During other hours, they could be 60-80 on streets and 100-140 on highways.

2. Decrease of noise pollution

3. Decrease of accidents (incidentally, as an aside, a few years ago, IIRC, the NHTSA of USA decreed that the word "accident" is to be avoided because there is no such thing as an accident and is to be replaced by "collision."), and

4. Determination of guilty party in case of accident.
then I would part with chaos theory.

A good example of chaos being more effective is to watch how mumbai suburban train load and unload. The amount of passangers getting in and out of mumbai train in a two minute stop is just mind boggling. I wonder that kind of efficiency can ever be achieved on western suburban trains where level of discipline is very high.

This example is mathematically correct, but have you considered livability? These are human beings we are talking of, not objects being loaded in the cargo hold. I wouldn't want to be in such a train day in and day out. Some of us have no option and they must travel in such a train, but even Mumbai-ites want to improve this system.

Unless we build enough capacity, discipline is not going to work

Discipline works whether or not there is capacity. And infact, in low capacity areas, discipline is the only redeeming factor. Consider for example driving in Chandni Chowk area of Delhi versus driving in old and very congested areas of Toronto. Chandni Chowk is wider but driving is horrendous.

As for capacity, it has been observed that the number of vehicles always increases to fill the capacity. Which is why the emphasis here is on public transit and not as much on building bigger highways.

Added later:
Re: Mumbai trains.
Loading and unloading in Mumbai trains are not as chaotic as you have made it out. In Mumbai, IIRC, people are allowed to get off before those on platform get in. In Delhi Metro by contrast, I noticed people trying to board the train even at the expense of those who were trying to exit it.
I think Delhi's way is more chaotic and supremely undesirable.

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Postby SaiK » 07 Feb 2007 03:05

recent visit by my friend to delhi, and he happend to board a delhi bus in the evening.. and narrated a shocking story of delhites.. it was a full bus with exceeding standing passengers.. a stop comes by, and a young girls' bossoms gets repeated man-handled by all the passengers who sees the previous guy doing it!? he said, he fainted!

bottom line, public behavior starts with aam-citizens.. one can't stop a system that is to sin & err!~ 100% of the time. driving habits are only corollaries to these behaviors.

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Postby Sanjay M » 07 Feb 2007 03:18

fainted? what kind of shrinking violet is he? he should have done something.

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Postby shyamd » 07 Feb 2007 03:21

Sanjay M wrote:fainted? what kind of shrinking violet is he? he should have done something.

This is something that happens around the country in buses.

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Postby SaiK » 07 Feb 2007 04:15

I wished he answered me more emphatically.. the point what i was making, there are certain things we can't prevent happening in public even though you don't wish it even in dreams.

I am sure, he was incapacitated in that situation and kept himself out of troubles from that gang of hooligans., plus its an unknown place for him.

It could be education, basic ethics, our society that nurtures such thoughts, something in born we see things around can't be stoped by one person. We spit around walls, post walls ugly pictures that is seen by our kids, let the nuisance happen around us, .. its in our culture. yeah~ it hurts.

our roads depict our culture.. its a living thing... many times we manage, and only at some places we cherish because we can't be sulkened by such a society, due to our own seekings.. but mostly, its squared around people at large.

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Postby Jaspreet » 07 Feb 2007 05:46

It could be education, basic ethics, our society that nurtures such thoughts, something in born we see things around can't be stoped by one person. We spit around walls, post walls ugly pictures that is seen by our kids, let the nuisance happen around us, .. its in our culture. yeah~ it hurts.

our roads depict our culture.. its a living thing... many times we manage, and only at some places we cherish because we can't be sulkened by such a society, due to our own seekings.. but mostly, its squared around people at large.


Let us not take the discussion to the level of culture. That was not my intention when I made the above remarks. Let us keep to the roads and civic sense on them.

Several countries that we know today as developed and law-abiding were anything but a few hundred years ago. So there's hope for us.

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Postby ratnendrap » 08 Feb 2007 05:15

The points I am making are very few:

1. The documents on NHAI website indicate that width of lane of indian highways is 3.625 m.

2. Unless supply is enough to meet the demand, there will be chaos and indiscipline. If you pack 100 people in room for 20, my best wishes if you are looking for a discipline.

3. Safety is a matter of product design and process. Discipline only makes you to get the best out of safety features already built into a product. No matter how disciplined you are, if your car has no seatbelt your drive can be pretty unsafe. Seatbelts, air bag, crash gaurds, proper shoulders etc are for safety on roads and designers cannot escape their responsibility for not having these.


4. I am not suggesting that discipline is bad. All I am saying is that chaos is not so bad after all. It just depends upon the situation and intent.
Some time cost of enforcing discipline may be more than benefit that my come out of it.

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Postby SaiK » 09 Feb 2007 00:43

you may call it infrastructure issues, but showing such idiotic behavior has no roads defined.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Air_ ... 581023.cms

its in us~.. the more elite delite delhite he is, the more of such behaviors are seen.

look at that eve teasing stuff! again. why on the roads thread, you have every reason to question that. answer lies in the behavior.

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Postby ratnendrap » 10 Feb 2007 00:35

In a country that does not have adequate consumer protection built into market and legal system, life can be tough. There is very little legal framework to enforce service level agreements (stated or implied). The distance between corporations and consumers are wide particularly where the seller has more market power than buyer, such things would happen.

Coming generations may hail these activist consumers as heroes who raised voice over poor customer care.

That brings again to my earlier suggestion that you cannot blame a person for being indisciplined if you treat him badly and falter on your promises.

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Postby Abhijeet » 15 Feb 2007 03:34

Not directly related to Indian roads, but worth reading. A very interesting article about solving New York traffic problems.

http://blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2007/02/new_york_transp.html

The far-right and far-left agree that the most capitalistic solution and the most socialist solution is the same solution: congestion pricing. On one hand, it's pure capitalism. We've got a precious resource in the city and we're going to price that space according to supply and demand. If you want to come in the city at Christmas and show your family the Christmas tree in your SUV, we'll let you, but you're polluting the air and consuming space and so it'll cost you $50. The socialists on the left-wing say it's wonderful because the money raised will go toward public transportation. There's a marked skew between people in subway and cars. A study found that people in cars make $14,000 more on average than people in subways. Congestion pricing would move wealth to the less wealthy.

You need two things for congestion pricing: congestion and good transit. Only the central business district of Manhattan has strong public transportation.

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Postby Vipul » 16 Feb 2007 21:43

Indian road work slips into high gear.

Indian road work slips into high gear
By Raja M

MUMBAI - Private companies have this year energetically restarted India's crucial but sluggish highways development program, flooding eight build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects of the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) with a record 143 pre-qualification proposals. This forms part of US$13.3 billion worth of road projects India plans for 2007-08.

Improving India's 3.34 million kilometers of road network, the world's second-largest :-o (the US leads with over 6.3 million kilometers of roads, Brazil with 1.9 million kilometers and Chinaranks fourth with 1.4 million kilometers ), is overdue and will impact on the country's rapidly growing economy.

Road transport hauls nearly 65% of freight and 85% of passenger traffic, contributes 3.69% of gross domestic product (GDP) and represents a big chunk of the transportation sector, which contributes 5.5% of GDP.

"The pace of work on the National Highways Development Program [NHDP] has really picked up and when we are talking of 10% GDP growth, obviously good roads will be an important factor in it," Bhupendra Kainthola, an assistant general manager with the NHAI, told Asia Times Online from New Delhi.

"In the past seven years, we have completed 7,000km of roads and that is a good record. Firms from 30 countries, including Korea and Malaysia, are participating either in the construction or as consultants." India is investing $50 billion in its highway and road development program.

The highways and road development forms part of the $350 billion earmarked by India's Planning Commission, nearly 5% to 8% of GDP, for ensuring that infrastructure keeps pace with economic growth. For instance, analysts say the average productivity of trucks on Indian roads is 200km per day, compared with 350km to 400km if better roads can decongest traffic, which is growing at 7% to 10% per annum.

Vehicle numbers are increasing and Tata Motors, India's largest maker of trucks and other large commercial vehicles, reported a whopping 12% increase in third-quarter profits in January. The demand for large vehicles is expected to grow with the economy.

India's infrastructure experts are delighted by this record rush of private equity into road and highways projects, which they see as a sign of robust economic health. Concessionaires also paid the NHAI an advance to win projects, indicating prospects of good returns from high traffic. Concessionaires normally get a 40% government grant for highway projects, subject to bidding. But for projects with profitable traffic density, confident concessionaires pay an advance to the NHAI instead of seeking a grant.

The NHDP lurched in fits and starts for most of 2006, with intra-governmental wrangles, land acquisition delays, disputed clauses in the model concession agreement for construction (MCA) and a general lack of urgency. The contract-awarding process restarted only in the last quarter of the year. MCA problems were also resolved.

The government has also crucially agreed to let market realities rule in fixing toll rates. Other measures to quicken the NHDP included providing the 40% capital subsidy, called validity gap funding, for four-lane projects and waiving import duties on the latest construction equipment.

The NHDP has a completion target date of 2015 and is being carried out in phases. About $13.3 billion worth of projects will be up for bidding throughout 2007. Contracts are still being awarded for Phase II projects.

The $50 billion NHDP still lacks mega projects, with none in the billion dollar-plus category, and lukewarm foreign participation, somewhat to the surprise of NHAI officials. "We had expected larger foreign participation in the current phase," Bhupendra Kainthola told ATol. "But overall, the participation of firms from 30 countries in the NHDP is quite a good number." Forty percent of foreign contractors participated in NHDP Phase I, better known as the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ), and then they dropped to 20% for Phase II and 16% for Phase III.

Excessive red tape and other delays in land acquisition have been identified as bottlenecks discouraging foreign investors. Besides, non-Indian contractors are not too thrilled with the new government specification directing highway land to be acquired before upgrading work is carried out. Infrastructure pundits also point to difficulties foreigners have in understanding local laws. Also, Indian companies have grown capable of handling bigger projects.

Among 134 projects in Phase II, foreign companies and overseas expertise are involved in only 29. But the GQ is a different story, with 15 of 35 projects being implemented by foreign contractors independently, or in collaboration with Indian contractors. The most famous of the NHDP projects, the GQ - linking the four corners of the country - had a completion target of December 2005 and is now expected to be completed by the middle of 2007.
It hit national headlines in 2003 after a young engineer, Satyendra Dubey, was murdered in the state of Bihar, allegedly after he wrote to the prime minister complaining about corruption in the GQ project.

According to a government press release in January, out of the total length of 7,498km of national highways to be upgraded, work on 6,669km, or 89% of the NHDP, is complete, an achievement for which India can feel justifiably pleased.

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Postby Singha » 16 Feb 2007 22:49

Only the central business district of Manhattan has strong public transportation.

questionable. NYC has 400+ subway stations and around 10 lines. bus services on the surface. and commuter rail from southern NJ, western NJ, CT coastline almost upto MA border and Long island.

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Postby Gaurav_S » 17 Feb 2007 10:15

Indian road work slips into high gear
By Raja M


MUMBAI - Private companies have this year energetically restarted India's crucial but sluggish highways development program, flooding eight build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects of the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) with a record 143 pre-qualification proposals. This forms part of US$13.3 billion worth of road projects India plans for 2007-08.

Improving India's 3.34 million kilometers of road network, the world's second-largest (the US leads with over 6.3 million kilometers of roads, Brazil with 1.9 million kilometers and China ranks fourth with 1.4 million kilometers ), is overdue and will impact on the country's rapidly growing economy.

Road transport hauls nearly 65% of freight and 85% of passenger traffic, contributes 3.69% of gross domestic product (GDP) and represents a big chunk of the transportation sector, which contributes 5.5% of GDP.

"The pace of work on the National Highways Development Program [NHDP] has really picked up and when we are talking of 10% GDP growth, obviously good roads will be an important factor in it," Bhupendra Kainthola, an assistant general manager with the NHAI, told Asia Times Online from New Delhi.

In the past seven years, we have completed 7,000km of roads and that is a good record. Firms from 30 countries, including Korea and Malaysia, are participating either in the construction or as consultants." India is investing $50 billion in its highway and road development program.

The highways and road development forms part of the $350 billion earmarked by India's Planning Commission, nearly 5% to 8% of GDP, for ensuring that infrastructure keeps pace with economic growth. For instance, analysts say the average productivity of trucks on Indian roads is 200km per day, compared with 350km to 400km if better roads can decongest traffic, which is growing at 7% to 10% per annum.

Vehicle numbers are increasing and Tata Motors, India's largest maker of trucks and other large commercial vehicles, reported a whopping 12% increase in third-quarter profits in January. The demand for large vehicles is expected to grow with the economy.

India's infrastructure experts are delighted by this record rush of private equity into road and highways projects, which they see as a sign of robust economic health. Concessionaires also paid the NHAI an advance to win projects, indicating prospects of good returns from high traffic. Concessionaires normally get a 40% government grant for highway projects, subject to bidding. But for projects with profitable traffic density, confident concessionaires pay an advance to the NHAI instead of seeking a grant.

The NHDP lurched in fits and starts for most of 2006, with intra-governmental wrangles, land acquisition delays, disputed clauses in the model concession agreement for construction (MCA) and a general lack of urgency. The contract-awarding process restarted only in the last quarter of the year. MCA problems were also resolved.

The government has also crucially agreed to let market realities rule in fixing toll rates. Other measures to quicken the NHDP included providing the 40% capital subsidy, called validity gap funding, for four-lane projects and waiving import duties on the latest construction equipment.

The NHDP has a completion target date of 2015 and is being carried out in phases. About $13.3 billion worth of projects will be up for bidding throughout 2007. Contracts are still being awarded for Phase II projects.

The $50 billion NHDP still lacks mega projects, with none in the billion dollar-plus category, and lukewarm foreign participation, somewhat to the surprise of NHAI officials. "We had expected larger foreign participation in the current phase," Bhupendra Kainthola told ATol. "But overall, the participation of firms from 30 countries in the NHDP is quite a good number." Forty percent of foreign contractors participated in NHDP Phase I, better known as the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ), and then they dropped to 20% for Phase II and 16% for Phase III.

Excessive red tape and other delays in land acquisition have been identified as bottlenecks discouraging foreign investors. Besides, non-Indian contractors are not too thrilled with the new government specification directing highway land to be acquired before upgrading work is carried out. Infrastructure pundits also point to difficulties foreigners have in understanding local laws. Also, Indian companies have grown capable of handling bigger projects.

Among 134 projects in Phase II, foreign companies and overseas expertise are involved in only 29. But the GQ is a different story, with 15 of 35 projects being implemented by foreign contractors independently, or in collaboration with Indian contractors. The most famous of the NHDP projects, the GQ - linking the four corners of the country - had a completion target of December 2005 and is now expected to be completed by the middle of 2007.
It hit national headlines in 2003 after a young engineer, Satyendra Dubey, was murdered in the state of Bihar, allegedly after he wrote to the prime minister complaining about corruption in the GQ project.

According to a government press release in January, out of the total length of 7,498km of national highways to be upgraded, work on 6,669km, or 89% of the NHDP, is complete, an achievement for which India can feel justifiably pleased.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IB16Df01.html

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Postby Singha » 17 Feb 2007 10:38

I see that a separate buffering lane for U-turn 'cuttings' in the median are sorely absent on indian highways and city roads. so the fast lane gets dangerously blocked - I see it everyday on Blore IRR...

the main lanes only need a marginal deviation to create this buffer on
both sides to permit safe U-turns.

Yet I have seen this concept nowhere yet in Blore.

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Postby bala » 17 Feb 2007 13:03

I noticed that too and it is very dangerous to slow down on the fast lane. But then again, where is lane discipline on Indian Roads. Lumbering slow speed trucks and buses clog fast lanes willy nilly. The really dangerous stuff is the arbitrary person crossing high speed lanes or worse still and a surprise is opposite moving vehicles trying to cut corners. Yikes. On Blore ring roads you also see stopped vehicles plumb in the middle of road for no apparent reason (i.e. no sign of break down).

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Postby SaiK » 17 Feb 2007 20:20

err.. fast lanes!!.. what are you guys talking?

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Postby Vipul » 18 Feb 2007 05:58

A new road to Srinagar: No winter shut-downs, 60 km less, four lanes.

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 17:Nearly five decades after the Jawahar Tunnel was built to bring road connectivity to Srinagar, the government has given its go-ahead for a Rs 6,600( :shock: )-crore project to build another two-lane all-weather road along the existing one, with the longest road tunnel in the country.

Recognised as India’s most strategically important road, the NH-1A’s four-laning was conceived as part of the North-South corridor project but had to be worked upon separately due to the high cost involved. Until now, the clearance was only for the Pathankot-Jammu section of the highway, which is already being executed.

While, technically, it is four-laning of the existing road, the mountainous terrain would, in effect, translate into building a new two-lane road along a similar alignment. According to project details, the new road will bring down the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by over 60 km.

The effort is to make it an all-weather road that will not have to be closed for weeks due to snowing in the winter, an annual problem with the current road. To address this, the National Highways Authority of India has paid special attention to the construction of the two tunnels on this road. The longest tunnel will be about 9.2 km while the other will be around 8 km. Both will come up near Banihal. In addition, 12 short tunnels and 54 bridges will be built to make this a state-of-the-art road.

High-profile international consultants like Sceatouroute, involved with projects like the Mont Blanc tunnel and the second link under the English Channel, Austria’s D-2 Consult that has done projects like Beavertrail Tunnel in the US, as well as other expert consultants have been roped in to build these tunnels on par with international standards.

With all the clearances in the bag, the 324-km road has been broken into 12 packages for which the tender process is underway.

The target for completion is 2010, raising hopes of improving connectivity to J&K as the Railways also is working overtime to complete the Baramulla rail link.

All this, official sources say, meshes in with the larger strategic objective to qualitatively transform connectivity to conflict areas and borders.

With China and Pakistan pushing ahead with renovation of the Karakoram Highway between Xinjiang and Northern Areas, the move to upgrade transportation links to the Kashmir Valley have finally gathered momentum.

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Postby shiv » 18 Feb 2007 06:49

http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/17/stories ... 920400.htm
Image

Why the roads are so choked
Anil Kumar Sastry
Every third person owns a private vehicle
BANGALORE: It is a typical egg or chicken situation - did insufficient public transport propel private vehicles or was it the excessive presence of private vehicles on Bangalore roads that prevented the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) from providing adequate service? This when the number of vehicles in the city has touched almost three million, a 30-fold increase from 1,08,437 in 1976.
Of the 28-lakh vehicles in Bangalore as on November 30, 2006, 25 lakh are private vehicles - 21 lakh two-wheelers and four lakh cars. For a population of 75 lakh in Bangalore, every third person owns a private vehicle. And this speaks a lot for public transport in the city.
Thus, Bangalore has achieved the credit of becoming the second city to have the highest number of vehicles, next only to Delhi (4.3 million).
Public transport
Public transport, largely provided by buses, did not get the attention of the Government if one goes by the increase in the number of buses over the last 30 years. While there was only a 14-fold increase in the number of buses from 3,487 in 1976 to 42,058 in 2006, there was nearly a 25-fold increase in the number of private vehicles from 86,000 to 25 lakh during the period.
Of the 42,000 buses registered in Bangalore, only around 4,000 BMTC buses offer real public transport while the rest are either factory buses, private buses or buses run by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Autorickshaws, numbering around 90,000, are the other major mode of transport. The vehicle numbers began to increase exponentially from 1998. The boom in automobile sector appears to have coincided with economic liberalisation and a thriving software industry. Beginning 2003, an average of 40,000 cars was added every year.
It was initially the failure of the BMTC to provide adequate public transport. Industry experts feel that the corporation took a long time to comprehend the situation and by the time it did it was too late. By the time BMTC was carved out of the KSRTC in 1997, the roads in the city had started to get overcrowded with private vehicles.
BMTC now cries hoarse over insufficient road space and blames private vehicles for it. However, people feel private modes of travel are reliable and cheaper compared to BMTC's services.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

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Postby Singha » 18 Feb 2007 09:45

another bangalore speciality I have not observed elsewhere is at unpoliced intersections instead of a certain anticlockwise or clockwise priority of vehicles (in US it is anticlockwise) everyone tries to establish a "first mover alpha gorilla" advantage and moves in, leading to a ugly deadlock. while the first set of chimps are stuck in the middle, smaller survivalist chimps like me hang back and then weave our way around this little brawl in the center..sometimes going 270' to make a 90' turn.

I have seen 30 mins long deadlocks near my home where 2 mins of common sense would have avoided. Finally the arrival of a policeman on bike restores order and the alpha chimps are pulled from each others throats and set free.
police get to know when the backup spreads to the nearest policed intersection.

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Postby svinayak » 18 Feb 2007 10:01

A 30 sec delay or a 60 sec delay at cross section will change the traffic pattern


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