Indian Roads Thread

The Technology & Economic Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to Technological and Economic developments in India. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Rishirishi
BRFite
Posts: 1111
Joined: 12 Mar 2005 02:30

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Rishirishi » 29 Dec 2009 03:51

Vivek K wrote:One needs to study traffic flow patterns rather than look at congestion alone. I remember years ago in Delhi, the Chirag delhi intersection was always a huge problem for traffic on the Ring road and other traffic going towards Mehrauli and Gurgaon. In order to alleviate the problem, a flyover separating the Ring road traffic from the Gurgaon/Mehrauli traffic was built. All the new flyover did was to shift the congestion to the next light about a couple of miles away at the Savitri/GKII junction. The problem was not solved till years later appropriate elevated pathways/roads to provide little or no mixing of traffic flowing in different sections was constructed. Uniterrupted flow of traffic with carefully designed entry and exits to provide minimal interruption is needed if traffic flow in Indian cities is to be improved.


That is exactly what I said about the seal link in Mumbai. The cost was some 1400 crores, and it can only carry about 5000 vehicles each way at peak capacity. The problem is of course that the roadnetwork after the sealink can't even handle that.
Had that money been spent on a metro metroline from for example Bandra to VT via the airport, the capacity would have been over 60 000 people, less polution and faster travel.

Only good public transport can solve the transport problems. Seperate Bus lanes would be a good start.

Sachin
Webmaster BR
Posts: 7658
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Undisclosed

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 31 Dec 2009 13:01

During X'Mas had made a round trip by road. We (me and SHQ) had decided to have a short stay at Masinagudi, a village in the outskirts of Bandipur Reserve forest.

Went to Mysore by the Bangalore-Mysore express highway. The road was extremely good, except for the speed breakers placed without any advance warning. Noticed that the doubling of the Bangalore-Mysore railway lines are also going in full swing. Most of the work seems to be done.

There is a road between Gundlupet and Bandipur reserve forests which for the past 4 years was in a total mess. Even the existance of a road was in doubt, it was more like a village cattle track. This road also seems to be getting repaired. One half of the road has been retarred, and work on the other side is going on. On the other hand the roads in the forest area are really good and well maintained.

Masinagudi is just 30kms away from ooty, and using a very steep ghat road we can easily reach Ooty. The road was so steep that in 10kms we had to navigate through 36 hair pin bends. We came down the same way, and I mastered slow driving by using the 1st and 2nd gears ;). Using brakes continously would have caused it to jam.

Then we went to our native place by the Gudallur-Naduvattam-Pykkara-Ooty-Conoor-Kotagiri-Mettupalayam route. There has been heavy landslides between Coonoor and Mettupalayam and the road is closed (so are the cute narrow guage trains). The NH47 from Madukkarari (off Coimbatore) all the way to Palakkad is just two-lane and this makes the traffic movement slow. There would be a long chain of vehicles led by a slow moving vehicle (huge trucks,auto-rickshaws, and tractors were generally the 'leaders'). Nobody could over-take and go ahead because of on-coming traffic :(.

The Kerala Govt. seems to be actively booking traffic violations, perhaps to generate some good revenue. Was caught by a police party with speed radar on a good stretch of state highway between Palakkad and Ottapalam. Was doing 82 in 70, and there was no point in arguing. Charged under 183 MV Act, 1988 paid Rs.300/- as fine and moved ahead. Heard that K.P is planning a major offensive during New Year against poor over-speeders and drunken drivers ;).

The return trip was via the Coimbatore-Avinashi-Erode-Salem-Dharmapuri-Krishnagiri-Hosur route. The four lane highway on this stretch is nearing completion. As of now other than a 10km stretch between Erode and Salem, the four lane highway is operational. In the 10km stretch some construction activity is still going on. The four lane express highway only starts after Avanashi town, so until then we would have to move slowly on the two-lane highway.

See a small video on the Bangalore-Mysore express highway
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGZCf3yvLMM

Another small video on the Coimbatore-Bangalore highway
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwOCe-oFz3o

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 13:36

I came back from a 1500km round trip blr->madurai->rameswaram->madurai->kodai->blr
some notes:

NH7 which goes south from blr to madurai and upto kaniyakumari is in pristine condition.
avg of 100 is easy to maintain with good margin of safety. our innova driver used that as the lower limit and went 130 in some stretches. since I was strapped onto the nosecone of his rocket in front seat, didnt manage to sleep a wink.

tolls worked out to around 200/- for 400km, which is very cheap for the quality of road.

only safety issue was seen @ dindigul which is between karur and madurai - people there including buses, trucks, down to cycles and bikes have the odd habit of proceeding happily
down the fast lane in the reverse direction without batting one eyelid. there is a shoulder available for such heroics but they prefer the fast lane in those parts. quite scary as you round a sweeping curve @ 100+ and see a biker around 50m ahead.

Reliance petroleum retail having folded up, most of the A1 plazas for food are closed on
this route except one around 30km south of krishnagiri. good food on the NH itself is
hence hard to find unless one enters cities like Salem (extra time lost) or is happy with
basic "meals" - wife wasnt at all happy with the toilet at one such place we tried on outbound leg.

madurai municipal corporation collects 30/- in a toll gate as you enter but seems to have
not done much to beautify and clear up this 2nd largest city in TN except a bypass. highway in the eastern side and a couple of under construction flyovers. the sad part is
the VAIGAI river flowing through the city is now totally dry and looks to have been dry
for quite some time going by the sand and earth taking it over. in some parts its like a
dirty drain in 10% of width and dry land for 90%. This used to be a perennial river in
the time of the Cholas and Pandyas and fed the rich cultivation further east. our taxi driver claimed KT had kept all the water behind a dam.

madurai - rameswaram around 180km is a decent two lane highway that finally crosses the 2km long pamban bridge into rameswaram island in gulf of mannar. I have seen my share of ill kept and flea bitten towns but rameswaram is a new entrant in top5 worst ones. municipality takes 30/- and bridge takes 60/- but both are in poor shape. hordes of pilgrims have littered the place with plastic and debris on all sides. the bridge could do
with some serious refurbishing. there was one decent and clean std hotel where we grabbed a hurried lunch in a converted conf room. the temple itself is overrun with pandas, not tourist friendly, dark and confined :twisted: , and unruly queues and the place is very wet due to 22 wells where the faithful take baths one after another. some kinda bengali panda group is in there somehow, as I could see signs announcing their names. the sculpture quality in temple was poor and most looked quite new not old ** ,
only claim to fame is the temple outer corridor is 200m long and has hundreds of pillars.

I am not returning to rameswaram ever and would advise all but the most desperate to
do likewise.

in contrast madurai meenakshi temple is clean, orderly, no panda problems, free darshan line, 15/- paid darshan line, has good quality of sculpture and artwork plus a good collection of bronze statues and a market selling religious products. the old town around it
is very crowded but understandable considering its around 1000 yrs old minimum as a town likely older.

from rameswaram to dhanushkodi (rama setu) apparently in 1964 the cyclone wiped off
the road, railway and town itself , killing a train too. some ruins remain and a few fisher folks. only way there is in back of a jeep or truck across the sand dunes in blistering heat.
so we didnt attempt that. this was where sri lankan refugees and LTTE milled around
in the past per reports.

from madurai we headed up NH7 toward dindigul and forked off to kodaikanal road. the
road again was in great condition albeit two lanes (in sharp contrast to mysore-nanjangud-gundlapet-gudalur-ooty :evil: ). the climb up the palani hills was smooth and not bogged
by jams. the bus drivers show common sense and let smaller cars pass in the safe places.

Kodai in sharp contrast again to Ooty was neat and clean with no visible garbage problem
both due to civic sense and because the municipality really deploys street muscle to clean things up and service large plastic garbage bins. they have also banned plastic and all shops use paper bags. the lake is much larger and more scenic, so are the nearby old growth trees and viewing points are great on western side of town, dropping 1km straight down to ancient forests that proceed 100km further to munnar plateau.

full marks to the kodai town council for keeping things under control inspite of hordes of
day trippers in buses. the road to the viewing points need some widening to prevent
jams but they have thoughtfully made it one way.

a TN cop demanded a 50/- bribe from our driver near "pillar rock" viewing pt for not being in uniform (350/- fine he claimed). but he backed away and slunk off with a feeble "last warning" when my wife jumped out and confronted him to ask what was the problem :mrgreen:

some industrialist/film types seem to have made lavish palaces around the lake which
is good because their estates are superbly maintained and large, as opposed to allowing
more shops. I saw one smaller villa that looked like owned by golkaldass exports. up in
the hills a closed HLL factory still had well trimmed gardens - probably they have some
holiday home cum retreat for employees on the premises.

trip back to blr via dingigul was again smooth, albeit quite tiring due to 500km distance
and lack of mcdonalds,pizza hut and hyderabadi biryani places enroute.

** I consider hoysaleshwara (halebid) and chennakashava (belur) to be the "gold std" among places I have visited for quality and form of sculpture.

between kodai, ooty, yercaud and avalanche(near ooty), I'd put kodai, avalanche, yercaud and ooty in that order. perhaps munnar is better - its the last one left to visit on my RTO (road tasking order). Eravikulam is the Promised Land, perhaps the most beautiful national park in all India.

p.s. inspite of claims that neelakurinji flower blooms every 12 yrs and next one is 2018,
we could see fair number of blooming blue flowers near the kodai road. maybe in
munnar they have high density and follow that cycle.

Sachin
Webmaster BR
Posts: 7658
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Undisclosed

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 31 Dec 2009 13:59

Singha's post above made me take a relook on my trip report :).

only safety issue was seen @ dindigul which is between karur and madurai - people there including buses, trucks, down to cycles and bikes have the odd habit of proceeding happily down the fast lane in the reverse direction without batting one eyelid

This was a problem which we faced in our return journey (via the Salem-Erode-Dharmapuri route) as well. TVS 50s loaded with house hold stuff rushing in from the opposite direction, right on the highspeed part of the road.

Another problem later in the night was tractors and trucks moving around with no brake lights (or the mandatory glowing red lights). Such problems I have faced during trips via the Bangalore-Mysore express way as well. But this time, we had cleared the stretch quite early in the morning.

During the return trip also saw a traffic hit & run case some where near Salem. A man had been hit and thrown to the side of the express highway. He was already dead when we crossed the area. It was not a very gory sight, as he was not over-ran by the vehicle.

A1 plazas for food are closed on this route except one around 30km south of krishnagiri.

When proceeding from Bangalore to Krishnagiri, you can have good food at Adyar Ananda Bhavan around 5 kms before you hit the first toll booth. It is also close to a petrol pump. Caution: The place gets really crowded at times.

the bus drivers show common sense and let smaller cars pass in the safe places.

I observed the same mentality in State Transport Bus drivers and many truck drivers as well. Given a good oppurtunity they were moving side ways so that speedier traffic can overtake them. During my drive on the ghat section, also noticed a kind of co-operative mentality amongst all the drivers. Swalpa adjust maadi in full swing, to avoid traffic congestions. Nobody was just sitting and honking, like they do in Bangalore :evil:.

Kodai in sharp contrast again to Ooty was neat and clean with no visible garbage problem

Forgot to mention it earlier. Ooty has been cut off from the list of my favourite tourist spots. The place is too much commercialised, it is congested and filthy. We also drove through a very bad road to a place "Dodda betta" which was supposed to house a telescope tower. We pay Rs.5/- go up the tower only to find that the telescopes have been removed (bad weather it seems). And mind you there is absolutely nothing worth Rs.5/- in Dodda betta.

Masinagudi too seems to be going the Ooty way, with too many resorts and "farm houses" coming up every where.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 14:05

the charm of the blr-mysore SH drive has been destroyed by the stupid speed breakers and
zig zag barriers every village has put up enroute. and both the ways of getting to BLR via the JP nagar ring road and the mysore road upto chikpet are in trouble to due to flyover construction and narrowness respectively.

we sorely need the connectivity from mysore road to E-city phase1 for which the ramps in E-city are still being done.

the E-city expway has two toll booths in E-city end. I am not sure how they plan to manage
things with just two booths there.

p.s.= if all one wants is a campfire, drink, fried snacks and making love, perhaps best
option is wayanad - places like vythiri and kalpetta....the "farm house resorts" are way off
the main road via jeep tracks (you leave your car in their garage near NH), you can do whatever you want within loose limits, the local cops are least bothered to show up except perhaps to "collect" once monthly...if a nanga dance around a campfire is needed perhaps this is one area.

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby vina » 31 Dec 2009 16:02

trip back to blr via dingigul was again smooth, albeit quite tiring due to 500km distance
and lack of mcdonalds,pizza hut and hyderabadi biryani places enroute.


I did BLR-Madurai-BLR a month and a half ago (I posted on that) after nearly 15 years or so. You cant imagine what a shock this new fangled NH7 was to me. I remember driving for 11 hours on two lane roads and really roughing it out back in the old days in my dad's Maruti 800 when I did it earlier.

Not so this time. Did that in airconditioned comfort in my Mitsu Lancer in 7 hrs flat.

Yeah, the rest areas are a problem though. The best way to do is to enter Namakkal (which is roughly halfway / 3hrs in either direction) and go to the pretty decent hotel there by name of "Nela". They have a very very good Thali meal in air conditioned comfort, have a very good Thali meal and be hack in the NH7 in less than 30 mins. Namakkal town is just 5 kms or so off the highway and you can check out the famous Hanuman there as well.

Also, just after Salem, there is a Bharat Petroleum gas station with an Adayar Ananda Bhavan (just like the one after Shoolagiri, past Hosur, before Krishnagiri).. Pretty decent place to strech out your legs and get a coffee or a dosa before hitting the road again.

All in all, Madurai Bangalore is just a bit over 7 hrs or so now even allowing for stops. I dont recall paying the Rs 30 toll at Madurai though. Maybe that toll gate opened within the past month or so, dunno.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 17:19

madurai has multiple entrances from the highway Nh7 side. the first couple go a long distance before
entering the city , the one we took goes via the airport to a junction near the famous tank with the
temple in the middle. even this one is a fair distance from nh7 and the toll gate guards this route.

the tall gopurams and sites like hoyalsaleswara are a clarion call to us across the sands of time...to be proud
of what we are and carve out our own destiny....rather than be misled by the silver tongues and shifting bars
of the gora and chinis.

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby vina » 31 Dec 2009 18:49

madurai has multiple entrances from the highway Nh7 side. the first couple go a long distance before
entering the city , the one we took goes via the airport to a junction near the famous tank with the
temple in the middle. even this one is a fair distance from nh7 and the toll gate guards this route.


Oh. The airport is really on the opposite side of the town from the NH7 / Dindugal-Madurai side. The airport is on the Madurai- Arupukottai road and that road which you are talking about is the new ring road which completely bypasses Madurai if you are coming from the Trichi side and are going further south to say Virudhanagar /Tirunelveli etc. That is tolled. You basically went all the way around and entered Madurai from the opposite side!. Why did you do that ?. Was it on the way back from Rameshwaram perhaps ?

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 19:51

I strongly felt what you said. but our taxi driver claimed he knew the way and we didnt have any local maps to
contest his claims then. on departure he again led us on a merry dance for 45 mins until SHQ pounced on him
with a city map she had picked from hotel's travel desk , browbeat him and whipped him back into line onto the dindigul road - he was surging strongly toward tirunelveli instead. :mrgreen:

these taxi drivers claim to know a lot but sadly dont esp inside new cities. unfortunately for india, the smaller cities dont have much online maps or books. even a basic knowledge of direction using the sun and the shadows it is casting or looking around for distant landmarks is missing.

at the same time I didnt want to be harsh on him. he spent 5 nights in the innova itself and foraged for food on his own all for a batta only 200/day. he basically saved the batta we paid him - could have rented a bed in some lodge but chose to save it. even for food we paid him extra which he didnt seem to eat much at all, instead saving it.

its a job for hardy young men , this long distance taxi business.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 20:01

even though one is not driving, sitting in a vehicle for 6 days is tough on the body. my immune system got affected and I picked up a cold and cough on the last day, still recovering from it.

I was seeing visions of buying a large car and absconding for road trips of 10-14 day duration like say blr-hampi-badami-bhadra-bijapur and back or blr-tirupati-vijaywada-amravati-rajamundry-godavari gorge or vijaywada-warangal-hyd-anantapur-kurnool . sometimes while tossing and turning in fevers I would see myself in a corolla
road tripping to bhandavgarh-khajuraho-orchha-gwalior-indore-ujjain type circuits from blr. also a trip to dilli
and back to surprise my sister :mrgreen: ....(sounds like pakdreams of green flag on lal quilla and setting fire
to infy campus in bangalore kerala I know)


but it looks like my body cannot withstand such sustained punishment even in a fairly large and rugged car like innova. the nature of itvity makes >14 days unlikely so stays of 2-3 days at each place to 'acclamatize' and
rest would not be possible, one would have to keep moving like a SF unit on LRDG patrol chased by a unit of chikamandu's on segway scooters.

heh heh, I will probably retreat like a cowardly yindu and pickup a i30/jazz/yaris/i30 instead. time will tell.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 20:33

around 12/- per km and 200/day batta for driver. I suggest you go for innova only if ladies are in the party not sumo/tavera/qualis even though these might be a little cheaper. the minimum payment per day is 250km even if the actual mileage is less. so you need to carefully plan the itinerary after consulting a road map like the excellent eicher road atlas of india.

plus you would need to pay state permit fees - like a 7 day TN permit going in from Karnataka cost ~800/- at
the border checkgate in Hosur. on 25th morning there was a 1 hr drivers queue for that - people were leaving
blr like 200 SS-18s were inbound from kamchatka.

btw per local edition The Hindu the people of Theni distt were organazing a supply blocade of the neighbouring
region of Kerala because they feel all foodstuffs and goods is imported into that part via Theni but nothing much like presumably water is given in return.
http://www.ptinews.com/news/445104_Mull ... ng-protest

* Mullaperiyar dam: Vaiko held for staging protest

STAFF WRITER 19:27 HRS IST

Cumbom(TN), Dec 29 (PTI) MDMK leader Vaiko and 900 party workers were arrested today when they attempted to stage a road blockade here on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border protesting against the neighbouring state's plans to construct a new dam replacing the 114-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.

Traffic was affected for more than one hour due to the picketing programme during which Vaiko and others were arrested, police said.

Vaiko threatened to intensify agitation and block nine inter-state entry points on the border if Kerala went ahead with its plans, which, according to him, would lead to denial of water to Tamil Nadu.

Kerala's argument that the existing dam was extremely unsafe was not based on facts, he said.

The dam, located in Kerala but administered by Tamil Nadu, has been a long-standing dispute between the two states and the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

expressbuzz.

VAIKO ACCUSES CENTRE: While addressing the gathering, Vaiko said the agitation was not aimed at condemning the ruling DMK party in Tamil Nadu, but to voice the anger of Tamils against Kerala. He said Kerala was brazenly defying the order of the Supreme Court, while Tamil Nadu had to raise the storage level of the Mullaiperiyar dam to 142 feet. But, he charged, the Centre had failed to make sure that Kerala followed the Supreme Court’s directive.

He said the Centre was trying to defend itself by claiming that it had only granted permission to Kerala to conduct a survey for a new dam. He also questioned how permission was granted to fell trees in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Vaiko blamed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of betraying the people of Tamil Nadu and referred to the memorandum given by Kerala Chief Minister Achuthanandan to the Union Law Ministry and Irrigation Department while the issue was pending before the Supreme Court.

He further charged Kerala Minister for Irrigation Premachandran of cheating Tamil Nadu by saying that Kerala would continue to use the dam to fulfil its need.

He announced that agitations would be held near Central government offices in Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Theni and Dindigul districts on January 28 to condemn the stance of the Union Government over the Mullaiperiyar dam issue.

CalvinH
BRFite
Posts: 615
Joined: 15 Jul 2007 04:14

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby CalvinH » 31 Dec 2009 22:59

pandyan wrote:BTW, how much does the innova + driver cost per day?


In Dilli it costs 9.5 per KM (for out of the state travels) including driver charges except a nightly charge of 100 INR per day. Singha ji, another reason to be in Delhi if you are the travelling types :D

South Indian road infra and other facilities (in areas other then well known places) are better as compared to North India especially UP/Harayan/Uttaranchal belt. It gets worse once you travel deeper inside UP. One of my relatives recently visited industrial belts in inner areas of middle/eastern UP and then TN/AP as part of a business trip. I have asked him beforehand to notice the difference in Infra and facilties. The biggest difference as per him was actually security. They couldnt travel after 8.00 PM in UP at all. No driver was willing to take them and locals all advised against it.

Innova is a rock solid car built for travel on Indian roads, no doubt its main clientale is taxi operators. I traveled close to 650 KM in 24 hours on them UP roads and car was fantastic.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 31 Dec 2009 23:03

interesting. I guess blr drivers cost more - more well paying options like working as a ITvity driver I guess . the car official cost quoted was around 11-12/- iirc though we got for some unspecified amt less due to contacts with the owner. I focus on my core competency of sleeping , playing with brat kid and pics on these shindigs,
leaving the "logistics" to my SHQ.

if central/eastern UP is bad I wonder how the jehanabad-begusarai belt in bihar would be from security pov? most businessmen in UP-Bihar who travel around would probably keep a legal revolver or a armed gunman.

CalvinH
BRFite
Posts: 615
Joined: 15 Jul 2007 04:14

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby CalvinH » 01 Jan 2010 00:01

going through singha saars blog few more points (of difference between NI and SI travels)

1. You can get a Innova which has a private number (and not a yellow taxi one). With this you pay no tax while entering a different state or have a limit on the duration (1 day, 2 day or 7 days). 2. Driver doesnt need to be in the dress too... so no pandu bugging you for this.

3. Got to agree that drivers life is tough....most of them are paid a paltry monthly sum of 5000 Rs with little or no overtime and literally live and sleep in taxi. I have talked to numerous drivers and all have the same situation. Basically you cant work more than 3-4 years as a driver before multiple health issue catch up with you. Some of these drivers look like worn out 35-40 old whereas in reality they were 22-25 years old(prime of their youth).

4. Most of the drivers especially driving you out of state have little or no information about the roads apart from the major national highways least about the places of interest which are not well known. One should always ask in advance for driver who has previously travelled to the place (at least) or better for one who knows the place well (hard to get 99% of the times). Very few seasoned drivers are available and since road landscape is changing fast most of them get confused at least couple of times in a long journey (more so if you are not taking the beaten path). Its always better to carry maps or be better informed before venture out for a long journey.

5. Most of the drivers are new to the job, at the most high school educated with little or no knowledge of road discpline or rules. Most of them are rural folks who have absolutely no understanding of a deodrant and how stink works in a confined car. For long journeys of 6 days I can only wish they are taking their bath at least everyday which may not be the case as they sleep in the car.

6. Toll tax is a new fashion. Varies from 10 Rs for a small bridge to 20 Rs for a new bypass to 50 Rs for a 4 lane highway. Sometime you wonder what is the tax being charged for as their is nothing apart from an ordinary road. In UP they were charging in one place for a bridge which was actually under construction (for past 2 years it seems).

7. Road sense at railroad crossing - Chaos everyday with no policeman in sight. In UP the roads are narrow and railroad crossings are frequent. I have personally been to 8 KM long jam which took 4 hours to clear. Whats amazing is same story is repeated every night in the place and locals know it well. Its so much part of business as usual that Trucks drivers in back of the queue were actually sleeping comfortably with no sign of rush.

PS: more later: time to go back to parental duties

krishnan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7342
Joined: 07 Oct 2005 12:58
Location: 13° 04' N , 80° 17' E

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby krishnan » 01 Jan 2010 07:30

The earning part various. Some of the earn good amount. Some dont. BTW drivers for hire here in chennai seems to be a good biz. They earn a decent 200 for a 3 hour shift.

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby vina » 01 Jan 2010 08:15

They couldnt travel after 8.00 PM in UP at all. No driver was willing to take them and locals all advised against it


That is something I simply cannot understand. It seems a peculiarly North/East Indian "problem" . For eg, I wouldn't even think twice (in fact it is a non issue) to take my car out at say 9:00 pm and drive through the night right upto Goa if need be. No problems.

Any place in the south , TN, KA, KL all the way upto Goa are fine.. Andhra , I am not sure, have never driven there except in the southern tip of Rayalseema that falls between Bangalore and Chennai (Chittoor, Palamner, Tirupati etc).

Really dont understand. What will it take for the cops to give the "danda" to these roadside nuisance types.. Next to nothing.

manju
BRFite
Posts: 662
Joined: 12 Feb 2003 12:31
Location: CA, USA

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby manju » 01 Jan 2010 08:26

Regarding travel by car in Bihar.

My first visit to Panta was in 2003-04 when Lalloo was on the Patiliputra throne. At that time I was visiting as an invitie from Amrka so was put up in a Hotel Maurya (the best in town). A gun weilding private security was hired as there were other amrikhans who were in the team that was conducting HIV Medical Trianing. I was asked not to venture out even in the main part of the city... which of course I did not listen... and since I usually dress like any normal desi guy on the street- chappals on with no inshirt... I thought I wont be in any trouble. Never had any trouble but could sense that Patna was not safe to venture out after sunset.

I went there again just around elections time (when Lalloo was dethroned) .. not much had changed people were hoping for a change.

Just after Nitish being the CM I got the sense that it was safe to venture out even out of Patna and so I took an ambassador (no a/c). I wanted a reliable drive (than a car) becuase of the security situation. This time I went to Rajgir and surrounding areas.. to visit Jaina and Budhist site.. As per the warning I returned back to Patna before 5 pm.

Last time I went to Bihar was in 2007 and this time I ventured into Gaya, Bodh Gaya, (the hot bad of Naxals) and visited Nalanda, and othe areas. I was strictly warned not to venture out after dusk, especially Gaya district. The road was ok. No major pot holes and were able to to max speed of 80 with avg speed 60. The highway from Patna south to Gaya is much higher than the surrounding farms... IThere was an accident on the road and the 2 lange highway was blockedd so we had to take a detour which led us into rural roads . Most of it was narrrow and on many oaccsion we came across places whter only one vehicle could pass. It was getting dark and I was quite anxious. Since our driver was a pucca local guy who spoke fluent bhojpuri I was reassured. But this gave me a change to see the rural parts of Bihar.

Some quick observations:
- Population is much densser than my village and surrounding parts.
- way too many children as apercentage of the poulation (got me thining that if these young brains are not well channelled the red brigade can create trouble
- saw no tractors
- most houss even the bigger ones were not fully plastered with cenmet nor painted..


Back in Patna I saw several bridges and overhead roads under construction probably more than I had seen in Bengaluru at that time. I hope those project are completed by now.

The people, especially the taxi drivers that I was interacting were all gungo with the current plitical situation. One guy even said "wait for five years, even Delhi will start envying us" I new that was a streetch.. But was please with the hope that fellow had..

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 01 Jan 2010 08:42

Dilli auto expo is on next week:

MUL is expected to show their Eeco van which is claimed to replace Versa as a cheap people mover.

Tata Indicruz which would compete more directly with Innova.

Toyota is showing off some new small sedan (based on Yaris I suppose) of which teaser ads are being shown
on tv. looks like a corolla that was on a diet. should compete with honda city. center of dashboard has the
instrument cluster....I hope they price it atleast 1.5L lower than the overpriced city and beat them up real good.
should put additional pressure on the tepid Jazz sales and force honda to act sensible.

Toyota new small hatchback.

apart from that dont see any major new move in the list @ team bhp forums. its their equivalent of aeroindia.

hopefully hyundai would annouce a plan for i30. the i20 with alloy wheels and fat tires looks quite sharp
and interior room looks better than Indica. its way more VFM than Jazz at all trim levels and I am seeing more i20 than Jazz on blr roads by a factor of 50:1. team bhp spies report 1000s of unsold Jazz lying outside
the factory near noida.

Sachin
Webmaster BR
Posts: 7658
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Undisclosed

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 01 Jan 2010 13:22

vina wrote:For eg, I wouldn't even think twice (in fact it is a non issue) to take my car out at say 9:00 pm and drive through the night right upto Goa if need be. No problems.

Same goes here as well. Most of my journeys to the socialist republic generally begins at 7PM in the evening. After dropping the last chap at around 3AM, I land up at my home at around 4AM. No harassments at all. I have seen regular police patrols, checking of documents of vehicles etc. And in certain areas there are shops open 24 hours, and a good hot tea at around 1:30AM is too good !! :D.

CalvinH
BRFite
Posts: 615
Joined: 15 Jul 2007 04:14

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby CalvinH » 02 Jan 2010 00:38

Not sure about Bihar, it sure must be worst than Eastern/central UP. The driver recommended to my relative by the management carried a licensed gun and was a local guy. He told my relative that in night people (from the local villages) put barricades even on national highways (which as at the best two lane with no divider types) and will stop vehicles for loot and kidnapping. Local police and politicians gets a share. In Bihar too the kidnapping industry has been institutionalized in such a way too.

Things are improving in western UP though. I am not sure if you guys have seen a convoy kind of system for late night travel where all vehicles are first assembled at a single place (along the highway) and then are lead in a convoy with police escorts from point A to point B. This was state of affairs in some places in western UP some 15 years back. This system is used in terrorist infested areas of JK/North east I think.

By the way I am not talking about some major cities like patna but really tier-III cities.

CalvinH
BRFite
Posts: 615
Joined: 15 Jul 2007 04:14

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby CalvinH » 02 Jan 2010 00:45

Here are the charges for local travel (inside the city like Delhi)

4 Hours/40 Km - Rs 350
8 Hours/80 Km - Rs 700-800 (varies)

The above includes the drivers and gas expense. All drivers that I met in this short term (10 of them) were paid salaries. My trips ranged from long distance out of the city types to mostly in-city travel to meet relatives to trip from railway stations. I didnt met a single driver who is making money. Worst one of the drivers was totally illiterate. I asked him how he reads road signs and he was like I am driving for x years and know all the places. All of them were from some rural area in India be it Rajasthan, bihar or haryana.

With so many taxis around I think the road safety should begin with regularization of drivers and related education.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 02 Jan 2010 11:21

if you take meals/tea in food plazas or roadside "meals" type places it doesnt hurt to invite the driver or pay him 50/- to take his food too. this was what he did.

wrt to expensive saravana bhavan type places where a dosa cost rs100/- they themselves would not be
comfortable going in.

btw the sheer size of delhi ensures for a day long trip to multiple spots, the 80km thing is easily exceeded. just a trip from say ghaziabad to gurgaon would eat up most of that budget. many are
unmarked pvt taxis moonlighting via a rental agency. if you use them to drop @ airport they will ask
you to say its a family car if police asks. and they will take the cash payment before reaching the airport @ palam jn lest anyone see it.

Sachin
Webmaster BR
Posts: 7658
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Undisclosed

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 02 Jan 2010 11:52

CalvinH wrote:vehicles are first assembled at a single place (along the highway) and then are lead in a convoy with police escorts from point A to point B.

This used to happen in the Bangalore Coimbatore routes (especially the one going via Sathyamangalam) when our deal old brigand Veerappan was still alive, and was suspected to be in that area. But IIMHO, Veeru generally did not loot buses or terrorise bus passengers.

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 23758
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 05 Jan 2010 08:00

Dubious distinction of Indian roads
India received another dubious distinction when the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed in its first ever ‘Global Status Report on Road Safety' that more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world, including the more populous China.
In India, the statistics are scary: at least 13 people die every hour in road accidents in the country, according to latest report of National Crime Records Bureau; in 2007, 1.14 lakh people died in road mishaps
biggest victims of road mishaps are occupants of trucks and lorries followed by two-wheelers; and the States leading in terms of death due to road mishaps are Andhra Pradesh (12 per cent) followed by Maharastra and Uttar Pradesh (11 per cent each).

CalvinH
BRFite
Posts: 615
Joined: 15 Jul 2007 04:14

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby CalvinH » 05 Jan 2010 08:41

^^ the study again highlighted the need of training for the drivers. In India the requirements of drivers is increasing manifolds now and lot of rural youth is now sucked into this new job.

For training purposes it will be interesting to know how people become drivers. For truck drivers I think most of them graduate from khalasi/Helper to driver through on the job training facilitated by the truck driver they are working with.

Drunken driving is a problem on highways. Its pretty much rampant in the roadways buses in Punjab where drivers driving night buses usually have a peg or two on the roadside stops they make.

Sachin
Webmaster BR
Posts: 7658
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Undisclosed

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 05 Jan 2010 10:33

CalvinH wrote:Drunken driving is a problem on highways. Its pretty much rampant in the roadways buses in Punjab where drivers driving night buses usually have a peg or two on the roadside stops they make.

Kerala Police is now extremely active on tackling this menace. Check up http://www.keralapolice.org web site to see the statistics. During the past two years, they went on a systematic approach in tackling this. For nearly a year drunken drivers were charged for "dangerous driving" which had a heavier fine of INR 1000. Now the police have become more stricter. When a drunken driver is caught
1. Both the driver and vehicle hauled to the police station.
2. Medical report taken (using breath analyser, or taking the driver to a govt. hospital).
3. Driver would only be released on bail, after two people give sureties.
4. Vehicle would only be released when the driver is sober
5. Charge sheet would be submitted to the court, and the fine is INR 3000.

The worst part for the boozers is point #3. It is really tough for them to ask two people to come to the police station and give the bail sureties. And dear son/daughter can also not ask poor Amma & Achan to come to the police station at 9-10PM to bail them out :P.

Suraj
Forum Moderator
Posts: 12872
Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Suraj » 13 Jan 2010 21:54

From SSC India, here's a list of planned expressway alignments for the first phase of the national expressway development program:
site
Image

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 13 Jan 2010 22:15

quite surprising that vital routes like blr->hyd, blr->chennai and blr->salem->trichy and delhi->jaipur->jodhpur are left out ?

Katare
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2567
Joined: 02 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Katare » 13 Jan 2010 23:16

What are the criteria for these route selections? What is vital and for who?

I guess they'll look for industrial cargo more than the passenger traffic

They would also have to look at existing total (rail, road etc) capacity as compared to existing and future needs

Availability of funds and support from state govt

Tourism and national importance

Politics

Suraj
Forum Moderator
Posts: 12872
Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Suraj » 13 Jan 2010 23:28

I believe BLR-MAA, BLR-HYD etc were already announced before this program, as a separate NHDP-XX effort ahead of the formal NEDP driven by the newly created NEAI (National Expressway Authority of India). I don't yet have references, since I have not been following the topic recently.

Abhijeet
BRFite
Posts: 805
Joined: 11 Nov 2001 12:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Abhijeet » 14 Jan 2010 00:05

Awesome. With these complete, it should be possible to drive from Bombay to Hyderabad entirely on access-controlled roads, assuming (as should be the case) that the Sholapur-Hyderabad route will meet up with the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

NH4 from Pune to Bangalore seems (to my layperson's viewpoint) to also be worth making access controlled.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Jan 2010 07:49

I saw a article on truck freight rates going up due to demand in india recently. had some stats on tons of freight moving between metros. delhi-blr was surprisingly very high. maybe blr is used as a warehousing entrepot by cos to redistribute into the entire southern region given its central location.

Sachin
Webmaster BR
Posts: 7658
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Undisclosed

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sachin » 22 Jan 2010 11:28

Finally the much awaited Elevated Highway in Bengaluru will be inaugurated and thrown open to the public today at 3pm. It would from Central Silk Board Jn. to Electronics City.

More at http://blrelevated.co.in/ .

ldev
BRFite
Posts: 1664
Joined: 06 Nov 2002 12:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby ldev » 22 Jan 2010 12:46

Suraj wrote:From SSC India, here's a list of planned expressway alignments for the first phase of the national expressway development program:
site
Image


One of the older posts from that site contains the following information:

In a prelude to creating a national expressways authority on the lines of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath has already set a time table of works that the agency would implement. In a report drafted by the ministry, the minister has set a target of creating 44 expressways across the country at an estimated investment of over Rs 3,00,000 crore under the public private partnership (PPP) mode by 2022.
The 18,637 km of expressways to come up over 16 states in the country would be developed in three phases. In the first phase, the government would create 11 expressways by 2012.[{The list of 11 is what is posted above}Some of these would include four-laning and up gradation of existing highways into expressways that are access controlled.Under this phase, expressways would come up across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala among others. Phase I is planned on busy routes that not only service passenger traffic but also freight and pass through the industrial heart of the country.
In the second phase 13 expressways will come up including four lane and six lane access controlled stretches spanning 4,300 km by 2017. In the last phase, 8 expressways spanning 5,500 km will come up over the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Rajasthan among others.
The estimated cost of construction is estimated at Rs 14 crore per km for four lane and Rs 20 crore per km for six lane roads. Of the total number of projects, about a dozen would be bid out on annuity by way of which the government pays a fixed amount every year to the developer for construction works. The detailed concept paper on expressways says that these will serve as high speed trunk routes with clover leaf and diamond interchanges with other intersecting highways.According to the initial plan, toll plazas would be created at every 70 kms or so depending on the ground situation. Way side amenities would also be spaced similarly, the paper says.
Wayside amenities that may come up include eateries, rest rooms, dormitories, telephone booths, fuel stations garages, first aid facilities and parking space for different categories of vehicles segregating the parking for buses and trucks from cars and other light vehicles. Keeping in mind the needs of hinterland, the expressways would have cattle crossings apart from pedestrian crossings and over bridges.

Sridhar K
BRFite
Posts: 811
Joined: 12 Sep 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sridhar K » 23 Jan 2010 10:32

Has anybody done Chennai-Pune or at least Bangalore-Pune by car recently ? If yes, how good are the roads and what is the typical travel times? My friend is shifting to Pune from Chennai and want to drive his car i10 to Pune. Thanks in advance for any inputs.

krishnan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7342
Joined: 07 Oct 2005 12:58
Location: 13° 04' N , 80° 17' E

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby krishnan » 23 Jan 2010 11:00

Sridhar!

http://iyerhome.com/blog/2009/08/16/pun ... i-by-road/

Its almost 6 years old, so i duuno how much road have changed by now

And BTW hope he doesnt forget to get the NOC

shaardula
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2591
Joined: 17 Apr 2006 20:02

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby shaardula » 24 Jan 2010 04:38

i have mixed feelings about the betl. mainly bcoz that solution made the real solution to the problem on that road that much more hard and expensive. and to top it, the solution is not even complete. 2 years ago we had posited that silkboard( and thus the last leg of that flyover) would be a major bottle neck). no genius there, anybody could have guessed that only we did it before anybody else. next week i will be closely following the papers.

another gripe for me is how the two private entities, betl and nice could not collaborate and integrate their projects. if at the north of ec they had worked together and merged the two roads it would have been a great benefit. instead they went to the courts and betl goes over nice. and all that has come out of it, atleast so far, is foto opportunities. bottomline for us is roads not the bureaucratic bookkeeping of two private companies. but who is listening?

if hate anything more than betl it is nice. but some years ago a bunch of young women from ec and companies around it petitioned and said the jam in this area meant they could hardly attend to their babies -they were forced to start early and arrive late. if in some weird contorted way these roads can help these women, then so be it. but i doubt these will help.

Raja Bose
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19478
Joined: 18 Oct 2005 01:38

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 24 Jan 2010 05:17

Singha wrote:if you take meals/tea in food plazas or roadside "meals" type places it doesnt hurt to invite the driver or pay him 50/- to take his food too. this was what he did.

wrt to expensive saravana bhavan type places where a dosa cost rs100/- they themselves would not be
comfortable going in.

btw the sheer size of delhi ensures for a day long trip to multiple spots, the 80km thing is easily exceeded. just a trip from say ghaziabad to gurgaon would eat up most of that budget. many are
unmarked pvt taxis moonlighting via a rental agency. if you use them to drop @ airport they will ask
you to say its a family car if police asks. and they will take the cash payment before reaching the airport @ palam jn lest anyone see it.


Since I see jingos posting about their India trips here I have a q. Has anybody visited/stayed at Jaldapara Wildlife sanctuary in West Bengal? Any impressions of the place, tips, travelogues would be of great help. GHQ and moi planning to go there in October-Dec. time frame if possible.

Sridhar K
BRFite
Posts: 811
Joined: 12 Sep 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Sridhar K » 24 Jan 2010 20:18

Krishnan,

Thanks. My friend's is a Dilli Billi, drives his car in Chennai with a Delhi registration. He wants me to join the trip, but my SHQ has vetoed it.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 25 Jan 2010 20:50

WSJ

Indian Road Plan Gathers Funding

By AMOL SHARMA

NEW DELHI—India's highways minister said he expects $5 billion in private capital to flow into the country's road projects by June, but said his ambitious plans are running several months behind schedule.

Private-equity funds, global investment banks and pension funds have all expressed interest in providing financing for India's road projects, said Kamal Nath, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, who embarked last year on a global roadshow to court investors.

"Money is the least of my headaches," Mr. Nath said in an interview. "India is a good investment destination and roads are a good investment."

Mr. Nath is pushing a massive road-building program that he says will require $70 billion in financing over the next several years. He is targeting $40 billion to $45 billion in private sector capital, one-third of which would come from foreign investors.

India's woeful road infrastructure is a drag on national productivity. In cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore, commuters suffer traffic-clogged roads for hours to go short distances. Key arteries are too narrow, bridges and expressways too few. The booming auto sector is making matters worse, adding nearly 10 million vehicles to the nation's roads last year alone. In rural areas, crumbling one-lane roads make it difficult to get agricultural products to market.

Mr. Nath's goal is to build 4,350 miles of roads per year, which means speeding up the current pace of construction 10-fold, to 12.4 miles per day. By June, he hopes that projects worth $20 billion and covering 6,835 miles will be out for bid to road developers. So far this year, about 2,485 miles of projects have been auctioned, he said.

The plan initially called for finishing the first $20 billion in auctions by March of this year, but Mr. Nath said he was delayed as he responded to the concerns of international investors. At their behest, he says he changed policies to make it easier for them to exit investments and for groups of investors to bid without violating conflict-of-interest rules.

"We lost three or four months in the changes we made," Mr. Nath said. "I couldn't invite bids without making those changes."

Another issue investors have raised is how slowly the Indian government has traditionally been able to acquire land for road projects. Mr. Nath said the problem is mostly "procedural," and says he can bring the average acquisition time down from 18 months to eight months.

Mr. Nath says private-equity firms are interested in backing road developers and construction firms, while longer term investors like pension funds will opt for annuity programs where they make their money back from tolls over time. "There's no risk, because in India we're not short of traffic," he said.

For the balance of the financing, Mr. Nath expects about $5 billion to come from the World Bank over two years. He is also considering floating foreign-exchange infrastructure bonds.

Some of the financing will come directly from the Highways Ministry, whose budget increased 23% last year to $4 billion. As India prepares a budget for the coming fiscal year, some officials have signaled there may be belt-tightening in the offing to counter the nation's growing fiscal deficit. But Mr. Nath says he doesn't expect cutbacks.

"This is an economic stimulus," he said. "We're creating economic activity in rural areas."

Write to Amol Sharma at amol.sharma@wsj.com


Return to “Technology & Economic Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests