Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

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brihaspati
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby brihaspati » 20 Mar 2009 04:49

Dont know whether this is the appropriate thread : I had some enthusiastic responses to one of my blog pages from RTI's skilled as architects or urban planners on promoting self-sustaining eco-cities in India. Are there BRFites interested in this or do we have/or can form a subgroup to pursue this?

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 02 Apr 2009 08:51

Upscale construction and architecture industries in recession in India:

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/co ... 696871.htm

Time for Tata or someone to come out with the 1- or 2-lakh cabin or trailer-home.
Maybe they could make them from refurbished shipping containers.

Maybe they could be equipped with solar roofing, wind turbine, due to lack of available utility hookups.

Or else Tata could investigate something like Contour Crafting.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby SSridhar » 23 Apr 2009 07:13

Meterological Infrastructure Upgrades for the city of Chennai

The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Chennai, has sent a proposal to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to install a network of 25 automatic rain gauge stations across the city. When installed, the network would help in accurate collection of rainfall data from various parts of the ever expanding city. The project is expected to be completed in about a year as part of IMD’s modernisation project aimed at enhancing weather monitoring facilities.

Deputy Director General of Meteorology, RMC, Chennai, Y. E. A. Raj said that an automatic weather station was recently installed on the centre’s premises in Nungambakkam.

The automatic weather stations would have meteorological sensors to measure various parameters, including the relative humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind speed. It would update information on an hourly basis.

High performance computing system would be installed in RMC premises in about two months to improve forecasting capabilities. The data generated from weather stations and rain gauges would be fed into the system to facilitate forecast of various weather parameters, including rainfall and wind distribution, for five days in advance, Mr.Raj added.

Another recent installation is of global positioning system to measure vertical profile of water vapour in vertical atmosphere. Such data is crucial to figure out distribution of water vapour in air. The sudden rise of moisture content in the atmosphere is one of the deciding factors for formation of thunderstorms, he explained.

The department also proposes to join hands with Meteo France International for sophisticated display of weather bulletins on its premises in Nungambakkam. Besides upgrading the official website, weather forecast equipment in Meenambakkam observatory used for aviation would also be modernised.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Jun 2009 04:06

More on Tata's Shubh Griha homes:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/06/25/india’s-really-really-small-apartments/



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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby bhavin » 19 Jul 2009 06:20

brihaspati wrote:Dont know whether this is the appropriate thread : I had some enthusiastic responses to one of my blog pages from RTI's skilled as architects or urban planners on promoting self-sustaining eco-cities in India. Are there BRFites interested in this or do we have/or can form a subgroup to pursue this?

Brihaspatiji,

I don't know if you are still interested in this or not but I would be interested in participating in any such activity.. By education I am a construction technocrat as well as city planner and currently serve the residents of a massaland metro city as Chief Planner. Drop me a line at chickmagloor at yahoooo dot kam

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby brihaspati » 31 Jul 2009 04:19

Bhavinji,
sorry for the delay in replying. As you might have caught on in the other thread - I am still a bit under grief. I will try to gather the contacts and see what can be done. But probably another week or two needed. :)

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Suraj » 06 Aug 2009 04:29

Note that it isn't the government that's investing this money, but a plan to encourage private investment. Shanghai's own cumulative investment in the city over the last 15 years is estimated at $100 billion:
Maharashtra business plan envisages Rs.2.5 lakh cr ($60 billion) Mumbai investment
The Maharashtra government has prepared a business plan requiring an investment of around Rs 2.5 lakh crore for development of infrastructure in Mumbai and peripheral areas, a top official said today. “We are envisaging an investment of up to $60 billion (around Rs 2.5 lakh crore) for developing transport, water-supply and sanitation in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR),” Additional Chief Secretary and MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad told reporters here today.

“We need public-private-partnership (PPP) in a big way to bring about development in MMR,” he said. Gaikwad said the state was focusing on the rental housing models and aimed to have 300,000 flats/tenements ready in the next three-years. “We have received 45 proposals to build 300,000 houses in the next three-years,” he said.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby manish » 14 Aug 2009 15:30

BBMP submits lakes revival project
BBMP submits lakes revival project
Bangalore, DH News Service :
The BBMP, on Thursday, submitted before the Lok Adalat, comprising Justice K L Manjunath and member Yellappa Reddy, that a mega project with an estimated cost of Rs 900 crore has been taken up to rejuvenate and revive 183 lakes in the BBMP limits.

The Palike Commissioner Bharath Lal Meena in his submission regarding the measures to protect the water bodies in the City said that it has already developed 25 lakes and is in the process of developing the remaining ones.

“An estimated Rs 100 crore will be utilised for this,” said Meena. He said that it will be followed by desilting and planting of trees and the last phase of work would comprise removal and clearance of encroachment. He said that the State as well as the Union government would be approached for funds.

A much needed project for BLR. Most of the lakes have been covered up in the real estate frenzy. I think residents of Koramangala/HSR Layout etc can speak at length about the problems resulting from this.

But I am more interested in knowing how this guy Meena is doing now-IIRC he used to be the DC of South Canara district in the mid-1990s or so. I remember distinctly that he almost had the stature of a hero and there was a public strike called when he was transferred out of Coastal Karnataka. Sort of disappeared from the public eye then. Anyone has any updates?

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sriman » 31 Aug 2009 22:54

manish wrote:But I am more interested in knowing how this guy Meena is doing now-IIRC he used to be the DC of South Canara district in the mid-1990s or so. I remember distinctly that he almost had the stature of a hero and there was a public strike called when he was transferred out of Coastal Karnataka. Sort of disappeared from the public eye then. Anyone has any updates?

http://persmin.nic.in/ersheet/MultipleE ... 01KN026500

Seems like he was away in UK to get a degree on Rural Development in 98. Since then he's worked in BESCOM,Kavika and KPTCL.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Airavat » 02 Oct 2009 14:26

The BW-Institute for Competitiveness India City Competitiveness Report 2009 profiles four Indian cities:

JAIPUR : 580 phones per 1,000 people, 10% families have computers, 137 registered companies; 31 days needed to start a business; 24 days to register a property; construction permits take 151 days; 12 procedures to start a business.

SURAT : 581.5 phones per 1,000 people, 7.3% families have computers, 72 registered companies; 30 days needed to start a business; 45 days to register a property; construction permits take 224 days; 13 procedures needed to start a business.

INDORE : 583.4 phones per 1,000 people, 15.3% families have computers, 118 registered companies; 32 days needed to start a business; 39 days to register a property; construction permits take 163 days; 13 procedures to start a business.

MYSORE : 733.8 phones per 1,000 people, 9.9% families have computers, 18 registered companies; 30 days needed to start a business; 45 days to register a property; construction permits take 224 days; 13 procedures needed to start a business.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Suraj » 23 Oct 2009 02:07

Mumbai makeover may be back on track
Infrastructure projects worth over Rs 37,000 crore ($8 billion) are expected to be back on track with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine returning to power.

The showpiece infrastructure projects include the Worli-Haji Ali Sea Link, Dharavi Redevelopment, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), the Colaba-Bandra leg of the Mumbai Metro project apart from Mantralaya Redevelopment project. They were delayed because of the election code of conduct that kicked in after the Election Commission announced the election dates in August this year.

Code: Select all

Project   Estimated cost
Dharavi Redevelopment   Rs 15,000 crore
Colaba-Bandra Metro Corridor   Rs 10,000 crore
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link   Rs 7,400 crore
Worli-Haji Ali Sea Link   Rs 4,500 crore

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 27 Nov 2009 09:32

Ah, the impetuousness of youth :roll:

Image

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Prasad » 27 Nov 2009 14:58

Sanjay M wrote:Ah, the impetuousness of youth :roll:

Image

looks photoshopped and poorly at that.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Dec 2009 02:59

I'm trying to find out what the latest news is on Tata's Shubh Griha "nano homes" initiative. Any word on what's happening with that? Here's some kind of blog that claims to be for Shubh Griha:

http://blog.shubhgriha.com/?p=113

Meanwhile, I came across this nifty space-saving concept for an urban split-level multi-story townhouse apartment whose design looked really attractive:

http://www.likecool.com/CSD_Architecten ... -Home.html

I think that such apartments would be very attractive for Indian metros.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Malayappan » 10 Mar 2010 07:25

Property rights for future migrants by Sanjeev Sanyal. Interesting view.

Not sure if if his previous piece on slums was posted
Slums defy a 'concrete' answer He provides a different perspective on slums
The problem is that these schemes take a static view of slums, whereas slums are really evolving ecosystems that include informal jobs inside the slum, access to employment outside the slum, social networks, ease of entry, security and so on. Thus, slums play an important role as “routers” in the urbanisation process. They absorb poor migrants from the rural hinterland and naturalise them into the urban landscape. In doing so, they provide the urban economy with the armies of blue-collar workers — maids, drivers, factory-workers etc — who are essential for the functioning of any vibrant city. Urban master-plans simply ignore this dynamic process and consequently are unable to deal with it.
However, we need to distinguish between urban decay and slums. Urban decay describes the condition of blight, hopelessness and abandonment that one sees in New Jersey, northern England or even in parts of Africa and Latin America. As writers like Jeb Brugmann have pointed out, Indian slums are not places of hopelessness but of enterprise and energy. Whether it is Mumbai’s Dharavi or Delhi’s “Lal-dora” villages, most Indian slums have a surprising variety of commercial activity, including shops, food vendors, garages and mini-factories.
migrants do not view slum-life as a static state of deprivation but as a foothold into the modern, urban economy. Life may be hard but, in a rapidly growing economy, there is enough socio-economic mobility to give most slum-dwellers hope and keep them hard-working, enterprising and law-abiding

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby vera_k » 12 Mar 2010 00:08

Continuing from Indian Economy thread.

Sanku wrote:Vera_K; whats IMR? Meanwhile as some one who lives in Delhi for a large parts of the year, I can quite confidently say that Hitesh has been talking about Noo Deli in Bangalore, Kerla.


Infant Mortality Rate

SRS 2009

SRS 1999

Infant mortality rate doubles in Delhi

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby arnab » 12 Mar 2010 06:58

India's Real Estate Boom Is on Shaky Ground


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1268018 ... entColumns

First of all, the overall challenge India will face is in dealing with urbanization. We have clearly not been able to use urbanization as part of an inclusive and healthy economic growth strategy. In fact, we have been able to attain a commendable level of economic success despite failing urban infrastructure and services.

Today, even though only 30% of India's population lives in urban areas, cities contribute more than 60% of the country's GDP and account for 90% of government revenues.


According to the 2001 census, slums now account for about 25% of all housing in our cities; approximately 26% of households in India's cities don't have access to sanitation facilities.



The sectors of water, solid waste management, transport, electricity and sanitation are some of the areas of that need immediate focus. What's the point of a designer shower system in your new house if you don't have water in it?

Most large developers in India are today aiming to build their own "integrated townships" to skip the infrastructure woes of the city. But a number of these communities are already facing a crisis of basic infrastructure like water and power which can't be privately delivered. If the overall infrastructure of India's cities doesn't improve, the real estate industry can't escape it.


According to the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects report, 914 million Indians will live in cities by 2050, compared to 300 million now.


India's economic success in the 21st century is going to be defined by the manner in which we address the revival of existing cities and the way we plan our new cities. If we continue the current trend of apathy, we are doomed towards a very bleak future.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 14 May 2010 07:10

I'm impressed - the NYT actually has a positive article on India - this is on the Delhi Metro:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/world ... delhi.html

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Suraj » 14 May 2010 10:26

Sanjay M wrote:I'm impressed - the NYT actually has a positive article on India - this is on the Delhi Metro:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/world ... delhi.html

Too bad the author didn't mention the state of the NY metro. While it is a very large network, the personal experience is an assault on the senses.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby vina » 14 May 2010 10:50

Image

Gosh!. Is this Nai Dilli.? I just cant believe it!. The loud,crude, brash, ugly, jostling, pushing , shoving and elbowing Nai Dilli, all lined up and actually waiting for a train!.. What a massive shock. The Metro seems to have worked a miracle in somehow civilizing Nai Dilli.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Singha » 14 May 2010 13:31

why do people criticize the NYC metro ? granted I havent been on outlying routes but the core N-S routes and stations looked ok to me. grand central looked fairly chi chi to me albeit nowhere near the level of singapore underground malls.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 16 May 2010 04:21

I'm wondering how long it will be before terrorists will have a field day in these Indian metro stations.

Then the photos will start showing metal detectors, even longer line-ups, etc.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Suraj » 16 May 2010 10:28

There are already metal detectors and baggage checks at DMRC stations.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby SK Mody » 06 Jun 2010 20:50

Indian cities are polluted by vehicles and industry emissions. Road dust due to vehicles also contributing up to 33% of air pollution[10] In cities like Bangalore, around 50% of children suffer from asthma.[11] India has emission standard of Bharat Stage II (Euro II) for vehicles since 2005.[12]

One of the biggest causes of air pollution in India is from the transport system.[13] Hundreds of millions of old diesel engines continuously burning away diesel which has anything between 150 to 190 times[14] the amount of sulphur out European diesel has. Of course the biggest problems are in the big cities where there are huge concentrations of these vehicles.

Environmental issues in India

There are four reasons of air pollution are - emissions from vehicles, thermal power plants, industries and refineries. The problem of indoor air pollution in rural areas and urban slums has incresed.
...
Vehicle emissions are responsible for 70% of the country’s air pollution. The major problem with government efforts to safeguard the environment has been enforcement at the local level, not with a lack of laws. Air pollution from vehicle exhaust and industry is a worsening problem for India. Exhaust from vehicles has increased eight-fold over levels of twenty years ago; industrial pollution has risen four times over the same period. The economy has grown two and a half times over the past two decades but pollution control and civil services have not kept pace.

Environmental Pollution in India

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby SK Mody » 06 Jun 2010 21:14

Just noticed one thing in my post above:

Hundreds of millions of old diesel engines. :lol:


Keep a bit of salt ready when reading the linked material.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Prasad » 06 Jun 2010 21:35

While a lot of it is exaggeration, it is true that pollution in our cities is pretty high, especially with vehicular population skyrocketing. Asthma, bronchitis and related problems seem to be pretty common these days among kids. So, while that article exaggerates 'hundreds of millions' :) it is something very very important.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby SK Mody » 06 Jun 2010 22:18

I posted it to emphasize the very point that you make. Reducing vehicular pollution (particularly by modernizing the bus fleets, and requiring cleaner auto-rickshaws all over the country) is one _relatively_ inexpensive way to _drastically_ reduce pollution in the cities. And it would have further benefits by improving the health of a vast majority of urbanites.

Added later: Of course as expected there is no dearth of talk on the matter. For example see this atricle. They are taling about bharat III and IV for cars when buses, lorries and auto-rickshaws (and also some 2-wheelers) are still at Bharat minus 25 - at the implementation level.

Says Anumita Roychowdhury, head of CSE’s air pollution team: “The government must make both the automobile industry and the oil companies follow the same phase-in schedule for Bharat Stage III fuels. Sixteen key states, except Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand and the north-eastern states, will have Bharat Stage III fuels by June and they must not be deprived of the benefits of improved vehicle technology and fuel quality.”


The real issue is that none of these appear to be implemented for the worst polluting vehicles on the road - for example take Bengaluru. (Mumbai on the other hand seems to be better implementation-wise). Do these "CSE-antipollution" types actually live in the city? and do they travel by bus and smell the fumes? Or are they just political animals. Or are they just happy government servants.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Fidel Guevara » 14 Jun 2010 20:43

Delhi-Gurgaon Metro to open on Wed

NEW DELHI: Decks have been cleared for opening of the metro line from Qutub Minar to Gurgaon this week after the DMRC got the mandatory clearance certificate, ending the satellite town's long wait for an effective transport link to the national capital.

The 14.47 km corridor connecting the millennium city with south Delhi is likely to be inaugurated by Wednesday by Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Once the services start, Gurgaon will become the second satellite city to get Metro connectivity after Noida, where it reached last November.

The people of Gurgaon have been waiting for an effective transport system to travel to and from Delhi and the launch of Metro services is likely to ease some pressure on road traffic.

The DMRC will initially put eight trains on the line at a frequency of five minutes and once the entire corridor opens, there will a total of 60 trains at a frequency of three to four minutes.

Earlier, the DMRC had planned to inaugurate the entire stretch from Central Secretariat-Gurgaon at one go. But now the 27-km corridor will be thrown open in two phases.

The 13 km line connecting Qutub Minar with Central Secretariat is likely to be opened by mid-July. Ultimately, the line will be integrated with the existing Line 2 (Jehangirpuri-Central Secretariat).

Once the entire section becomes operational, passengers can hope to reach Gurgaon in around an hour from Connaught Place in the heart of Delhi.

The Central Secretariat-HUDA City Centre line, built at a total cost of Rs 3,720 crore, is expected to add over 3.4 lakh people to the Metro system by 2011.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Suraj » 14 Jul 2010 05:06

The Art of public housing
Excerpts:
The government’s plan to make India “slum free” is taking shape. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto is being roped in to provide inputs. An ambitious scheme called the Rajiv Awas Yojana is being designed. This is a very important area because it goes to the crux of how to accommodate 300-400 million people in urban India in the next three decades. The urbanisation process will redefine the country within a generation and we need to get it right.

I know that Singapore’s public housing policies cannot be blindly applied to India, but there are some important principles that are universal and worthy of consideration:

* Clear property rights are very important for creating a sense of ownership. However, note that there is a big difference in the Singaporean approach and that of Hernando de Soto. The latter is in favour of regularising squatter rights whereas the Singaporeans preferred to wipe the slate clean using public acquisition of land. From the Singaporean viewpoint, regularising squatter rights would reward squatting and ultimately undermine the very basis of property rights.
* Public housing may be partly subsidised but it should not be too cheap — and never free. Instead, there is a housing ladder which starts with cheap rentals and ends in high-end condominium apartments like those in the Pinnacle complex. In other words, the urban poor are not seen as a static group in need of handouts. The underlying assumption is that people have aspirations and they will work hard and climb the ladder quite quickly if given the chance. This is very different from de Soto’s world of small holdings and micro-finance, where the poor improve their situation in tiny incremental steps. Perhaps the difference in world-view reflects the difference between the rapid growth experience of Asia and the slow growth of Latin America.
* Management of the “commons” is critical. Thus, the Singaporean approach invests very heavily in common amenities, public transport, maintenance and so on. Residents of HDB estates are made to pay a small management fee every month. Similarly, every effort is made to cluster economic and social nodes within each HDB estate. Even informal sector activities like “hawker centres” are designed into the public housing system. Again, this is very different from de Soto’s approach that focuses on private ownership of property and largely ignores the commons.
* Real estate laws are transparent and evenly applied by a quick legal system. This is a necessary corollary of properly defined property rights. This is one area where the Singaporeans and Hernando de Soto would strongly agree with each other.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Aditya Watts » 20 Jul 2010 18:19

Sanjay M wrote:I'm wondering how long it will be before terrorists will have a field day in these Indian metro stations.

Then the photos will start showing metal detectors, even longer line-ups, etc.

Like Suraj has indicated, there are already security measures taken to deny external threats. Also as can be read here the security has been taken over from the local police force by the CISF.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby abhishek_sharma » 24 Aug 2010 08:00


hnair
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby hnair » 25 Aug 2010 05:29

enqyoob wrote:Marten, thx. Wonder how to bring any such civic sense to Urban Malloostan. In searching for images on the web to illustrate the "desi urban amibence", I could not find anything to properly describe what I see there in terms of sheer urban blight and eyesores on what should otherwise be some of the prettiest real estate on the planet. Must be special to Malloostan. Huuuuge deterioration since the 1960s, even as "wealth" has got poured into the place.

Most Modern Malloostani city centers remind me of the ambience described in the Michael Crichton book, "Congo".


saar, your point regarding:

2. Blinding maze of crummy signs, completely overwhelming any driver looking for road signs.


I have some experience on this area. Nowadays every road junction is blighted with these ridiculously distracting forest of signboards in Kerala. It is a ridiculous excersize in trying to find any sense or direction out of them, particularly when driving. We tried to do something about this in our neighbourhood in Trivandrum. Goes like this:

1) Advertising boards. Advertising is expensive. small scale guys have no way to buy adspace in **any** medium. We tried to alleviate that by suggesting a craigslist or yellow pages mechanism. even made plans of entering these addresses on their behalf and having indexing/categorizing etc done via yahoo/google ads, yellowpages etc. The traders and professionals (eg: doctors, architects, lawyers etc with private practice) etc liked that too. But the obvious hole in this mechanism was pointed out by a gentleman (a prospective customer for all these advertisers) who is a daily wage laborer in our neighborhood. says he doesnt know what the frick we are talking about and even if he did, he cant afford to watch the ads as he doesnt, um, browse. Chastened, we went back to the drawing boards. We tried to talk with local tv cable guys, cellphone texting providers etc, two channels that the gentleman said he uses. No one is ready for a free public channel on such things. We are still talking with different channels etc to find out a way.

But then let us say we get all the people signed up and reach consumers, then there is the next issue that causes these boards to spring up

2) Bread crumb or Address boards. There is no easy address assignment to a location. In US, the address is usually street#, city and zipcode, which is easy to find out via maps or internet. In India (and even parts of western europe), usually it is a "get off the bus and follow the signboards that the firm put up every 100 mts for the next 8 kms". Often times, these signboards are the ones we see on the street junctions: old fashioned bread crumbs to take you to the destination. Trivandrum Corporation has a TC number indexing, which they are linking with google maps etc. Hoping it works.

We tried some low hanging fruits like standardization of boards (eg: one giant board of a bloated mohanlal or dileep with some non-Keralite looking scantily clad lass will act as a deterrent from a prospective customer surfing for anything else in its neighborhood). So we tried to push for implementation of zoning for such eyesores, that they dont smother the small ones around them with their "jewelry p0rn". It is a long winded process and standardization of signboards addresses only one thing: identification of an address. It does not yet solve the problem of reaching a customer with not much access to communication mediums we take for granted.

The only consolation is that these boards could all be wiped out by big box stores and that has not yet happened.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby enqyoob » 25 Aug 2010 05:57

Very interesting. How about a standardized Address Tree? A 4-inch PVC pipe with a bunch of small signs sticking out, placed at street corners, so that ppl know to look there? Then ban/remove all signs from the walls etc.

Or make it a "jewelry p0rn" statue, holding the signs from her arms. Maybe the jewelry stores will pay for the statues too. Also put a dumpster at the corner for the wreckage from the crashed cars.

My peeve was more about the visual clutter from all the crummily-lettered, multi-sized signs. Surely there is enough aesthetic sense and talent in Malloostan to do better than that.

Theo_Fidel

Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Theo_Fidel » 25 Aug 2010 12:04

I think we are missing the the underlying issue here.

When my father first built his house in Chennai and for a considerable time
afterwords the were no clusters of street signs on every street. No tangles
of phone lines and electric lines and cable lines.

The problem began when business started encroaching into residential areas.
There are now 4 tea kaddai's on this one street. 2 clinics and 3 doctors. Even a Sidha guy now.
All of them put up random advertising. Honestly I don't know how any of them make money.
I hardly ever see any customers at these places.
Which I guess explains the desperate advertising.
Often the shop is gone long before the advertising board.
Keep in mind that there are 14 doctors on this street I know off.

They would never dare try this in Poes garden near JJ amma.

I remember there was huge resistance to moving out the hawkers from
Mount road side walks in Chennai. These areas were extremely cluttered. Signs every where,
trash on the streets, posters every where, etc.

Yet once these yokels were moved on these streets have completely transformed themselves.
Almost by themselves.

Near Gandhi Madapam there used to 5-6 tea kaddai's, very illegal. The place was a disaster.
Trash every where, random signage for STD/PCO everywhere. As part of the new flyover
the tea kaddai's were moved on, and voila the place is now spot less. I couldn't believe it.
The crows were gone, the stench was gone, the illegal power taps, etc.

I've mentioned elsewhere that in India we have the professional chunk and the 'Jugaad' chunk.
While many eulogize the 'Jugaad', remember it is the Jugaad that is causing this stink. They
are taking things that they do not pay for and don't really care too much about ownership.

It is this 30% of India that I don't know what to do with. Much of the rest is world class
including our buildings which we so malign. A simple cleaning up and emulsion/epoxy paint job would do wonders.
None of that 'Chunamb' stuff.

I have been to Ennore power plant, Neyveli as well as power plants in the US, esp. the one near KCMO Weston.
Let me tell you the power plants themselves are world class, if a little dated. No shoddy business there. Westar US would
be proud to own them. This from a person who disparages PSU's. Even the transmission system is world class.

It is the last mile that is the problem. Even here it is about 30% that causes the worst problems from illegal
power taps, to not paying bills, to bribing linesmen, etc. Not saying the rest arn't capable of shoddiness,
just that there is a 30% chunk of our population that seems incorrigible. May be more in some areas.

Vasu
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Vasu » 25 Aug 2010 13:11

[quote="Suraj"]The Art of public housing
Excerpts:
[quote]The government’s plan to make India “slum free” is taking shape. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto is being roped in to provide inputs. An ambitious scheme called the Rajiv Awas Yojana is being designed. This is a very important area because it goes to the crux of how to accommodate 300-400 million people in urban India in the next three decades. The urbanisation process will redefine the country within a generation and we need to get it right.

quote]

Thanks for the link Suraj. I actually remember watching his interview on one of the business channels a few months ago. At that time I didn't realize his role as an advisor to the government, I simply assumed he must be an economist on a tour of India.

Mumbai can actually be a great example for the complicated issue that urban housing is. Recently, the government decided to go ahead with the newest plan for slum rehabilitation, but which borrows on the same principle that was to be applied to Dharavi earlier - the builders will build free housing for the poor, and in turn get the adjacent land and get to build their luxury apartments with a greater FSI. Now this concept is to be applied across a number of locations in the greater Mumbai area.

Apart from the usual response that this plan is simply to benefit the builders, there has been another response from some local politicians that affordable, respectable housing for the poor in Mumbai will actually encourage the influx of immigrants!

Also, I remember reading somewhere that the government's mindset on urban housing is slowly coming round to this same thought that public housing shouldn't be free. Even looking at it from a behavioral point of view, when a family has to spend even a nominal amount on their dwelling, it will increase their respect for what they are getting for so cheap, and they will take better care of it. I could relate this to the past instances when free houses given to the poor are simply rented out again to some other poor family, while the beneficiary remains intact in their slum.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Bade » 25 Aug 2010 20:26

Theo, wonderfully put. Currently, I am trying to fend off an attempt to install a Telecom tower atop a 10-storied residential unit in the heart of Cochin, the reason cited was to earn additional income so as to offsets the costs of building maintenance. The urban blight grows even in the poshest of colonies and educated high income earners due to short sighted schemes.

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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby enqyoob » 26 Aug 2010 00:15

I think we are missing the the underlying issue here.

When my father first built his house in Chennai and for a considerable time
afterwords the were no clusters of street signs on every street. No tangles
of phone lines and electric lines and cable lines.

The problem began when business started encroaching into residential areas.
There are now 4 tea kaddai's on this one street. 2 clinics and 3 doctors. Even a Sidha guy now.
All of them put up random advertising. Honestly I don't know how any of them make money.
I hardly ever see any customers at these places.
Which I guess explains the desperate advertising.
Often the shop is gone long before the advertising board.
Keep in mind that there are 14 doctors on this street I know off.

They would never dare try this in Poes garden near JJ amma.


There is an issue underlying this too, and it strikes ppl from Malloostan like a brick between the eyes when one reads Michael Crichton's "Congo".

Heard someone articulate the same thought in a contemporary setting. The context was someone asking about the fabulous homes coming up in parts of Malloostan, and who could maintain and keep up the standards of those homes over decades.

The houses are built by people with immense abilities and standards of achievement. But then the next generation and the one after that has nothing like this, and then see what happens to the houses


Generalize that to the street, the nbd, the city. Or the "lost civilization" described in "Congo" where these apes inhabit what was once built by fabulously smart and hard-working humans.

This, IMO, is what happens: A goes to Gulf and slaves for 10 years, returns, builds a dream house. And brings up his brats in luxury. Abdul Bin A spends daddy's money and drives a fine car, and marries Ayesha d/o A's friend/partner.

Their kids grow up assuming that the luxury is their birthright. When they grow up, they still have a fine house, but no capability to generate the income needed to keep it up. So they do whatever business, put up a shingle on the wall outside the house, and try to make ends meet. No serious maintenance is done on the house or street. They cannot afford to rent office space in the business district, so must do the business out of the house.

hnair
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby hnair » 26 Aug 2010 01:07

aye, that risk of the lazy slovenly gen letting those mansions go to seed is there, particularly amongst the Gelf-ers.

I see a lot of these 2nd gen crew running petty businesses out of even their cars too. Not kidding, know this worthy (whose dad was a good surgeon, was in gelf) who distributes jockeys out of his car. But us humble babu-kids kind of shake our heads sadly, when we see them do that. For when we were growing up and studying, these worthies used to strut around and sneer at us from their perch. Only if one studied in a babu-centric city (most worked in state or central govt or public sector) like Trivandrum will one know how these RAPE-equivalents behaved in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Used to pee on everyone for any small grievance, with a "If this had been gelf they would loose their head...." type of arrogant statements about their gelf utopias where the daddy-mommys toiled to send them the finest clothes, toys etc.

To us, they seemed immensely rich and went out of the way to paint a sense of insecurity on others. Laconic and cynical types like me always fought with them. We the under dogs, used to tinker around with whatever we get from Chalai market's scrap metal vendors and make up our own toys and games. Stood us in good stead later on :D These gelf-itos were packed off to private colleges for BS/MBBS etc and their course fatality rate was pretty high, due to them getting high too often. Most of them got a business set up by them or as you pointed out family-friend turned in-law. The only silver lining for them is that retail picked up during the 90s and 00s. So some of them are doing ok. But the smirking is no longer there, when one meets them.

enqyoob wrote:Very interesting. How about a standardized Address Tree? A 4-inch PVC pipe with a bunch of small signs sticking out, placed at street corners, so that ppl know to look there? Then ban/remove all signs from the walls etc.

My peeve was more about the visual clutter from all the crummily-lettered, multi-sized signs. Surely there is enough aesthetic sense and talent in Malloostan to do better than that.


Tried that too!! We tried to come up with an aesthetic that is appealing to both "modernists" and "conservatives". Roped in some elder school alumni, who studied in Oxbridge in areas of design, some chaps who consult for google-uncle in matters of visual communications etc. Had a talk going on, but then within a short time, someone objected saying "y'all are putting too much importance on aesthetics. what about my bursting at the seams, unmarried daughter? How will I cart her off with a fat dowry to some loser, if you disallow me to put up my ad-board?" :(( The entire meeting gets disrupted into inanities. I heard brave souls are still clawing up these Tiger Hills :)

Business zoning and its regulation are still an issue. But at least bigger businesses are discouraged from starting up anything other than hospitals or hotel towers inside the older, narrower areas of Trivandrum.


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