Indian Roads Thread

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby VinodTK » 23 Nov 2009 04:13


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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby karthik » 24 Nov 2009 12:22

Both Bangalore and Hyderabad are way ahead in infrastructure compared to Chennai. The new Hyderabad express way is already open and Bangalore to is getting ready but there is no signs of it in Chennai yet!! We are only now testing the soil for a Metro project here. The elevated express way is yet to begin as the contract has just been awarded!!

Our USP is our beaches and long coast lines but our politicians are so uneducated they are making the IT corridor inland!! Democracy is real a great way to screw up development.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby bart » 24 Nov 2009 23:48

karthik wrote:Our USP is our beaches and long coast lines but our politicians are so uneducated they are making the IT corridor inland!! Democracy is real a great way to screw up development.


Er...the IT corridor (OMR) is not more than 5-10 km from the sea as the bird flies.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Suraj » 26 Nov 2009 03:21

NHAI expressway division established, to seek $2.95B World Bank loan
The central government has created a new division within the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for developing expressways in the country.

The government was looking to develop 17,000 km of expressways in the country during the next few years, said Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath. He said the government was looking at expressway projects between Bangalore and Mumbai, and Bangalore and Chennai, to begin with.

“We created the expressway division about 15 days ago within NHAI. We will go to Parliament for legislation in this regard,” he said. Nath said the government was in talks with the World Bank for funds of up to $2.95 billion to fund road projects in the country, including the new expressways. “The president of World Bank is visiting India on December 2, to hold further discussions in this regard,” Kamal Nath said.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby karthik » 26 Nov 2009 15:37

bart wrote:
karthik wrote:Our USP is our beaches and long coast lines but our politicians are so uneducated they are making the IT corridor inland!! Democracy is real a great way to screw up development.


Er...the IT corridor (OMR) is not more than 5-10 km from the sea as the bird flies.


I know that, my company was the first to lay the two lane roads back during JJs terms. I wanted to see those building in the coast line, its good for business because the foreign investors would love the beach and the view, it would have been an good USP to sell business and pleasure together. There is no point ruining the kalampakkam area because it had a beautiful forest which went all the way to the vandalur zoo.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby bart » 26 Nov 2009 16:06

karthik wrote: I wanted to see those building in the coast line, its good for business because the foreign investors would love the beach and the view, it would have been an good USP to sell business and pleasure together. There is no point ruining the kalampakkam area because it had a beautiful forest which went all the way to the vandalur zoo.


Ok, fair enough, a nice Miami type beach-front high rise cit would be great, but you have to keep in mind that there was no vast stretches of vacant land available so close to the beach as demanded by our 'most admired company' types who want to freeload 800-1000 acres and waste most of it. A lot of the area till about 30 km from city limits was already sold out long ago and people had holiday houses and other stuff. And if you go a bit further you get into Mangroves and other ecologically sensitive areas. It would have been possible to develop some really tall beach front buildings, if the customers were ready to pay for them, but knowing the mindset it would not be so likely. Also there is not a great deal of foreign visitors to those campuses, its mostly a bunch of people doing non-glamorous jobs there. There was some talk of an international finance area, maybe for that such beachfront properties make sense. For that matter you could in theory clear out a lot of junk from Triplicane and old parts of Chennai and develop that as premium office property. In Santhome and other areas private flat builder are already doing that, for residences, and in some of them the price for a 3 bedroom was touching 6 Crore at the peak of the boom. :((

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby karthik » 26 Nov 2009 17:35

bart wrote:
Ok, fair enough, a nice Miami type beach-front high rise cit would be great, but you have to keep in mind that there was no vast stretches of vacant land available so close to the beach as demanded by our 'most admired company' types who want to freeload 800-1000 acres and waste most of it. A lot of the area till about 30 km from city limits was already sold out long ago and people had holiday houses and other stuff. And if you go a bit further you get into Mangroves and other ecologically sensitive areas. It would have been possible to develop some really tall beach front buildings, if the customers were ready to pay for them, but knowing the mindset it would not be so likely. Also there is not a great deal of foreign visitors to those campuses, its mostly a bunch of people doing non-glamorous jobs there. There was some talk of an international finance area, maybe for that such beachfront properties make sense. For that matter you could in theory clear out a lot of junk from Triplicane and old parts of Chennai and develop that as premium office property. In Santhome and other areas private flat builder are already doing that, for residences, and in some of them the price for a 3 bedroom was touching 6 Crore at the peak of the boom. :((


Thats exactly my sentiments too, a neat miami or dubai type beach front would be a great way to entice investments. It would be great for tourists and multi-nationals to consider setting up offices here apart from the throw away BPO jobs.Its a dam pity they are destroying those mangrove forests and other beautiful flora and fauna in kalampakam.

The slum next to marina beach light house could be cleared out and sold to private developers and the money raised by the sale could have been used to build new high rise housing colonies for the fisher men in that slum. Its times like these i wonder if it was better if we had a single party system like China which is not driven by votes.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Bade » 26 Nov 2009 22:37

Sorry Bangalore, but you got a bad road ahead
"The biggest deficiency in infrastructure will be in the road sector and it is right here to see in Bangalore," Nath said addressing the Construction Equipment and Construction Technology trade fair on Wednesday.

This is very true, even villages far away from small towns in Socialist republic of Kerala has better tarred roads.

Infrastructure is the biggest shortcoming in India's growth story today and the challenge is not just to develop but also to manage the network, particularly the rowdy element on the roads, the minister observed. "You all must be aware of how rowdy Karnataka is," he added in a lighter vein evoking peals of laughter from the gathering.

Houde maraya..ellavire rowdy illi. :lol:

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby manish » 27 Nov 2009 00:30

Bade wrote:Sorry Bangalore, but you got a bad road ahead
"The biggest deficiency in infrastructure will be in the road sector and it is right here to see in Bangalore," Nath said addressing the Construction Equipment and Construction Technology trade fair on Wednesday.

This is very true, even villages far away from small towns in Socialist republic of Kerala has better tarred roads.

Infrastructure is the biggest shortcoming in India's growth story today and the challenge is not just to develop but also to manage the network, particularly the rowdy element on the roads, the minister observed. "You all must be aware of how rowdy Karnataka is," he added in a lighter vein evoking peals of laughter from the gathering.

Houde maraya..ellavire rowdy illi. :lol:

That word alone betrays your links to Mangalore Bade saar :)

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SSridhar » 29 Nov 2009 10:34

Pedestrians are third class citizens
Absolutely true in India.
Pedestrian accessibility should become the first step in an enlightened urban transport policy. . . . Pedestrians and cyclists, the most vulnerable road users, account for the bulk of road fatalities, followed by motorised two-wheeler riders. . . Tragic as traffic deaths are, injuries are no less so; they occur during the most productive phase of life, and economically devastate families.

In India, road transport accounts for a third of petroleum consumption, which has nearly tripled in the last two decades.

Footpaths, where they do exist, are largely unusable, on account of poor design and maintenance, obstructions including electrical equipment, uncollected garbage, parked vehicles and encroachment by local businesses. More distressingly, footpaths are being lost due to road widening. There are few if any facilities for pedestrians to cross roads safely and conveniently; where such facilities exist, they are spaced too far apart, and the crossing times are often inadequate. Hard, barricaded medians are increasingly erected to ensure smooth vehicle traffic. The pedestrian environment is so severely vitiated that walking, the most natural of human activities, has become an extremely unpleasant, if not a hazardous, activity. Indeed, in a nation of pedestrians, the pedestrian has been rendered a third class citizen.{Absolutely. One is forced to take the car or use public transportation even when something is in a walkable distance because there is no footpath to walk}

Further, the loss of pedestrian accessibility is a major contributor to other urban transport impacts. It is because it is so time consuming, if not unsafe, for people to walk even over short distances that many trips over these distances are by force of circumstance undertaken by vehicles. . . . pedestrian accessibility as the very foundation of urban transport policy and planning.

. . . the high population densities and intensively mixed land use that characterise Indian cities, along with the low income and vehicle ownership levels among the majority, make walking and other non-motorised modes both possible and necessary.

“Build it and they will come” is as true of pedestrians (and cyclists) as it is of vehicles. Tragically, while countries like the Netherlands, which have significantly higher income and car ownership levels, provide first-class pedestrian and bicycle facilities as a matter of enlightened urban transport policy, walking and cycling are considered to be retrograde in a nation such as India characterised by poverty.

Madhav Badami teaches in the School of Urban Planning and the McGill School of Environment at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Bade » 29 Nov 2009 20:01

This is absolutely true. I have always wondered with our high densities in almost all cities, it made perfect sense to have well constructed pedestrian paths everywhere. It should not even cost as much as good roads. We are left with half open drains and poorly placed slabs of concrete which would trip many an old person even when a rudimentary path is available. This is the reason for people taking to the roads itself to walk instead of the side-walks even in rural areas.

One of the main motive for me to buy a car for use in India for myself and old parents was the danger of walking close to roads with increasing vehicular traffic. The car is your life insurance literally speaking.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 29 Nov 2009 20:34

Well, the pedestrians don't pay road tax. Cars do! :twisted:

I live 300 metres off a main artery. We are practically restricted to shopping at one side of the road, that too on the strip close to our road. It is impossibly dangerous to cross the road, and also to walk onward to the next bunch of shops, so I have to take the car for the half a kilometre trip.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Neshant » 30 Nov 2009 06:56

It made perfect sense to have well constructed pedestrian paths everywhere


roadside vendors will just show up, occupy the space and make a mess of it.

{Deleted advocacy of eliminating people. Think before you post.}
Last edited by Suraj on 30 Nov 2009 10:26, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Next flippant statement of the kind earns you a warning.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Prem » 30 Nov 2009 09:17

{Deleted}
Last edited by Suraj on 30 Nov 2009 10:28, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Let's keep this on track.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Rishirishi » 02 Dec 2009 03:04

Dileep wrote:Well, the pedestrians don't pay road tax. Cars do! :twisted:

I live 300 metres off a main artery. We are practically restricted to shopping at one side of the road, that too on the strip close to our road. It is impossibly dangerous to cross the road, and also to walk onward to the next bunch of shops, so I have to take the car for the half a kilometre trip.


It is not only the case of pedistrians. What about cycles? If there were proper cycling paths, outside the main poluted roads, I am sure many would prefer to bike. Good for health, fast, free and non poluting. What about a simple thing as garbage collection. People will thorw litter on the streets, and it will be manually be picked up (if at al). There are no dust bins.

The problem is that town planners have often never been outside India, and never been exposed to proper traffic management.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby AnimeshP » 02 Dec 2009 03:14

Rishirishi wrote:
Dileep wrote:Well, the pedestrians don't pay road tax. Cars do! :twisted:

I live 300 metres off a main artery. We are practically restricted to shopping at one side of the road, that too on the strip close to our road. It is impossibly dangerous to cross the road, and also to walk onward to the next bunch of shops, so I have to take the car for the half a kilometre trip.


It is not only the case of pedistrians. What about cycles? If there were proper cycling paths, outside the main poluted roads, I am sure many would prefer to bike. Good for health, fast, free and non poluting. What about a simple thing as garbage collection. People will thorw litter on the streets, and it will be manually be picked up (if at al). There are no dust bins.

The problem is that town planners have often never been outside India, and never been exposed to proper traffic management.


Rishirishi ... I have seen cycling paths created in Lucknow and am yet to see a single cyclist on those cycle paths ... :roll:

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 02 Dec 2009 12:41

Rishirishi wrote:The problem is that town planners have often never been outside India, and never been exposed to proper traffic management.

No, the problem is that town planners will get their salary, and more importantly, the bribes in any case.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Singha » 04 Dec 2009 11:48

ET - these must be the non-AC Tata-Marcopolo buses :mrgreen:

Another low-floor bus goes up in flames

4 Dec 2009, 1031 hrs IST, Megha Suri Singh & Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN

NEW DELHI: For the third time this week, a DTC low-floor bus caught fire. No one was hurt, but questions are being asked about the safety of the
new CNG fleet, delivery of which had been delayed because Tata Motors wanted to make changes to the buses to make them “more fire-retardant” . That was after a DTC bus caught fire in March.

“The presence of mind of the driver helped in averting a major tragedy,” a senior police official said.

‘‘ The bus was travelling on Najafgarh Road when there was a huge sound. Immediately , all systems inside the bus stopped working. The bus door did not open. The driver then climbed out of his cabin and opened the door from the outside . The fire had begun in one of the rear wheels but by the time the fire engines got to the bus — about 15 to 20 minutes — it was completely gutted,’’ said a senior police officer.

Police said they were mulling the option of lodging a case against DTC.

Delhi government called an emergency meeting of bus and tyre manufacturers and imposed a penalty on Tata Motors , who have been issued an ultimatum to better their services and have been asked to replace the bus. In addition, a slew of measures has been initiated to fix the problem.

‘‘ The fire is not related to the CNG kit. It was caused by a technical snag in the brake shoe,’’ said Naresh Kumar, DTC CMD. ‘‘ Prima facie, it seems the fire was not due to a CNG engine leak. Instead, a short-circuit triggered the blast,’’ the police said.

With DTC buses catching fire more and more frequently , some very serious passenger safety concerns have come up. The new fleet is being maintained by the manufacturer and DTC is paying close to Rs 50 lakh as AMC (annual maintenance contract) charges for each bus for a 12-year period :eek: . That works out to being close to the cost of a bus.

On November 30, a DTC bus caught fire near Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. None of the passengers was hurt, the police said. The route 832 bus was plying between Janakpuri and Inderlok. On November 26, a DTC bus carrying 40 children caught fire in Mayur Vihar. :evil: No one was injured.

Transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the problem lies in the maintenance of the buses and not in their design . ‘‘ In view of the fires, Tata Motors has been issued an ultimatum and been asked to improve their services or be ready to face strict action. The DTC Depot Shift Manager of Mayapuri depot and Manager (Workshop) Tata have both been suspended for negligence ,’’ said Lovely.

A four-member committee has been set up to look into the incident and to oversee maintenance of the buses, which is outsourced to the manufacturer . The committee is headed by Joint Commissioner of Transport department Ajay Chagti, and has Retd Director of ARAI M Bhanot, Chief General Manager (Technical) of DTC VK Bhatia, and Motor Licensing Officer Anil Chikara as members . The committee will submit its report within a month.

Based on preliminary investigations , transport commissioner RK Verma said the problem was not with the fleet. ‘‘ The buses are fine but there are some maintenance issues. An independent automobile engineer will be deputed in every bus depot to oversee the maintenance of buses as a third party,’’ said Verma.

Meanwhile, a Tata Motors spokesperson said the company is carrying out its own investigation into the incident. ‘‘ So far, we have concluded there is nothing wrong with the engine or the CNG kit. We have already delivered the first lot of 650 buses and about 400 buses of the second lot of 1625 buses. All the buses are running normally, but if something needs to be done, it will be done. We will ensure there are no glitches.’’

Not Worth Their Hefty Price Tag?

Thursday’s fire in another low-floor bus raises questions about the safety of the new DTC fleet

Low-floor buses ordered 3,125

From Tata Motors 2,031

From Ashok Leyland 1,094

Buses delivered by Tata Motors 1,050

Amount paid per bus for Annual Maintenance Contract (for 12 years) Rs 50 lakh for every non-AC bus

Rs 60 lakh for every AC bus

DAILY CHECKS

Supposed to be carried out before a Tata low-floor bus leaves the depot If all lights are working properly If all wipers are working properly The driver takes four rounds of the DTC depot before the bus is allowed out to see if brakes are functioning, acceleration pedal is responding and noise of the engine is normal Tyre pressure Performance of air filter Tension of engine belt Electric and pneumatic controls with driver In addition, all buses undergo checks as scheduled in service book on a monthly or km basis.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby KarthikSan » 11 Dec 2009 04:12

^^^ I don't know about TATA but one of my roomies in grad school worked at AL Hosur plant for a couple of years before he started grad school. Their manufacturing and design methods that I heard first hand from him leave much to be desired for quality. I heard instances when they lit a bonfire underneath the truck chassis to warm it up before cold start trials for the Army :shock:

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SwamyG » 16 Dec 2009 03:03

Chennai Mobility
A good article on Chennai mobility and its road system. It is a piece that urges to pause and think in creating a car-centric city transportation system.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Vipul » 16 Dec 2009 21:16

There is something about the Low-floor and CNG equation which has not been set right -Design Flaw?
So far Buses manufactured by all the three suppliers - TATA Motors, Ashok Leyland and the Chinese Ding Dong variety (King Long)) assembled in India by Cerita have caught fire.ey tacl
If and when the other Bus Manufacturers viz Volvo, Mercedes, Swaraj, Hino and MAN enters the CNG space it would be interesting to see how they tackle this.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Abhijeet » 18 Dec 2009 01:25

SwamyG wrote:Chennai Mobility
A good article on Chennai mobility and its road system. It is a piece that urges to pause and think in creating a car-centric city transportation system.


I find that lots of argument in India happens in a vacuum, unrelated to ground realities. The article talks of miles and miles of elevated expressways, flyovers, metro rail etc that have apparently magically appeared in Chennai. Where are all these things? All Indian cities have extremely, extremely poor road infrastructure. Should we turn away from building decent roads because countries like the US and Japan (which have road per inhabitant ratios probably 100x that of India) are tearing down a few badly located overpasses? Roads are important and need to be built in India in a continuous stream for the next several decades at the very least. Public transport develops side by side with that.

As an aside, a simple way to improve the public transport life of a non-car-owner in Chennai would be to make autos actually charge according to the meter, rather than based on how much they can extort from you. Short point to point trips are unaffordable in Chennai, and probably any city in India other than Bombay, for poorer people because the fares start at Rs.50 for a 5 minute ride. Of course, this solution is too simple and will cut into too many vested interests, so it's better to rage theoretically about how too many roads are destroying the city. :roll:

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SwamyG » 18 Dec 2009 05:37

I don't see any opposition to building decent roads in that article; so I don't see where you got the idea of destroying road comes from. The focus is towards developing people-centric transportion and not on car-centric transportation. Public transport will not develop unless it has a focus. Public vs Private transportation is always a big debate even in USA. City planners should not discard or adopt ideas because it did not work or worked elsewhere. They need to see how the idea will pan out in Indian conditions. Private and Public transportation both have a cost to the individual and society.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 18 Dec 2009 10:34

Before you give weight to the comments of the Bigot from Bogota, Colombia, please take a look at HIS city! See the neatly laid out wide roads. Give me that in my city, and I will listen to the rest of his ideas!!

Most of the fads of public transportation you hear in the 'international' circles, like:

1. "Take cars out of the roads". Where are the roads? Can we call our pothole farms as roads?. First give me roads that are worthy to be called that, and THEN you can think of taking cars out.

2. "Take people away from cars and into public transit": Our transit is bursting on the seams. First build the roads properly, THEN build the transit, and people will come.

3. Don't build roads, build metro/train: Sure! Build rails to each home onlee!!

4. Don't build metro. Build BRTS (this is what the Bigot from Bogota preaches). Where? All our roads are wide enough for 2 lanes, and there is no space for the BRTS lanes. Go figure!!

We build flyovers because there is no space to build the proper intersection. We build elevated road because there is no space to build multi lane road. Take a high zoom print out of a city segment, and ask the Bigot on his recommendation on how to build a mobility solution. That is, without displacing much of the people/

And see what excuse he makes!!

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SwamyG » 18 Dec 2009 22:30

There is no point in dissing him.

1. Pot-holed filled or bad roads - is not JUST a planning issue; it is an implementation problem plus coordinating with other departments - for example the telephones, water & sewer etc who routinely dig up the roads.

2 & 3. Public transit - Suburban trains (called differently by different people - essentially metro rails) are not a bad solution for helping people move from one place to another within the city or its suburbs.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 20 Dec 2009 17:54

SwamyG, my outburst is partially the result of discussions I do on other forums about my city. The Bigot from Bogota is widely quoted in those circles, without reference to the ground realities here. After much effort, we are almost there to get a metro. Now a lot have crawled out of the woodwork, trying to show that why it is a bad idea. The words from the Bigot is fueling the fire. In this wonderful place, where the nice king was banished for the simple reason of being an asura, anything could de-rail the metro. I am doing my little effort to fight for it. Going after the Bigot is one of the prongs.

Apart from his rants, I have to fight ideas like "bigger cities should get it first", "use BRTS", "use monorail" and whatnot. Friends of our beloved capital city are also very active to whatever they could to de-rail. Have to fight them too.

The traders of the main M.G. Road are shooting their foot off by opposing the metro as well. The stoopids can't see an inch beyond their noses.

In all, if you look at the issue of public transit here, the proverbial blinds and the elephant seems to be like N^3 and beam weapons!

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby VinodTK » 21 Dec 2009 04:08

Cross Posting from the Army Thread

Green norms stalling border roads: Army

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby rachel » 21 Dec 2009 05:09

Dileep, I understand and agree that BRTS is not appropriate everywhere.. u do need wide avenues to implement.

Some say metros are too expensive, BRTS is cheaper ...but u know what? Sreedharan has proven that with DMRC< it can be done cheaply and fast.

For cramped cities with few wide avenues, there is no alternative to metro rail. The BRTS fad doesnt work everywhere.

And for a big city, you need metro rail trunk routes, supplemented by a fgew BRTS feeders. But the whole system bsed on just BRTS?? hahaha.... can u imagine Paris or London traffic chaos if that's how their system was built?

May work fine for a puny Bogota.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby rachel » 21 Dec 2009 05:12

Dileep wrote:3. Don't build roads, build metro/train: Sure! Build rails to each home onlee!!

!!


Paris was designed in such a way that no location in the city proper is more than hafl km from a metrpo station. Paris has 215 km metro system, Delhi will have 190 km by Sept, more afterwards.

Not metro to each home .. but close to each home is do-able.

This doesnt work for suburbs of course. JUst the main city itself.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SwamyG » 21 Dec 2009 06:08

Dileep saare: Sorry to hear that he has been creating problems with certain ideas. I do not know anything about him. So will defer views on him to you. The thing where I agree is his view about car-centric vs public-transport-centric thoughts. Based on the article if he is for public-transport why is he opposing metro rail?

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 21 Dec 2009 08:01

The so called 'international' experts come steeped in terms like 'car centric', because the places they know are that. They have good roads and plenty of cars. Here we have NO ROADS and a few cars. What I am trying to say is that you need to understand the ground realities when you analyze a system.

In reality, the city of Cochin can easily manage its traffic for the next 20 years just by building proper roads, and enforcing traffic rules. Our problem is not too many cars. Our problem is 'no roads'.

Fact 1: We have NARROW roads, HALF A LANE wide, if you compare to the standards in most cases. The widest city avenue will be 2 proper lanes, made into 1.5+1.5 crammed lanes.
Fact 2: It is impossible to 'eminent domain' the sides of those roads because of public protest.
Fact 3: The travel density is tremendous.

A metro going over the road is the ONLY viable public transit in these cities. Instead, people tend to use 'formulae' that says of your city population is 1 million, you qualify only for BRTS. What I rubbish is that mentality.

A system of metro trunks, with chain bus (not BRTS on dedicated lanes. Just busses plying on the roads) feeders is the only viable solution for our city.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SwamyG » 21 Dec 2009 09:32

I have not read any views where "experts" are asking no roads to be built. Bridges have to be build where they have to be build. Elevated roads have to be built where they have to be built. Suburban trains going through dense suburbs causes lots of problems. For example in Madras the train tracks cut through side roads causing the "gate" to be down to let the train pass and putting a stop to all the vehicular traffic. In these cases the solution is an underbridge or an overpass. Underbridges are a nightmare during the rains. The overpasses have their own problems too - lack of realestate. The best solution is an elevated train track.

The city planners need to plan well making roads and trains integral to city growth.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Suraj » 21 Dec 2009 12:09

As someone who happens to be from Cochin just like Dileep, I completely agree with his contention. Cochin, or for that matter, pretty much any Indian city of note, lacks decent roads. It is not a matter of poverty, but public works departments whose implementation standards don't come close to receiving a passing score. It is ridiculous that something as simple as a divided or undivided two-lane road cannot be developed to proper and uniform standard around the country. These western eggspurts presume there are already proper roads and that these are too clogged, so they prescribe broad solutions. That is not the case - it is more important to achieve a uniform standard of urban road building capability.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 21 Dec 2009 16:16

Suraj, the fundamental problem with the roads used to be the PWD standards. Looks like those were made by the british for the traffic patterns of those days. The pavement was thin, and there was no mandated requirements for drainage, sewerage, cable ducts etc. And the specs were made suitable for manual paving.

Those things have changed now. The standards have changed, and the surface of the newly paved roads are as good as the ones I saw in USA. I watched the automated paving machines operate, and found it satisfactory too. I drive on the newly paved roads, and they are fine. There is a requirement of 5 years warranty for the paving, and I am sure they will serve that. At least the road I commute on is already 4 years old, and it is in pretty good shape.

That is a tremendous achievement by the PWD.

Let me list the remaining problems:

1. Land Aquisition. This is the killer. Given the fantastic civic sense we have, all it would take is one guy to block the whole project. This too is changing slowly.
2. Project approval and funding: The state govt doesn't like PPP/Tolling, so funding is a big problem. That attitude is changing.
3. Lethargy by Neta/Babu. There is more kickback in maintenance/patchwork than new pavement. Also, it is tough to cheat in the new pavement project, because people are smart. The major reason for the city's roads being bad is this.
4. Chicken and Egg games: Most of the potholed roads happen because of this. The maintenance of a road stops when:
- There is a proposal to re-pave it
- There is a proposal to change ownership
- There is a proposal to dig it up, like piping/cabling.
And the blame game goes on to no end.

Still, we need standardization of drainage, cable duct and sidewalks. Once that happens, most of the problems will go. The good thing is that if PWD standardizes, then it MUST be built that way. If the manual says sidewalk with 15 mm thick RCC slab, or 20 MM thick PCC, covered with cement plaster, that spec must be adhered to. The only room the contractor have is to dilute the cement mix and shave an inch in thickness. But you will get a sidewalk for sure.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Suraj » 22 Dec 2009 00:25

Err, where are these sooper dooper massa quality roads in Cochin ? Driving around Kakkanad, Kadavanthara and Kaloor area less than two months ago didn't indicate any change in the general moonscape. Even the RBDCK-1 IT road in Kakkanad has been enroached upon by roadside mud, unlicensed commercial establishment, Lenin corners and the usual traffic snarl.

The NH-47 bypass road widening project has been going on at a snails pace for years now. I remember first driving on that road in the late 1980s, mere days after it opened. Back then we marveled at how good it was, saving us the massive gridlock past naval base, old airport and Fort Cochin. Two decades later, they still collect the same toll but that road is rubbish.

I'm yet to see a road in Cochin that is well thought out end to end. This includes smooth cambered surface, lane markings, at least some shoulder plus an abutment at the edge to prevent sand/mud from easily leeching onto the road, etc. New Delhi (and to some extent Mumbai) is the only city in India that has really good roads. It is not just that they are wide, but that they are built to good standard. The drivers on the other hand...

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Abhijeet » 22 Dec 2009 02:29

A few points:

1. Dileep is exactly correct about too few roads in India, not too many cars. I think it's easy as an NRI to fall into the trap of thinking that India is just like the US, just a few years behind, and so should try to avoid the problems (car-centricity, suburban and exurban sprawl) that the US is currently facing. The reality is that those problems are not problems that India will face in the next few decades. Our problems are more basic, and don't require particularly innovative solutions. Relentless, straight-line development for the next several decades - as many countries have already experienced in the second half of the 20th century - will take care of most of our issues. New age ideas are not needed.

2. I actually wonder how intracity roads will ever get to decent standards in India. At least new intercity highways will be tolled, and the contractors will keep them at a minimum level of quality. To improve the quality of untolled, internal city roads, our civic administrations have to actually start functioning. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that.

3. An anecdote: in our area, the local civic body seems to have basically given up on building roads at all. It has been given over to the "private sector", in a manner of speaking. The real estate developers of the apartment complexes in our area are building roads themselves, with their own money. It would be funny - if it wasn't so painful - to see all the minor steps in the building of a simple concrete road dragged out over several months: first, pour mud, cover with stones, wait for it to be washed away by the rains, repeat, lay the concrete etc. Is it really that complicated to put down a road?

This kind of on the ground, low-level governance absolutely must start working in the next few years if India wants to keep growing quickly. We're running out of time to laugh away the pathetic infrastructure as some kind of charming Indian quirk. Literally over a hundred countries manage these kind of mundane governance issues better than India - surely it can't be that hard.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Dileep » 22 Dec 2009 14:58

Suraj, the NH-47 bypass is paved in the old system, which is not good. The Seaport/Airport road is well paved. The mud you saw would be debris falling from tipper trucks. The shoulder of that road is pretty decent. The only problem with that road is it is an undivided 2 lane highway. It is quite comparable to the rural undivided highways I saw in massa.

The newly paved sections of Aluva-Munnar road is well done. So is the MC Road between Angamaly and Muvattupuzha done under KSTP. The newly paved secions of NH-47 between Angamaly and Thrissur is also done well.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Yogi_G » 28 Dec 2009 21:17

I finally got fed up with the constant sigh of squatting cows chewing cud giving blanks stares at 80 KMPH buses and cars narrowly missing them after slowing down pretty fast on the OMR "IT Corridor". The only "solution" that I have seen thus far implemented is guys in autos (despatched by the toll gate folks I guess) who shoo the cows away after parking their auto in front of them, this is a disastrous solution. I parked the car and spoke to 2 policemen, one SI and one a head constable and reported the problem to them, the "culprit" cows right in front of them. Their eyes lit up and they said that it is not in their power to do anything :roll: . They said if it were in the city they have all the rights to "apprehend" the culprit cows and book a case on their owner. But since the area in question is out of city limits they can do nothing about it. :evil:

Anyone with any views/solutions to the problem? I am sure many other Chennai BRFits would have noticed this issue.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby SwamyG » 28 Dec 2009 21:39

These western eggspurts presume there are already proper roads and that these are too clogged, so they prescribe broad solutions. That is not the case - it is more important to achieve a uniform standard of urban road building capability.

While I do not disagree that Indian roads lack uniform standards and that a lot needs to be done; I do not dismiss points that urge us to look at broad or holistic solutions. Having the best roads is only part of the solution. Except few cities in the World our cities are hugely populated. Having divided roads and nicely laid out roads will simply not do. The cities need better urban development planning.

In Madras, the vegetable market was smack in one of the busiest areas - Parry's Corner. So long back they decided to "decongest" that area and moved it to outskirts - Kozhambedu. I used to live few KMs from Kozhambedu. No prizes for guesses, because of the time it took for them to construct that market and development in that area; by that time the market opened - the area was jam packed. I used zoom in my bike on the Inner Ring Road that was newly constructed. It was divided, very wide and paved nicely. In a matter of few years, that road is now clogged. Madras having one of the best bus services, there used to be few buses that plied that road connecting distant suburbs. The buses used to connect those distances in less than 50mins.

Fly-overs, over-bridges, under-bridges ithiyadi all have a room to play in a city. It would not be bad assumption that any new 4x4 road that is laid now,in any of the major city, will get clogged in a matter of years. Roads are not a silver bullet. This is where I agree with that guy (I don't care for his political affiliations or where he comes from); there is an element of truth in what he says. We need a holistic approach to city planning. And mass transit for public needs to be a key focus area.

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Re: Indian Roads Thread

Postby Vivek K » 28 Dec 2009 21:58

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.


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