Friday, April 06, 2007

Ambitions are alright but...

Here is a post to delhimetrogroup on the plight of suburban commuters of Delhi/NCR.

Rajeev, Keep posting. Such observations must be brought forward. May be it makes the planners prevent repeating the oversights. Sanjay, The Anand Vihar Vaishali route of 2.05km will have two stations one at the end near Bhushan Steels and the other midway. Going by the look of things, it may be only a matter of days before a politician does the stone laying since, 1) assly Elections in UP are nearing and 2) the stretch has to be completed by 2009.The route will not be along the NH-24by pass rather along the Deen Dayal Upadyaya Marg (Anand Vihar to Bhushan Steel).

I feel the authorities find it more lucrative and simpler to start a new project than mend the existing infrastrastructure. Take the example of Delhi road public transport. Their is no effort to reign in the blue line operators. Probably the operators are too tough for the authorities to crack their whip on. On the contrary it is the former who are cracking their whip ( and sometimes sticks too) on the poor DTC drivers who comply by driving their empty buses in the form of a Caravan.

Talk of other public transport means. God help you if you want to do inter-state travel from/to Delhi to/from adjoining towns by means of auto / taxi. They will ask for exorbitant sums of money justifying it by saying that they have to pay sundry charges for crossing the borders. Why can't the authorities of the states act in unison? Only god knows.

Even in the same state, their are issues in seamless public transport between two districts!Unfortunately, what is logical even to a layman, the so called experts, planners and executors fail to comprehend and connect to its simple logic. And there are innumerable examples of such instances around. Probably it is the fact that a certain percentage of all decisions are logical and productive too which prevail over the effect of otherwise outnumbering illogical ones, that keeps the world going.

Adding one more post:
Profitable or not, Urban Trains/alternates in isolation are no Panacea for the transport problems of Indian cities. There is need for sincere, concerted effort to improve the transport situation. Everyones seems to think that The magic wand in the form of new project will alleviate all kind of suffering of all commuters. ]

An examplary simple step would be to strictly enforce driving and stopping of buses only in the bus lane and designated points. It IS possible in India also as I witnessed in Chennai. But who will bell the Cat? So, if government is so concerned about the situation of public transport that it does not bat an eyelid before clearing Mega projects, it can very well deploy sufficient workforce to enforce careful and legal driving. Or why, can it not give a little thought towards better engineered location of Bus stops in designing of mega Flyovers? Coherence, coordination and balance in the measures are the need of the day.

We, unlike more developed places, still have enough scope left to enhance and consolidate the infrastructure of the existing means. We are far from saturation on this front. We can also plan for newer means, but with the future in mind. Not like "Provide counter-incentives to users of conventional system by not upgrading it so that they become bound to hop on to the new one, which might costlier to society as a whole".

May be a Cross Functional team like DMRC implementation team should be commissioned to study the situation and devise and execute the solutions. As long as there is no single agency to take care of all the modes of public transport and related infrastructure in urban centres (NCR, MM), the multitudes of DTC, STA, RTO, DMRC, Delhi Traffic Police, UPSRTC, PWD, DTTDC, DDA, MCD, CPWD and off course private TSTQs will keep acting on cross purposes. Everyone will have enough options to pass the buck to the next agency. Sincerity on this front is still to be displayed by the powers that be. And yes, PPP is a valid parameter.

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