Hyderabad traffic woes- Singapore skywalks & flyovers are no solution ఆదివారం, జన 10 2016 

 

Hyderabad City in Dire Need of China Wall Dividers on Roads

Purnima Sriram, The New Indian Express, 7th January 2016

Increasing density in traffic is  choking roads in the city, a concern shared by every emerging metropolitan in India. A recent survey by cab company Ola states  that that the average car driving speed in Hyderabad is 19 kmph during peak hours. We are only better  than Bengaluru (18) and Kolkata (17) which have been rated as slowest of all metros. But every problem demands a ‘smart’solution and if we can swear by Telangana government’s  word, then Hyderabad has aced the required solutions to meet  the high density traffic demands of city.

The state  government recently announced multi-level flyovers, skywalks and signal-less junctions will  be developed at 54 places in the city. But will these solutions be effective to tackle traffic woes in the city? Answering to this question Laxman  Rao, HOD of JNTU Civil Engg department, which teaches traffic management as a core subject said,  “The state of traffic management plan is absolutely poor. Around 25 lakh vehicles interacting on these  corridors per day and put to a delay of more than 15 minutes of delay on an average. When we calculate value of travel time it records to `4,000  crore per annum is the congestion price which includes vehicle operating cost, value of person to that time , health etc. Local area planning with  demand, supply, and system analysis are to be conducted. Critical locations  are to be treated with technology and personnel traffic management by L& T people. Pedestrians are to be facilitated at most importance on side walk and continuity of side  walk,” he said. He also suggested a few practices that would surely be effective to control the nerve wrecking traffic. (మరింత…)

ప్రకటనలు

Bike taxis for Hyderabad మంగళవారం, డిసెం 15 2015 

Bike Taxi, Anyone?

Purnima Sriram, The New Indian Express, 8 December 2015

Goa-style bike taxies, or bike as a taxi could soon be a reality in Hyderabad. Recently the Haryana government had given a nod to  ‘Baxi’ service as commuter-friendly initiative and the twin cities could expect one soon.

Venkateshwarlu, RTA Joint Commissioner, said there is a scheme in Hyderabad that allows the commuters to rent a bike and drive around. “Jain from Four Wheel Travels has already availed the license to rent bikes varying from a CD Delux to Harley Davidson and many more. This is not exactly termed as ‘Bike Taxi’ but it is rent a bike scheme. There is surely a scheme, where there is a possibility to register the bike as taxi bike. They can take the license to run the bike as taxi.”

Considering it takes a minimum of 45 minutes for a four-wheeler just to cross the arterial roads of Patny to Banjara Hills, Balkampet to Balanagar, Hi-tech city to Kukatpally stretches, many four-wheeler owners envy the motorists who sneak in between the  itsy-bitsy gap between two cars to zig-zag away to their destination. This is a familiar trait in all cities in the country. Will the concept work in our city?

Bharat Bhushan Mamidi of Hyderabad Urban Labs,  an organisation designed to develop smarter responses to the challenges of contemporary urbanization,  said, “Hyderabad with unprecedented growth rates compared to any city in the country, obviously offers enormous scope for different alternative modes of transport. All options not only can be tried but also are feasible with the growing menace of traffic jams in the city. This includes making city roads safe for the people who walk to their work place. They are about 30 per cent of the total commuters. Hyderabad people have been active in choosing different options. Response to the growing number of cabs in the city is one example of it. Cost of travel by some cabs is relatively cheaper than auto rickshaw.” (మరింత…)

Polavaram Dam: Corrupt interests at the expense of noble alternatives గురువారం, అక్టో 25 2012 

Observational Report on the Polavaram Dam Project and Surrounding Areas
– Drew Bahr
, HELP International Intern

During the summer of 2011 I had the opportunity to personally witness the proposed construction site of the Polavaram Dam as well as interview three engineers and environment experts with alternative proposals and view the conditions of the people in the proposed area of displacement that would be created by the Dam. During this three-day journey from Hyderabad to northern Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, I was surprised to find that many things are not as they were officially described by the government.

Our trip began with an effort to document the present existence of canals to provide irrigation for the surrounding countryside from the Godavari River to refute the claim that the Dam is necessary to provide irrigation for rice and other crops. Although government engineers seem to ignore their presence, we visited perfectly working canals and pumping stations from the river alongside new canals which were supposedly built to take water from the Godavari River to the Krishna River Basin. These larger canals, however, seem to have displaced an inordinate amount of farmers and did not provide means for their local use through pumps or other forms of access.
(మరింత…)

Anti dam stir in Northeast – Nitin Sethi మంగళవారం, జూన్ 5 2012 

Small numbers drown northeast anti-dam stirs
Nitin Sethi, TNN June 5, 2012

NEW DELHI: It’s a tough one to sell to the rest of India. A dam in northeast India displaces a much smaller number of people than, say, a Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh that would displace more than a lakh. Or a project on the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh that threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands.

So when the gigantic 1,750-MW Demwe Hydroelectric Project comes up on Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh, just a couple of hundred households of the small Miju Mishmis and Digaru Mishmis tribes are displaced. India hasn’t heard of them.

This number of people could fit into a single block of a Delhi housing colony. Moreover, they are not ‘us’. For the rest of India, Arunachal Pradesh has been India’s border land, not someone’s home.

The government assesses that the dam is needed for ‘strategic’ reasons as much as for the power it would generate. So the impact on the flora, fauna and environment comes second.

The few hundred families in the way can be taken care of with contracts, jobs dole – a minor cost of development. No one questions if the dam would wipe out an entire community’s way of life. Such as in the case of the Tipaimukh hydroelectric dam in Manipur, where the Zeliangrong Nagas stand to lose their sacred spots and half their fertile hills or the sacred mountains of Sikkim’s Lepchas in the case of dams on the Teesta. (మరింత…)

Crisis of drinking water in Hyderabad to continue for three more years శుక్రవారం, ఏప్రి 27 2012 

Water crisis to continue for 3 yrs
April 27, 2012, Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad

Citizens of the peripheral areas in Hyderabad will continue to suffer drinking water shortage for at least two more years due to a delay in the implementation of the Krishna Phase-III, as the state government has sanctioned a meagre Rs 30 crore for execution of the Rs 1,670 crore project.

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has little money to take up works on the Krishna Phase-III, and the Water Board is already mortgaging its properties to raise loans for the execution of the Godavari drinking water project for Hyderabad city. Experts say that the Krishna Phase-III drinking water project can be completed in less than 12 months, and that the city can get an additional 90 MGD water. (మరింత…)

Caste of corruption – Shekhar Gupta ఆదివారం, డిసెం 25 2011 

National Interest: The caste of corruption
Shekhar Gupta
Indian Express, December 24 2011

Is there a caste or communal link to corruption and crime? Or, are your chances of being involved (and getting caught) in corruption cases higher as you go down the caste ladder? Nobody in his right mind would say yes to either of these. But let’s examine some facts.

Why is there a preponderance of this underclass among those charged with corruption, or even targeted in media sting operations? Here is a roll call: A. Raja and Mayawati (Dalit), Madhu Koda and Shibu Soren (tribal), Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav (OBC), are all caught in corruption or disproportionate assets cases. Faggan Singh Kulaste, Ashok Argal and Mahavir Singh Bhagora, caught in the cash-for-votes sting, are all SC/ST; among the BSP MPs in the cash-for-queries sting, Narendra Kushwaha and Raja Ram Pal (who is now in the Congress) are OBC, and Lalchandra Kol a Dalit. Of course, there are also some illustrious upper-caste representatives in the net: Sukh Ram, Jayalalithaa, Suresh Kalmadi. But there are far fewer of them. Could it be that the upper crust tends to be “cleaner” as a rule, or could it be that the system is loaded against those in the lower half of the social pyramid? The Sachar Committee report on the condition of Muslims also tells us that the only place where our Muslims have numbers disproportionately high in comparison to their population is jails. So, face the question once again: do Muslims tend to be more criminal than Hindus, or is the system loaded against them?

For another example, look at the BJP. Two of its senior leaders were caught on camera accepting cash. One, Dilip Singh Judeo, caught taking Rs 9 lakh, was a mere MP, but of a high caste, and was happily rehabilitated in the party, fielded in the election, and is now back in Parliament. The other, Bangaru Laxman, caught taking just Rs 1 lakh, was ranked much higher in the party; he was, in fact, the president, but much lower on the caste pyramid, a Dalit. He has been banished and isolated and is fighting the charges in that Tehelka sting case by himself. I am sorry to use this expression, but the party treated him as an utter outcast even as it continued to defend Judeo. What is the difference between the two except caste? You want to take this argument to the judiciary? It has been loosely insinuated by many prominent people, including by some notable members of Team Anna, that a large number of our former chief justices have been corrupt. But who is the only one targeted by name (however unsubstantiated the charges)? It is Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, currently chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and, more importantly, India’s first Dalit chief justice. (మరింత…)

పోలవరం సంక్షోభం – టీ ఆర్ ఎస్ నీళ్ళు నిజాలు బుధవారం, అక్టో 26 2011 

పోలవరం సంక్షోభం ఎస్ ఈ డబ్ల్యూ కి పరిమతమైతే బానే ఉండేది. ఇది మరో గోదారి స్పెక్ట్రం కుంభకోణం లెక్క అవినీతి, ఆరోపణలు, విచారణలు. వాస్తవాలు తేలినతర్వాత దొరలెవరో దొంగలెవరో నల్గురు వార్తలు చదివి పుర్సత్తుగా మాట్లాడుకొంటరు.

కథ అక్కడ ఆగలేదు. కనుకనే చర్చ. విమర్శ. ఖండనలు. పోలవరం వివాదంలో ఎన్నెన్ని రాజకీయాలో. ప్రస్థుతానికి కొన్నింటిని తప్పనిసరిగా ఆలోచించాలి.

ప్రశ్న ఏంది? జలయగ్నం పేరుతో సాగిన బలియగ్నంలో వాటదారులైన కాంట్రాక్టరు (ఎస్ ఈ డబ్ల్యు) టీ ఆర్ ఎస్ కు బంధువెట్లాయె? నాలుగు పైసలకోసం ఓ క్రిమినల్ ప్రాజెక్టును కట్టి తూర్పు కనుమలను, కోయ జాతిని ఖూని చేసేందుకు ఉవ్వీల్లూరే కాంట్రక్టర్లు పోలవరం మీద యుద్దమే చేసే వాళ్ళకు మిత్రులెట్లాయె. నమస్కారం చేయడానికి ముఖ్యుడెట్లాయే (మరింత…)

To hell with world cup, celebrations, yagams, vacations సోమవారం, ఏప్రి 25 2011 

Opinion/Open Page, The Hindu April 24,2011

Our farmers are dying, to hell with the World Cup
Narendra Shekhawat

Yes, you read it right; to hell with the World Cup; to hell with the celebrations; to hell with all the free land and money being showered by different governments on the players. How can I jump, scream, have gallons of beer and cheer for the nation when a few kilometres away the farmers and feeders of my country are taking their own lives in hordes?

Do you know that, on average, 47 farmers have been committing suicide every single day in the past 16 years in our shining India — the next economic power, progressive with nine per cent growth? (మరింత…)

3rd party EIA for Polavaram Dam or same old joke ఆదివారం, మార్చి 20 2011 

Environment assessment is a joke, says Jairam; wants 3rd party EIA

Business Line, 19 March 2011

“The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) in the current form is a bit of a joke as it is self-assessment by the company. Instead, we will have a third party EIA,” Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment and Forests, said.

Speaking to reporters at the CII-Green Business Centre, Mr Ramesh said, “I have been concerned about this. Supreme Court also expressed its concerns. We want a cumulative EIA.” (మరింత…)

Navigators of Change: NGOs శనివారం, జన 29 2011 

OUTLOOK

POLICYMAKING: NGOS
Navigators Of Change

As government, corporates seek to engage with NGOs, they gain new significance
Lola Nayar

Brave NGO World?

• The Planning Commission is courting NGOs for policy inputs, views on how to make plans work
• NGOs and local activism forced govt to stall Vedanta, Posco plans
• NGO opposition to snacks being served in schools changed plans to scrap hot meals
• NGO have made the government rethink the Polavaram dam project
• Their criticism of the leakage of NREGA funds led to the creation of monitoring mechanisms
• NGOs have worked to enshrine education as a fundamental right
• Matters related to environment clearance—like GM foods, mining —now go through public debate, thanks to NGOs.
• NGOs played a crucial role in strengthening the nuclear liability bill, securing rights for gays

The jholawala is the latest lobbyist in town. He or she has top policymakers on speed-dial, is now feted by the media and sought out by companies eager to promote ‘India Inclusive’. It’s a remarkable, even heady, transformation. For long derided as irrelevant trouble-making activists largely focused on rural India, NGOs (registered arms of what is loosely called civil society) are basking in the warm embrace of recognition and relevance.

As recent events have shown, NGOs have played important roles in the big debates of the day. With a little help from fellow travellers—and occasionally backed by political support—they have been able to swing policy decisions in the citizen’s interest, be it stalling plans for Bt brinjal cultivation, or questioning the Polavaram dam project or bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hills. The outcome has often hit the grand plans of corporate giants like Posco, Vedanta and Tatas. More lasting perhaps will be the civil society’s contribution in ushering in a range of rights regimes—information, education or livelihood, and soon, the right to food.

Given the apparently in-built adversarial relationship between NGOs, governments and companies, it’s a controversial thesis to put out. For every voice that celebrates the new power behind NGOs, an equal number urges caution and stresses that the ground realities haven’t changed. Is it right then to see NGOs as a necessary, important power centre? Are they really becoming indispensable in matters of governance, delivery of services or voicing the needs of the marginalised? Or is it just a politically correct trend that covers a few, high-profile outfits, leaving the vast majority just where it always was?

Experts differ in their assessment of the role and relevance of ngos. “Over the last decade things have changed. We are being sought for policy inputs. The demand is also coming from below—the community, the beneficiaries, the vulnerable sections—who know their needs,” says Farida Lambay of Pratham, an important NGO in the education space. With a growing grip on best practices, Lambay feels civil society is filling the space a pole that can represent the people’s concerns and aspirations. (మరింత…)

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