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May 2010

Minutes of the meeting with Arghyam


Some notes from our freewheeling discussion with folks at Arghyam

Participants: Vijay, Deepak and Mrinalini from Arghyam. Manjari, Deepak and Neha

On Water Index

  •  The feedback was that we should focus on a narrower scope (say, just collecting data on rainwater harvesting)
  • If we are not able to get data from BWSSB directly are we going to take the RTI route? And if we do get data from BWSSB, will we be able to cross-verify it some way?
  • Apart from collecting all the data, having an interface for smart queries might be a useful feature to build on Praja.

On Crowdsourcing

Say no to Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act Amendment - Petitions


Unless tree felling is restricted, our green cover may disappear through greed and ignorance. The GoK enacted the KPTA, 1976, which made permission from the Forest Dept mandatory for felling trees.

According to the Trees Act, trees may only be felled with prior permission of the Forest Dept which has the duty and liability to preserve and protect trees. Anyone (including officials of govt/civic bodies) is subject to criminal prosecution for felling a tree without the required permission.

This requirement of official permission has prevented large scale felling of trees, and has also restrained people and officials from unnecessarily felling trees owing to fear of criminal prosecution. Thus the KPTA thus put a brake on tree felling and helped protect our green cover.

Almost all the 30 species (many major fruit trees) now included for exemption in addition to the earlier 11 constitute the major tree wealth of both rural and urban Karnataka. It'll/It'd devastate bird life and spread pests.

Using GPS to catch tampered rickshaw meters (Updated)

Private transport

I always carry my trusty GPS whenever I head to places I haven't been to. It helps me to quickly locate a place and I don't have to ask for directions. I dont have a vehicle and so I invariably take rickshaws for trips within the city. The infuriating thing about rickshaws is that their meters are frequently tampered with. Yes, even the digital ones.

Yesterday I was heading out to Vasant Nagar in an autorickshaw and carried my GPS with me. The GPS has an odometer which measures distance covered to a very high accuracy. The rickshaw had a "PERFECT" digital meter (model A-786). I quickly realized that it had been tampered since it indicated 2 kms when the actual distance covered was only 1.5 km. I watched as the gap between the GPS reading and the rickshaw meter reading gradually widened. Towards the end of the trip, the rickshaw meter was off by more than 2 kms and still growing.  

Delhi/Mumbai get wider spans...not Blr why?

Metro RailPublic Transport

 To expedite the process and make it more cost effective, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is making use of gigantic 25 metre-long girders to join spans on elevated stretch of the section.

‘‘The cost of construction with the existing 3-meter spans works out to Rs 24 crore per km, while the 25-meter ones cost Rs 19 crore per km. So using the bigger spans will result in a saving of nearly Rs 5 crore per km,’’ said a DMRC official.

It  looks like this..

The bigger spans work out to be more economical and also speed up pace of the construction. Officials said it takes about a week to join the space between two pillars using segmental construction while the bigger spans can be put in place in just one day.

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