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TenderSure takes off, finally

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If BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike) is to be believed, then  about 80 roads in the city will be free of digging for various purposes.  As a part of the process the civic agency has marked 18 roads in three packages under Specifications for Urban Road Execution (SURE) with investment of `200 crore.

A sum of `100 crore for the project will be given from the CM's Nagrotana Grant and the Palike will source `100 crore from its account. The contractors can avail the money only after completion of the project.

BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana told City Express that this project, will be the first of its kind in the entire country. "Once the project is complete, the roads will not require any major maintenance for next 20 years as cutting and digging will not be allowed on these roads. The money that would have gone into repairs and maintenance of those roads can be better utilised for improving other major roads," the Commissioner said.

The first package includes seven roads. Commissionerate Road, Cunningham Road, Residency Road, Richmond Road, Museum Road, Vittal Mallya Hospital Road and St Marks Road. "Work on three roads has started. Cunningham Road, St Marks and Vittal Mallya Road will be completed as per the agreement between the contractor with the Palike. Within six months, work on Vittal Mallya Road will be completed as there are less obstacles," he said.

 

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Finally, the long awaited work has commenced. May be Prajagalu may want to keep a track of the progress here.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

murali772's picture

green group's overall support

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Excerpts from report of re-think in Economic Times (full text here), and comments thereof in a tree-lovers' YahooGroup:
 
There will be no rethink on the width of carriageways and footpaths on St Marks's Road, Cunningham Road, Museum road and Vittal Mallya hospital road, the government has said. These roads are currently undergoing a makeover under the Tender SURE (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) project. 
 
- - - - That the government is rethinking the project is "something I am well aware of," V Ravichandar, the foundation's evangeliser who was involved in conceptualising the project, told ET. "The way I see it, there are people trying to protect their turfs. The project challenges existing ways of doing roads and this has threatened the traditional repeated-spending model in awarding road contracts," he said, urging citizens and the state to wait for the results of the project.
 
MV:
a)There is a severe concern of how tender sure roads allow for water percolation,enriching water table .The best proponents of tender sure get defensive or evasive if this is brought up. There are no sink holes , or rather they are inadequate. According to the better engineers in BBMP , the current design will be clogged up within a couple of rains.The are just shallow pipes. Long term implications is that a desert kind of environment around tender sure roads.
 
b)The no further digging by services issue: According to some in BWWSB, the design allows for current building load by way of ducts. As soon as redevelopment of properties happen, and this will happen quite a bit in CBD, digging up will be inevitable.
 
c)Trees: in many places and in general , tender sure roads do not allow for planting of new trees.
 
d)The methodology adopted in "pushing thro" tender sure is suspect: currently it is run by Chief secretary not the council, and CS has in a formal letter banned BBMP engineers  to visits the sites.
 
Caveat: some of the above ( BWSSB issues) are hearsay and need to be corroborated.am quite sure of the water percolation issue , new trees and CS issues.
 
Mixed feeling about this scheme , so only a nuanced approach should be  taken.However there does not seem to be much doubt  that the exercise has been opaque and strong armed thro the mayor (or even by passed  from council, standing committees). Have stayed away from fighting this case since don't  how to take a "nuanced" stand  , which will not also destroy the good aspects of the scheme.
 
AR: I am reading the "no rethinking" as a good news. At some point in time we have to bite the bullet and understand that we cant perpetually expand motorways. Emphasis has to shift to over more optimal means.. 
 
RT: I agree with MV. They could have easily provided for percolation pits. I remember asking Naresh about this. And yes, the Tender Sure roads are sealing off the roads in the CBD to additional greenery. All the footpaths have a narrow gap in edge for hedges. On the Mallya Hospital Road, the BBMP had planted some Mahogany trees which had grown quite a bit. All of them are gone. Two African Tulip trees were damaged, one in the rains and one during the laying of pipes on Commissariat road. Both the spaces were the trees once stood have been paved.   
 
In New York they are reintroducing curb side gardens at a great cost since they help in recharging groundwater and reduce runoff (check here).
 
CR: I agree with you. When, after a hundred years of increasing violence on the environment, space, people, animals, vegetation and the physical relief of the land, someone is getting the priorities in right order, even if in a teeny weeny way, we have to cheer it on. It could be the beginning of a change. 
 
MHR: One good thing is that there is Space for Cyclists ! I request each one of you to revisit the BBMP office and look into the design and engineering pages of Tender sure - u will appreciate the diligent work done to create space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Secondly, the road making in india is a hard  job for any one - it is more of social engineering and less of civil engineering. I request people who are posting suggestions here - to write a letter with inputs to the commissioner.
 
Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

welcome change

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The TenderSURE project aims at transforming the urban street by streamlining utilities under it and providing wider pedestrian walkways, cycle tracks and travel lanes. It is the brainchild of Swati Ramanathan, co-founder of Jana group and chairperson of Jana Urban Space Foundation. In an interview with TOI, she says she expects the current inconvenience to be forgotten once the project is complete and the transformational project to be emulated across India.
 
For the full text, click here.
 
From a reading of it, one gets the impression that most aspects have been covered. But, on the Vittal Mallya road, which was supposedly done up a couple of years back on the same basis, there's a serious flooding problem when it rains heavily. I wonder if the required corrections have been effected when doing up the present set of roads. Also, it's not clear if the rain-water is being channelised to flow into the storm-water drains, or if it is being used to re-charge the ground water table at the local level.
 
Whatever, it's a welcome change from the unsatisfactory practices of the past, and can perhaps be improved upon based on future learnings. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

well said..

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In yesterdays ToI article it is said:

"We must recognize that any road stretch is only as good as its narrowest width. If we let lose a hundred cars in a wide part of the road, we will have a bottleneck and congestion where the road narrows to allow only 25 cars to go through, with no net gain in speed."

This is what the BBMP engineers should realize asap!

murali772's picture

Two-part TV-9 debate

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Ravichandar expounding on the benefits of TenderSure, Pedestrianisation, and me supporting him overall, and adding my bit on Intelligent bus transport services (needless to add, by Private operators, and even by BMTC, if they can match up to them). 
 
 
Happy viewing.
Muralidhar Rao
Vasanth's picture

Thanks for Sharing Murali Sir..

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Thanks for sharing Murali Sir... Great going on tender sure..

One more important thing for which I am sure you are going to debate... The world has taken away from Bogota is BRTS!!!! This should also be taken as part of Bogota Plan!!! I am not sure why you are not with it !!!. Probably you need a debate with Mr. Penalosa??

 

murali772's picture

Penalosa OK; BRT yaake?

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@ Vasanth - You'll notice that while Ravichandar has extensively cited Penalosa, he too has stated that BRT is not suited to Bengaluru. My stance of course is that it is not suited to any city, Metro being a far better option if you have to go for that level of mass transport. Reasons have been elaborated here - I'll not say more.
 
Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

BRT? no roads!

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I would think that bangalore does not have enough roads for a dedicated BRT..hence BPS or the Bus Priority System which has been proposed here on Praja would be the best thing for the city..ofcouse there are stretches like the ORR which still are a good candidates for BRT!

vmenon's picture

r u sure abt tendersure.

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Ah!tendersure! Under the guise of modern, effective design and hiding behind "the great pedestrian debate",quite a few other things are going on also.on 2 fronts.process and design. 1.process :all we have is one opaque govt machinery being replaced by another,this time by so called concerned members of civil society.no consultations,no accountability to citizens or elected reps,no reason assigned why these specific roads etc etc.but more of that later. 2.design. Sure,the design looks good.In a very plastic kind of way.anybody seen vittal malleab road on a heavy rain day ---Tendersure designs don't allow any new trees to be planted.according to them, this will be done by owners in properties abutting the roads. ---There is very little or very bad rain water harvesting systems employed.no sink holes.it just tries to take the water away from the so called high profile roads elsewhere, most probably to encounter a bad kalve,storm water drain causing problems there.and the roads themselves threaten to be desert areas not so far in the distant future. And don't take my word for it. Just quiz and grill a tendersure protagonist, and watch him or her squirm.I have seen it at close quarters. Cheers, Vmenon
Sanjeev's picture

More questions raised on Tender Sure then its vaibaility

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Some what Bangalore  urban projects are getting into too much conterversy and these conterversy have help Bangalore suffer in Urban Infrastructure .  1.  BIAL Airport    2.  NICE Road   3. BMRC Bangalore METRO   4. ELevated Road to Airport Toll     5.  Magic Boxes   6. BRTS   7. TTMCs    8.Signal Free and Elevated Roads al accross Bangalore.  9. SKywalks / Foot Over Bridges  10.  Non starter of Suburban Rail / Commuter Rail

idontspam's picture

Every project gets in trouble

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Every project gets in trouble because they dont believe in true public consultation, if one was confident everyhting was addressed why would you bypass showing your plans to people and telling them what benefits accrue to them? DOnt you do a presentation in any corporate job telling people what you are doing & why? Until we start showing & telling people will question what you are doing. Esecially things that involve public commons, expect outcry. 

Yes we got wide footpath, they went and put a 1.5m cycle lane on the footpath. Have they even used a cycle? I travel at 40kmph & can cause injury to pedestrians if I ride on a footpath. what harm would have come if they had asked cyclists becore they did this? Yes they got cylindrical drain pipes, but they didnt think of soak pits & putting new trees. In summer which pedestrian is going to be standing on that sidewalk?

In fact When design was being made, srinidhi pointed out the need for trees and even suggested Honge with pictures of grates etc & I pointed out the need for 3 meter contraflow cycle lane seperate from pedestrain & traffic flow. Where are those two on st marks road? If I ask I am told you atleast got this. Is that good enough for the big money being pumped in? BTW asking 2 people not a public consultation make.

murali772's picture

A right thing, gone about the wrong way

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@ ids - Very true, what you have stated! 
 
Besides, as I had brought out, during my interventions in the TV-9 debate, a good section of the city's population is by now fairly well exposed to the changed thinking across the world in favour of pedestrianisation, and usage of public transport. As such, if the overall vision was stated clearly, and the plans made out accordingly after proper interaction with the citizens, there would have been a much greater buy-in from the citizens, which in turn would have helped overcome the 'resistance to change' from the status-quoists too. The mistakes of not taking inputs from regular cyclists while planning for cycle lanes, and on rain-water harvesting and tree planting from green activists, could have been avoided too, helping further the cause greatly. 
 
For not having gone about in that fashion, TenderSure, which otherwise has given a major leg-up for the 'pedestrian cause', which undoubtedly is a big thing, has most unfortunately landed up with a negative taint. It is such "stealthy" approaches that cause to negate reform processes overall, as much as the machinations of the vested interests.
 
All in all, today, if you are prepared to say upfront what your plans are, and engage with the public over the issues involved in a transparent manner, there is no issue that a solution can't be found for. The question is will we ever learn the lessons. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
vmenon's picture

The problem is that we have

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The problem is that we have  too many self styled urban experts( including myself!!).It is  an expertise easily appropriated and no body seems to really question the real credentails of these "experts" .Unfortunetely also and many of them have a "i know better" atttitude.

That's what's happend with tender sure.

Tendersure should not have been about roads or pavements , it should have been about how people live /interact .The streets are not just carriers of traffic , whichever type.

 

enuf said.

vmenon 

murali772's picture

can't say it hasn't made a difference

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To the extent that TenderSure has taken pedestrian facilitation to say 50% of the 'ultimate' (that you come across in London, for instance), from the earlier say 20%, it is certainly an improvement. The lament is that we could not achieve the 75%, or even higher, that was easily possible, had there been a more transparent consultation process in place.  
 
Muralidhar Rao
vmenon's picture

no there are many isues with

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no there are many isues with tendersure, not just that pedestrain pavement width was arbitarily arrived at.and teher is no london example  here, that is just hype.

And lack of consultation is just one part.

self styled planners have come up with a faulty design in many aspects.

-no -rain water harvesting

--no new Trees

--no street vendors

-faulty width of carriage ways

--unusable cycle tracks

--no look at future of bus transport requirements( 2 way bus movement)

-no look at future requrment for services(BWSSB)..when FAR increases in CBD

 

need i go on.

There is an umbrage being taken that pedestrian has been looked into...road design is a little bit more than that,

 

vmenon

 

idontspam's picture

How much better?

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Yes we got wider footpaths but foot fall count would have actually shown wider footpath on the india garage side because of the school and shops there and narrower on the club side. The cycle track on the foot path also is filled with paver blocks, one loose paver block and its actually dangerous to cycle. The only segregation between pedestrian and cycle is the color of the paver block. I am yet to see how the junction will be handled thats where the "I-dont-know-sort-it-out-yourself-problem" comes up. Could have designed the entire CBD with bus routes also and provided bus lanes too. 

Why is all this happening? Wasnt it supposed to be better than BBMP designed ones if BBMP wasnt involved? Also why arent these roads continous? Why cunningham rd after st marks road? Why not richmond & residency road? Why Jayangar now? Why not Sanjaynagar main road? What is the method to the madness? 

Sanjeev's picture

Lack of Clarity and some vested interest of Tender Sure

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Look at which roads Tender Sure has been selected itself shows its for some vested interest : Infront of Bowring Club, I am not sure presently how many foot falls of the pedestrain,  Hardly I have seen  pedestrains as every one comfortable  thru Cars and  what we can expect infront of High end club ???     Without acquiring property of Bowring Club, how can they implement  all the facilities ???  This is only road which connects Hosur road to North Bangalore directly,  its madness in reducing road width and increasing foot path,  first they should have acquired land from Club and build good wider Foot Path without reducing road width.  I am afraid  the way  roads are selected for Tender sure,  it wil turn out to be Kaveri Junction magic box logic.  To help Sadhashivanagar so called residents ( MLAs, MPs,  high end business people )  magic box built at Kaveri Junction and given explanation of signal free corrdior.   Same thing happening right now,  why Tender sure was not applied  close to METRO stations first ???  Why its not applied  arround Indian Express Building - Vidhana Soudha  - High Court  - KR Circle - Hudson Circle - Minerava Circle  or even at MG road  upto Trinity Circle ???

amithpallavoor's picture

Tender Sure would work well

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Tender Sure would work well near Metro stations or even TTMCs. 

No point in doing it on Arterial Roads. 

 

kbsyed61's picture

It more resembles the movie - Well Done Abba

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The news article on Tendure Sure resembles more like the Boman Irani's movie - "Well Done Abba", in which the loan gets distributed among the officers but without the isgn of a Well for which the loan was granted.

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/civic/Phase-I-not-done-Phase-II-work-begins/articleshow/46101498.cms?

 

murali772's picture

pedestrians' needs to the fore

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We must defend, and even promote footpath-widening. The road is not just for cars and bikes, it is for every one. And that includes pedestrians, who are a very large chunk of road users, but always come dead last in public policy. - - -  In most global cities, there is a Street Design Manual that specifies standards for all infrastructure on the streets, and applied to every road project. Could Bengaluru develop one? As a pilot, Vittal Mallya Road was built, with funds from local business interests. It's not perfect but it's clearly well above the standard seen otherwise in the city. Encouraged, the Technical Advisory Committee of BBMP examined proposals for road standards, and made its recommendations for a uniform set of guidelines for all projects. Every road contract tendered by the city would henceforth meet high specifications for quality of infrastructure -hence the name TenderSURE (the name comes from a set of standards proposed by one group, but the actual standards include design inputs from many others). - - - Two objections are typically raised to this. One, there is “nothing wrong with giving more space to pedestrians, but not on these roads that are too important for vehicle movement“. Second, the construction is too slow. But that can be addressed through changes in governance, contracting, mechanization of work and better work-site management. - - - The city is for `all of us'. The most impressive quality we can bring to our ideas for the city is empathy for the way a majority of Bengalureans lives and works. Walking, cycling and riding the bus (and Metro) are vital to them. And in the end, we discover, that a commitment to support everyone is in fact a commitment to ourselves too.
 
For the full text of the column by Dr Ashwin Mahesh, in the ToI, click here
 
Yes, quite as admitted, there are some design deficiencies, as also procedural lapses in the execution, related to the TenderSure jobs. But, condemning them totally, as even some of the green activists are upto, is playing right into the hands of the Corporator-contractor mafia, who have been ruling the roost all this while. TenderSure has brought the pedestrian's needs to the cetre-stage. Let's now build on it by correcting the few wrongs. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
MaheshK's picture

what is the controversy?

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Saw the discussion on News 9 regarding TenderSURE. What is the issue on St. Marks road? As I understood, it is increasing the footpath width and reducing the road size. The result would be more congestion on a very busy road. Has anyone done the pedestrian volume study that is required? If so, where is the report and who has done it? TenderSURE may end up as CongetionSURE. Let experts with background in Transportation issues handle the situation. 

Abraham Kuruvilla's picture

Tender Sure

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Tender Sure is a great idea that would not be addressing a need. Footpaths are not being broadened or contructed where they are really required and hence the work presently being done, as proof of tecgnical competence (or is it showanship), on 7 roads in the CBD of Bangalore will end up as a white elephant and as a monument a wrong approach to image building under the guise of serving the public interest

idontspam's picture

The showmanship has not been

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The showmanship has not been done by BBMP for ages even in non-required areas, now there is nothing preventing us from demanding this showman ship in the required areas. But we will prefer it being thrown out and revert to no showmanship in both required and non required areas.

murali772's picture

Ella OK; BMTC monopoly yaakae?

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Yes, they could be executed faster and better. There are challenges in building them—there are no maps on current underground utilities; entry / exit to premises have to be provided through the construction, existing utilities have to work while the new roads are being built; it’s a first of its kind project leading to new challenges being encountered and the incessant rains last year have not been helpful. Yes, there is scope for further technical improvements, better implementation and can happen in case the powers that be decide to extend the Tender SURE project with its core principles elsewhere in the city.

For the full text of the responses to a set FAQ's (the one most heard currently being on the slowness of the work) on TenderSure by V Ravichandar, in Citizen Matters, click here.

Undoubtedly the way to go. The hitch however is that our public transport system, centred largely around the government monopoly, BMTC, is not, and cannot ever be expected to cope up adequately with the demand. The answer lies in opening out the services to reputed private players, or at least the BMRCL (for feeder services) to begin with. For more on that, check here.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

evolving outlook, may be

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Making an about-turn on his stand against the width of pavements under TenderSURE, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said that his government will develop at least 50 more roads under the same system. He had earlier said that pavements under TenderSURE projects are too wide and eat into the carriageway, affecting traffic.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Perhaps the coming of age as the defacto CEO of Bengaluru (given the largely toothless status of BBMP) from being just an MLA from the rural Varuna constituency.

One however hopes that the few short-comings in the design and execution, will be addressed in the future jobs

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

50 more roads..

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50 more roads statement seems to be more as a statement for the upcoming elections than anything else..

and your statement about short-comings is very pertinent and they need to be listed first. These then need to be taken up with JUSP/BBMP(Kabade) ppl.

For example, the cycle tracks are unusable as the way it exists on Mallya road..

murali772's picture

hopefully, Bengaluru is past such mishaps

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The Ghaziabad mayor has ordered the filing of an FIR against five contractors, after about a dozen roads were partially or totally washed away following three days of rain.

- - - "The works undertaken were so substandard that they got washed away in three days of rains. Some of these roads had been laid only a fortnight ago. I have asked the municipal commissioner to conduct an inquiry and determine the contractors who are responsible for the substandard nature of works. I have recommended lodging of FIRs against the contractors who are found guilty following the inquiry," the mayor Teluram Kamboj said.


For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Hopefully, we, in Bengaluru, are going to be overcoming such problems in future through TenderSure roads all through the city.

Apparently, many other cities have expressed interest in the process too. Perhaps, Ghaziabad needs to follow suit too.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

the politically incorrect question

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The solution lies in diverting traffic through alternate options including development of circular roads around CBD, strengthening public transportation and even imposing congestion tax for private vehicles.

- - - Will TenderSURE achieve its objectives? This depends on planners, citizens and police!


For the full text of the "Opinion" by ADGP Praveen Sood, in the ToI, click here.

It's good to hear senior officials extend open support to TenderSure. And, quite as Mr Praveen Sood has stated, TenderSure can succeed and achieve its objectives by strengthening public transportation and even imposing congestion tax for private vehicles. But, here lies the catch - how can public transportation improve as long as bus services - the essential ingredient of public transport - remains a BMTC monopoly? - check here.

Nobody seems to want to address that, well, "politically incorrect" question. Ok - if opening out to private sector is still taboo for some (check here as to why it should be, though), what about allowing BMRCL to operate shuttle services connecting their Metro stations to respective hinterlands, as they have been asking from long.

BMTC monopoly will not only not allow TenderSure to succeed, but it could even kill it. And, not just TenderSure, the whole of the city itself.

Muralidhar Rao

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