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Traffic Congestion – Possible case for a PIL

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Traffic

As outlined below, the formation of the prescribed bodies to tackle traffic congestion & to improve living conditions in the city was completed some time ago as recommended. Despite this, no concrete steps seem to be planned to stem the rot. The same old solutions continue to be doled out – the usual widening of roads after felling more trees & introducing more bus routes. These temporary solutions have been making things worse as widening roads invites more vehicles & the losers continue to be pedestrians & public transport users.
 

As I had mentioned in an earlier blog, the quality of street–based public transport can only be as good as traffic conditions will allow it to be. With average traffic speeds around 13.2 km/hr during peak hours in the city, fast, dependable quality bus services will never be possible unless buses are offered priority measures & are not subject to traffic delays. Unless measures to ensure this are taken, the larger business groups will shy away from city bus services if & when they are privatized.

At this stage, the other relevant bodies, such as BBMP & BMTC should be planning a complete shift out from the present stalemate, with the confidence of the public, but they seem to have pinned their hopes altogether solely on a Metro system that by itself, will never be able to solve the myriad transport problems.

The above seems adequate for filing a PIL against the State Government, questioning them as to why urgent steps are not being taken to address traffic & congestion problems in the city & to accord BMLTA with necessary powers to do the same expeditiously & on top priority.

KUIDFC (Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development & Finance Corporation) had initiated a Comprehensive Traffic & transportation Plan (CTTP), which was carried out by Rail India Technical & Economic Services (RITES) & made public in October, 2007. (Please refer to relevant findings from the CTTP report reproduced below & discussions posted previously on Praja).

The CTTP report had reported the following relevant facts, which are undisputed :
 

1) Sec.3.9.5 – The average peak hour driving speed in the city was found to be 13.2 Kmph.

2) Sec.3.10.3 – Opinion Survey : Over 70 % of commuters feel that :

  1. buses are delayed, resulting in long waiting times
  2. the frequency is not adequate
  3. distance to bus stops should be less
    69 % feel the numbers of routes are not adequate.
    98 % of respondents are in favour of MRTS in city
    81 % would like feeder bus service to MRTS stations
    89 % would like to have parking facilities at MRTS stations
    90 % prefer single ticketing system between bus and MRTS
     

3) Table 3.18 – Modal Share of Public Transport has dropped from 55% in 1982 to 45.7% in 2006.  Sec.3.13.1.8 – This is further expected to fall unless adequate and quality public transport system is provided to the people of Bangalore. Share of two wheelers and cars in travel demand is disturbingly high. This trend needs to be arrested.

4) Sec.3.11.2 – Traffic Police have resorted to manage excessive traffic by introducing one way systems in central areas. 87 kms of roads converted to one–ways in the last two years alone.

5) Sec.3.13.1.3 – Traffic composition on roads indicates very high share of two wheelers. The share of cars is also growing. This indicates inadequate public transport system.

6) Sec.3.13.1.4 – Vehicle to Capacity ratios on most of the roads are more than 1.

7) Sec.3.13.1.4 .6 – Household surveys indicate high household incomes. So the vehicle ownership levels are increasing. In the absence of adequate and comfortable public transport system, people are using their personal modes creating not only congestion problems but also environmental pollution.

8) Sec.3.13.1.4 .7  – The household surveys indicate high share of work trips. This segment of travel demand needs to be mostly satisfied by public transport system. Considering the large employment centres being planned in the BMA, the public/mass transport system needs to be upgraded substantially.

9) Sec.3.13.1.9 – There is high pedestrian traffic in core area and some other areas in Bangalore. Footpath facilities are generally not adequate and their condition is deteriorating. Therefore up gradation of their facilities is very important.

10) Sec.3.13.1.10 – Parking is assuming critical dimensions in Bangalore. Parking facilities need to be augmented substantially. In the long run, city-wide public transport system needs to provide not only to reduce congestion on roads but also to reduce parking demand.

11) Sec.3.13.1.11 – Share of cycle traffic has declined over the years. This mode of transport needs to be promoted by providing cycle tracks along the roads.

12) Sec.3.13.1.13 – Large areas are being planned by BMRDA in the BMR. This is likely to increase interaction between Bangalore and suburban towns. There will be need to provide commuter rail services to these towns from Bangalore.

The Government of Karnataka, in its Order No. UDD 134 BMR 2006 (I), dated 8.3.2007, had created the State Directorate of Urban Land Transport [DULT] under the Urban Development Department.

BMLTA was created vide Government Order No. UDD 134 BMR 2006 (2), dated 9.3.2007 with the following functions :
 

  • To co-ordinate all land transport matters in the BMR.
  • To prepare detailed Master Plan for Transport Infrastructure based on the comprehensive Traffic and Transport Study for Bangalore.
  • To oversee implementation of all transportation projects.
  • To appraise and recommend transportation and infrastructure projects for bilateral / bilateral Central assistance.
  • To function as empowered Committee for all Urban Transportation Projects.
  • To initiate action for a regulatory framework for all land transport systems in BMR.
  • To initiates steps, where feasible for common ticketing system.
  • Take any other decision for the integrated urban transport and land use planning and Implementation of the projects.


The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP–2006) had recommended setting up of Unified Urban Transport Authorities in cities with populations exceeding one million. The NUTP recommendations were to facilitate better coordination between planning & implementing agencies of urban transport programmes & projects, & integrating management of urban transport systems. See below for relevant extracts from NUTP–2006. Extracts from National Urban Transport Policy :
 

  • A. Incorporating urban transportation as an important parameter at the urban planning stage rather than being a consequential requirement.
  • B. Bringing about a more equitable allocation of road space with people, rather than vehicles, as its main focus.
  • C. Encourage greater use of public transport and non- motorized modes by offering Central financial assistance for this purpose.
  • D. Enabling the establishment of quality focused multi-modal public transport systems that are well integrated, providing seamless travel across modes.
  • E. Establishing effective regulatory and enforcement mechanisms that allow a level playing field for all operators of transport services and enhanced safety for the transport system users.
  • F. Establishing institutional mechanisms for enhanced coordination in the planning and management of transport systems.
  • G. Introducing Intelligent Transport Systems for traffic management.

 [PS: Removed formatting due to HTML problems - blr_editor]

Comments

silkboard's picture

I am game. We would need more stats and research

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Was thinking of some stats and research we would need to prepare the case for this PIL

  • Average speed of traffic in Bangalore when compared to cities of similar size and density
  • Comparison of BMLTA with Singapore's LTA
  • London Bus (good example), and Delhi Transport corporation - load factors on buses compared to BMTC
  • Amount of time it has taken for BBMP to execute works (bus bays) for BMTC
  • Number of times BBMP, BMTC, Traffic Police meet, and average number of decisions taken in these meetings.
  • Estimate on how much would public transport usage go up by if we had a responsible and powerful regulatory authority

Some key stats IMHO

  • Estimated loss of revenue to state because BMTC or public transport carries only 34-37% of commuters and not 60-56% of them.
  • Estimated usage of public transport when Metro arrives. How much would it go up by?
  • Estimated losses due to low average speeds of commute - basically put a cost to our 2 hours spent each day on the roads

If 3-4 of us can join hands to do some research, I am game for sponsoring and working on this PIL.

silkboard's picture

More research points

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Some more points to read and research

  • Is the city following a developed plan (which would be CTTP) in the first place. For example, is ORR upgrade part of the CTTP?
  • What is the process being followed for deviations from CTTP?
  • What is the process state/city government is following for prioratizing all work laid out in CTTP? CTTP only talks of doing things in phases, there are no clear priorities for recomendations within a phase
  • Feedback based on Impact measurement: Thikn of this - how has a project like Outer Ring Road, or Intermediate Ring Road impacted transportation landscape in south/east bangalore. Does the city collect any statistic that would form the feedback for going back and adjusting things in CTTP?

It looks it should be possible to prove that city is not taking transportation planning seriously, but it will require good reading, research and meetings with some people.

The other angle for the PIL could be our time. How much value do we put on our commute time? Is saving on this time something in public interest? Is it in public interest to expect better than 13.2 kmph which is the avg commute speed today? Measures taken in past 5-6 years how have those impacted the average commute time? gone down, right? Did it go down simply because the city got more people than it planned for? If yes, then how many people is the city planning for every year (to prove that it got more migrants than what it expected)?

Naveen's picture

Research for PIL

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SB – Noted. I guess the average speeds in most Indian cities would be poor - & in some cities, it might even be worse than Bangalore ! We need to concentrate on East Asian /Chinese cities, with large populations where public transport systems have recently been put in place (within the last 10-15 years), & take stats from there for comparison. Bangkok /Taipei /Seoul /Shanghai /Beijing /Guangzhou would all be good examples as all have Metro & Rapid Bus systems working efficiently in combination & making life easier for it’s citizens. A signal–free ORR has not been mentioned in the CTTP. The proposals consist of realigning the ORR at a couple of points and providing 2 fly-overs where the ORR has some common portions with Sarjapur Road and Bannerghatta Road (Table 7.8) : 1) Elevated road along Bangalore University Road (2.5km) 2) Realigning ORR between Magadi Road and Pipe Line Road (1.9km) 3) Realigning ORR at Tumkur Road through CMTI (1.2km) 4) Realigning ORR from Kasturi Nagar to Mahadevapura along Selam railway line (5.0km) 5) Elevating ORR along common portion with Sarjapur Road (2.0km) 6) Elevating ORR along common portion with Bannerghatta Road (1.0km) 7) PESIT to Janabharti Enterance Banglore University (3.0km) ( Total – 16.6km ) The comment about feedback /Impact assessment for project/s such as ORR /IRR is very relevant. We should include it as part of the PIL – something like “develop mechanisms to study impacts of widening a road on other road/s & check if such widening will actually benefit or worsen traffic conditions on all roads in the locality & surroundings after the addition of vehicles in future years”. Another significant point : Even if by 2025, all CTTP recommendations have been completed, the no. of daily trips by cars & 2-wheelers will still increase (CTTP Table 6.3). This would call for very tight traffic restraining measures to reduce the no. of vehicles on the roads – so far, there really are no restraints /restrictions save for restricting movement of goods vehicles to certain hours on some roads, & parking along sides of roads is being allowed on most roads without a fee.
idontspam's picture

Trams anybody?

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A viable alternate solution is to run low floow trams on the streets. Bombardier and Siemens make these low floor rolling stocks. These low floor trams can use existing busstops and pavements. Zero pollution, save on fuel bill. It is the width of a Volvo bus ie fits one lane. Longer than an articulated bus and can be as long as metro trains. You can attach how many you want based on demand. No putting up pillars, digging, displacement, multicrore norman foster stations etc. All they will need is embedded tracks close to the pavement. Vehicles/Buses can use the tram lane when the tram is not using it so no worries of blocking the lane for tram. All you need is draw a overhead line for electricity using the existing light poles on the pavement. Advantage is orderly movement of lots of people and very little expense compared to metro trains. All corridors with more than 1 lane can be a perfect candidate. This probably fits 90% of Bangalores major throughfares. Mini bus connectivity into residential areas can be BMTC revenue.   

 

Lowfloor trams

Naveen's picture

Trams - Expense is the Problem

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All rail-based options for Mass transit cost phenomenally more than BRT. This apart, rolling stock is much more expensive to maintain than buses.

As per my understanding, the cost/s per km are appx'ly as follows :

Metrorail (Underground) - 350 crs+

Metrorail (Elevated) - 180 crs

Monorail (Elevated) - 135 crs

High-speed Trams /Light Rail (Surface) - 65 crs+

Prioritized BRT (On surface /existing roads) - <15 crs

There are also other disadvantage/s - Trams /Light-rail is designed to run on embedded tracks on roads, sharing road space with all other road vehicles. Due to this, a great deal of enforcement would be required if they must be made dependable & on time. Designing priority & exclusivity for them can possibly be done at extra cost, but it would be much more challenging than for BRT, particularly at intersections, as longer ramp lengths & larger curvature radii would be necessary.

Light rail will most likely fail in Indian cities as they will get caught up in traffic like the trams in Kolkata, & offer nothing more than what ordinary buses are already providing, other than probably better comfort.

 

idontspam's picture

Chance to improve enforcement

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Trams offer us a chance to build world class enforcement systems, signalling technology, right of way rules and improve driver compliance. If there is really a lot of worry we can block the lane off like BRT and allow for only crossing near junctions. Remember Buses also can use the tram lanes. The advantage of this will be that buses can use the tram lanes for a certain diatance and cover other areas branching off from the corridor. This is not either bus or tram. If bellary road has tram line. You can have BRT for ring road. BMTC can run the tram service so it can integrate with bus systems. Trams can connect metro to non metro areas along corridor. Like from BRV while metro moves towards mejestic to Yeswantpur, tram can follow raj bhavan road and move towards hebbal. Along the way we can have tram loop buses like sanjaynagar tram loop running every 10 mins which will start from sanjaynagar jn tram station connect all the inner areas of sanjaynagar and stopping at hebbal flyover tram station. similarly RT Nagar tram loop, Sadashivnagar tram loop, palace orchards tram loop, palace road tram loop etc. One articulated volvo/marcopolo 'janti vahana' station connector which will connect Hebbal tram station to Yeswantpur/Peenya metro station which could be a BRT along the ring road. This way you cover a lot of areas to the center of the city. You would not need the million buses going all over the place. While tram space is shared roadspace they will have right of way and cant be blocked. Even at signals they will have right of way and wont stop for signals. What better way to enforce compliance than to tell people they will be mercilessly run over if they block the tram path :)
srkulhalli's picture

Cost per km

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Just went through your estimates. What I remember seeing on the Delhi Metro website was more like Eleveated MEtro : Rs 120 cr/km Underground Metro : Rs 250 cr/km Surface Metro : Rs 20 cr/km I am unfortunately not able to get this link again. I believe your estimates are based on developed country info, because there even putting simple tracks for regular trains is very expensive. I dont think it applies completely in India, but I would love to get more accurate estimates

Suhas

Suhas

ssheragu's picture

TRAMS

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ssheragu So much is being discussed about trams; many catchy pictures havle also been given. but I feel that introduction of trams is a retrograde step, especially in a country like India. Probably everyone has forgottem that trams which were plying in Mumabi have been removed long time back. The problems with trams are many like 1. total loss of aesthetics, 2. wires criss crossing all over the place 3. blockage of space for movement of other vehicles 4. obstruction of traffic and parking space 5. slow speed because of constraints I honestly feel that trams are not the answer for India thanks Srinath Heragu
idontspam's picture

Experience the changes over time

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I think you should ride a Tram next time you are in Europe. I have been in one and I am a convert. I will invite you to Stockholm to see how the new age rolling stock and proper planning make a difference. I didnt even think about trams till I actually experienced one. Its just like the BRT, unless you see the system at work you will make the points with a pre-concieved notion. I feel it was a retrograde step that trams were removed in Mumbai. They should have been renovated with new rolling stock and the routes extended preserving a few lines with the older rolling stock for historic trips. Let me try to address some points you have raised. 1. The below picture is Bombardier Flexity Outlook rolling stock implemented in Brussels. It has won the design at work award this year. Does is look like bad aesthetics? Do any of the following tram implementations look like bad aesthetics? 2. Design standards have improved over the years. How many dirty lines do you see in the image below? Just one clean line on each side. if you built the tram line on the left side of the road you can extend the light pole to provide for the single line. 3. It does not get blocked if you dont physically barricade it. Even if you do you end up with the same situation in a BRT as well. Right now the outermost lane is hardly used anyway except for blocking traffic by blocking bus stands etc. Trams can transport large number of people (more than a janti vahana) the lane can be used by buses also. Combined (bus+tram), these 2 modes of transport can take away 2 lanes worth of traffic from the roads. Look at the example I have given in my previous post. If such connectivity was available I would never have to use a car to get to the CBD ever. (Thats mostly where I would use a car to go to beyond work.) It can curb drunken driving as there would be a viable neat transport service after my pub session. Look how well the below tram is integrated with the road infrastructure. It does not look like an eyesore to me at all. I think our chaotic traffic and driving sense is far more of an eyesore. 4 & 5 read answer to 3 above. Speed of the tram depends on how you make right of way and how the system is designed. Trams are a recommended option to connect metro stations or TTMCs along arterial corridors. In the example in my previous post I was able to connect from BRV to hebbal TTMC and to yeswantpur metro and high density residential areas in between thereby serving a large catchment area without any major digging project or building more roads, moving more people than buses and saving the fuel import bill.
Naveen's picture

Light Rail requires a highly disciplined populace

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Idontspam - yr point/s noted. These Light rail systems are in use all over the world, not just in Europe. San Jose in USA also has one of these systems, & Japan has numerous, not to mention Asian cities like Singapore, & many Chinese cities too. The unsuitability of this system for Indian cities at this time is due to the widespread indiscipline on the streets with no proper, dependable transportation systems in place, leading one & all to battle for scarce street space with their private vehicles - the trams will also get mixed up in this, & fail - not because it has any flaws, but because the position here presently, is not very welcoming for trams. We argue incessantly about disciplining the masses, but this is a formidable task, if at all such is possible, given the present situation. Perhaps this is why most Indian cities have gone in for hugely expensive Metro systems in an attempt to make a start in bringing about some positive & desirable changes. Once we have a good system in the city without much disturbance to existing transport routes & links, we could think of various types of feeder services, & the cheapest & best option is of course, BRT as all rail or fixed guide systems are several times more expensive. Unfortunately, this country, like many others has imported car-based development from America without making any provisions for taking in such large nos. of vehicles & we are paying a huge price for it now. If the govt's policies were sound from the start of liberalization, we would have seen good infrastructure falling in place first, like other East Asian countries or China.
Vasanth's picture

Tram Debate

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As Naveen suggested, Trams are more expensive than BRT systems. Carrying capacity may be more compared to articulated bus (janti vahana), but, BRT buses can achieve the speeds of Metro (more than 60kph). At the same time, Buses of BRT can be self feeder. People of Bangalore are reluctant to change mode of transport, ie. change from Bus to tram and vice versa, and this can be distraction from public transport. Maintenance depots needs to be constructed and specialized trained staff is needed. That is why most cities are going for BRT after much research and the success of Transmilenio.
idontspam's picture

BRT Vs Trams

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Between BRT and trams I see very little difference.You can ply these trams on BRT corridors. I emphasise on system design. If you can design a BRT system just lay tracks and run these trams instead of petrol/diesel guzzling vehicles. These trams can be longer and carry more people than an articulated bus on a corridor. All your points of discipline is moot if we cordon the lane or design it in a corridor on the median just like BRT. Comfort and ease of use offered by low floor trams is unbeatable. We have always designed systems around indiscipline its time we changed discipline to match design. It is never too late... we havent missed any bus or tram. Sweden changed over to right side driving as late as the 1967. We would have baulked at such a major shift. I dont want to sound like obama.. but we need change
ssheragu's picture

TRAMS; Experience the changes over time

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ssheragu Hai I went through your article; I still feel a lot unplesant about trams; 1. the aesthetics is still bad if you look at the wires criss crosing on top; the picture you posted is in a clean orderly city like Brussels or Stockholm; you can imagine this right now in Bangalore; of course it may totally different 15 or 20 years hence, when India becomes a devleoped country 2. all the nice designs and clean lanes can be implemented in Europe, may not be in Bangalore, as you will have to consider the population of hawkers 3. may be you can have dedicated tram service between TTMC's without roads cris crossing the tram routes. 4. right now for another 10 or 15 years trams may not be a viable option for India may be as you say, if I travel to Stockholm or Brussels I may change; I only hope that India beomes a devloped country at the earlest (with least population and 100% literacy) that I am wrong in my assessment of trams thanks Srinath Heragu
srkulhalli's picture

Outcome of the PIL

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Its not clear what the outcome of the PIL would be. One more govt committe ? More of ABIDE ? There is already lot of noise on traffic and transportation being made, so in that sense this may just add to the din. It may be more valuable if it is a more focussed PIL - like for example - have a single body for all traffic and transportation (mind you a single body, not an umbrella body) - or a PIL against the proposed high speed link, saying its a waste of Public money and money is spent better implementing phase 2 of METRO ? - or to implement Kasturi Rangan report in totality (am not very clear about this report, but just an example) Since you will be spending so much time and energy on it, may be helpfull to step back and think what tangible output you expect out of it, which will help our quality of lives.

Suhas

Suhas

silkboard's picture

PIL - possible outcomes

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Bottomline - transportation is a basic need of urban or rural population. I would say that its my right to expect and demand a transportation arrangement from any where to anywhere at average speeds of 40 kmph for local distances, and 60 kmph over longer distances. Help fulfill my basic right to move.

At high level, two outcomes could be expected

  1. A regulatory authority for all transportation matters. I have no responsible place to go complain for my 2 hours that I waste commuting today at avg speeds of 15 kmph. Single body responsible for transportation arrangements, single place to go complain (or praise, when that day comes!)
  2. If govt says it can't commit to fulfilling my transportation needs, it must be made to explore ways of filling the gaps. Suggested way would be to explore help from private parties via opening up local urban transportation space for them.

Courts or government can recommend experts to plan and execute the needed reforms. We are not the experts, we are the aggrieved party.

Going to some details:

  • 1) A possible outcome could be that BMLTA gets more powers. BMLTA (or equivalent, BMLTa or DULT reborn as a state level body for example) would be the single clearing house for all transportation projects.

So, for a big example: BMLTA would be the body to decide whether city needs an expressway to the new airport, or a BRTS corridor over NH7, or extension of Metro from Byappanahalli, or a High Speed Rail, or all of them. Right now, it is just not clear as to who owns connectivity to BIAL: BMLTA's HLTF, BBMP, BDA, BMRDA, KRDCL, NHAI, Minister in charge for Bangalore, or the Chief Minister. Who owns the BIAL commuter number predictions, and who decides how many modes are needed. Who will be responsible for mode exchange points, like say at making sure that I don't have to lug 5 suitcases from Metro at Minsk Square to CAT at Parade Grounds.

For small examples: BMLTA could turn down request for a flyover that doesn't include provisions for a bus bay under its belly, or a road widening project that doesn't include plans to control parking on the newly added road space.

If I go and ask for a bus stand to be moved from a messy location, I wouldn't have to go to BMTC, then BBMP, and the Traffic Police. I would address my greivance to BMLTA, and they will be answerable.

If I go ask BMTC about hey, whats happening to the BRTS, I would be asked to go talk to BBMP for BRTS in Central area of Bangalore, and then go ask BDA for BRTS on Outer Ring Road, and possibly BMRDA for BRTS on Peripheral Ring Road. In single transportation agency world, BMLTA will be the responsible body, the actual work may be executed by BDA/BMRDA and BMTC depending on their jurisdiction areas.

  • 2) However, this could go deeper into local administrative reforms, and may lead us to ask for expediting implementation Kasturi Rangan committee report. Let it be.
  • 3) Further, focusing the PIL sharply on local transportation, we could argue that ushering competition for local urban transport is the most practical solution (after creation of a regulatory body) out of present transportation mess. There is a lot of data on ground to suggest that BMTC can do better. The courts can either make BMTC do better, or realize that its not worth their and our time to chase them, would rather open the space up as part of broader transportation reforms.

There is some thinking to do here. But the point is, present system of running with plans (like executing CTTP) and taking short term (widening and flyovers) or slow (Phased Metro implementation over a decade, slow on mono, BRTS) measures are worsening the problem. Govt sure has its reasons for being slow or being unable to take long term measures besides Metro. The PIL will at least let us hear what their constraints are, and will make govt share its problems and frustrations with all.

We would need a meeting to work on this PIL, and lot of research as well. But some of us here are absolutely serious about doing one.

Naveen's picture

Ideas for PIL

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SB - A great summation ! You are so correct in describing the demand for a body that is needed to answer any questions or problems relating to transport that you might have. Like you said, each dept will divert one somewhere else & one is left frustrated with this "system" that will not right itself. Prajas are left to battle for changing this, which is what the PIL is all about, in the first place !
Naveen's picture

Possible PIL - Data & meetings

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Hi All,

With reference to the above ----

1) I think we may need to meet BMLTA, BMTC & DULT /UDD officials to get their take on what is being done from their side to address the traffic woes of the city.

2) A meeting with SWR could also be considered to check on the progress with CRS, if any.

3) Restricting supply & control of parking is crucial to bring about a turnaround - Dr.Subramanya's BBMP presentation at the TransInnova summit seems a reasonable effort - we need to find out how BBMP intends to acheive these parking policy objectives. An important part of his presentation, "Strategy matrix developed to achieve the proposed parking policy objectives" was not included with the presentation.

We would also need to find out how the other bodies are assisting BBMP with this (as mentioned in the presentation), & if so, what steps are being taken.

4) It is clear that ad-hoc actions by one body whilst other entities remain ignorant will not resolve the many problems facing the city - the city has failed to finalize a comprehensive plan for adressing it's traffic woes, though CTTP has made several recommendations based on surveys & studies.

Other cities, such as Ahmadabad & Hyderabad have a complete roadmap for all the proposed additions to mass-transits with alignments decided & finalized so that all stake holders are fully aware about long-term plans for decongestion & work towards a common goal. Public support & co-operation would also be better with such a plan. We would need to check why such a plan is not being attempted in bangalore, a city with the worst possible congestion problems. BMLTA should be attempting this, but are they ? We need to find out.

5) We also need this data - Increase in traffic between 2000 & 2004, & from 2004 to 2008 to-date - it appears that the rate of increase in traffic in the city is growing as time passes, but we need data proving this.

Those who could assist, please respond, thanks.

Await Suggestions & Comments from all.

srkulhalli's picture

Background for PIL

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Am not sure am assiting, but here is my input -) One should launch into a PIL when one is not satisfied with the current workings. There is a single agency for traffic and transportation and that is BMLTA. So technically, you do have a single window contact. You need to do your best to work with them, and only if you are exhausted with it, you go the legal route. In my opinion, we are far from there yet. You need to address the questions to BMLTA, meet them, analyze their plans if any, be very specific about where you see the shortcomings, get back at BMLTA and if they are indifferent to your feedback, then get teh PIL route. In that sense your first steps are correct, but PIL can wait. Would be interested in the meetings with BMLTA etc, but not neccessarily in PIL, at least for now.

Suhas

Suhas

silkboard's picture

Yes, the PIL can wait, but

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There is no rush. We will first understand the current framework under which transportation investment and improvement decisions are made, starting off with yet another meeting with BMLTA to understand their current legal standing and say.

We would also do some data-mining first to understand impact of investments made over last 10 years by city agencies and state government into transportation infrastructure:

  • How were those decisions made?
  • Were expected outcomes of those projects documented?
  • Was the impact of the decisions measured?
  • Have those projects given the results expected?

The legal side of arguments for the potential PIL would be

  • City diesn't have a local government in place for a long time now. Yet, big investment decisions are being made (Ex: 1000 crore for Outer Ring Road upgrade). Is that legal.
  • Without elected local government in place government may be going purely on advice of advisory bodies like ABIDe. While ABIDe by itself is not a bad idea (nothing illegal about it, though you could question if the committee has real experts), presence of ABIDe when seen together with absence of local governments is
  • Are city agencies taking inputs from local planning authorities? Past investment decisions made in the space of transportation - were those made with consent or inputs from local planning authorities?

The PIL has to have the emotional part (which we all know - we need better planning, congestion is hurting us all). but legal and constitutional aspects would be the key parts, and we need some thinking, help and research there.

Before we do any PIL, we would go meet all bodies concerned - BMLTA, BBMP, BDA, State government ministers, South Western Railway (if required).

Bottomline, there is going to be a lot of fun work - would need at least 10-12 people, half can be remote/online for google/phone based research and digging.

Last point - We certainly don't wish to be seen as a confrontation orieted group, but what do we do? We are seeing more of the same - more flyovers, expressways and road widening. We can be patient and wait for Metro, but hoping that BMRC, BMTC, BBMP and BDA will ensure that Metro starts with smoothly integrated cab/bus/metro system in place is a bit much.

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