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Looking for a possible solution to a Town Planning Blunder

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The blunder happens to be in Indiranagar Bangalore. It has happened due to a lack of Planning in providing parking place for the National Public school in Indiranagar. It is a debatable point that it is whose responsibility to provide this parking place. It never the less is an eye sore for the residents of the locality of Indiranagar during most of the school working days. It also has a nuisance value to the residents of the NPS road apart from the traffic jams in the whole area. 

Prof UR Rao the retired Chairman of ISRO is a prominent resident of 13 Main Indiranagar. SNS Murthy, a retired Police Commissioner of the city of Bangalore, also residing at 13th main Indiranagar, is an active member of Indiranagar Residents association. He has taken up the issue with NPS and the government of Karnataka for several years without any respite. 

NPS was founded way back in 1962 or so in Rajajinagar 5th block by Mr. Gopalakrishna who had an Insurance agency. His wife was a teacher in Mount Carmel Rajajinagar. Gopalakrishna had a vision for primary school education, in Bangalore, added with a flair for business administration.  The first NPS was built on a solid granite rock hill in Rajajinagar 5th block. Tell tale evidence of the big rock is still there to day. This was followed by a second NPS at Rajajinagar I block later and so on. To day there is a chain of NPS schools totaling to about 10? 

Primary and secondary schools being the building blocks of future citizens of the world have an opportunity of bring up children with good civic sense in the rapid expanding world wide scenario.

National Public School, Indiranagar was established in 1982 under the chairmanship of Dr. K P Gopalkrishna. This Institution is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the national body of the Government of India in Secondary Education.  

The following is a considered solution for the tricky worsening problem of the day at NPS Indiranagar. 

  1. Parking School teacher’s cars and school busses on the road is illegal. It is the schools responsibility to provide for this requirement. The reason for non compliance of the law is the in ability of the Government to enforce the law for obvious reasons.
  2. It is the schools responsibility to provide parking of the parent’s cars too. However the school has the right to charge a parking fee.
  3. Renewed Public Negotiations with Mr. Gopalakrishna to get the school to do (1 & 2) above. 

Baldwin, Bishop Cotton, and St Josephs schools in central business district (CBD) area have solved the problem on similar lines as above.

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psaram42's picture

Some Pictures of NPS Traffic and Staff Parking

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 A set of three pictures showing 13 A main Indiranagar used for NPS satff vehicles:-

 A set of another 3 at 13 th main ie The Students entry side NPS Road in Indiranagar:-

This set was taken at 12 noon the lunch hours on Friday the 24th July 2009. The heavy traffic is at 13 th main, Indiranagar which is the only access to the parents at lunch time. The Other road is reserved exclusively for the staff.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Hi-end schools do not practice what they preach to their kids

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Principal and teachers of NPS must be teaching all good things to their wards about civic sense and duties and responsibilities of the citizens to the society we are all living in. 

But when it comes to the question of practising what they preach, they appear to adopt convenient methods of bending the rules and the real meaning of civic sense.

How strong the school authorities are in weilding influence is depicted in the failure of Mr.SNS Murthy, a senior policeman himself in getting his grievance redressed.   Disturbing the residents and robbing them of their peaceful existence does not augur well for the NPS and it would be a rightful act of civilisation if some plan of action is put in place to help the residents and the neighborhood that is suffering from influx of vehicles and people.

It is surprising that in such a limited road space, vehicles of the staff of the school are parked for such long hours thereby denying that much of space for other road users. This is unpordanable.  The School authorities must find some alternate vacant space around the school - say like a vacant site, contact the owner, hire it, make it fit for parking and pay a monthly rental to the owner of the site as compensation or else admit that site owner's child to NPS without charging building fund.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

blrsri's picture

Alternates not needed..

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The schools need not look at altenate places to park outside the school itself!

Most or all of these schools, specifically the ones in the richmond road/residency road have  big playgrounds..all that is needed is constructing 2-3 levels of underground parking..

They can then charge parking from the parents for sending swanky cars to pick up a todler from school..

The surface level can continue to be a playground! 

psaram42's picture

Solutions for correcting the blunder

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 Agree with the suggestion made by blrsri above. I am sure Mr. SNS Murthy must have gone through a similar exercise too. These are the two basic approaches: 

  1. Provide in house parking
  2. Provide a traffic calming solution

 Both the above approaches require mutual co operation from management and parents. The following approach may be in order:- 

  1. Have the traffic calming solution immediately
  2. Go for in-house parking as a permanent and elegant solution

 Having the basics clear as per the above thoughts, we come to the next issue of provision of funds.

  1. NPS should provide
  2. Public Funding 
  3. NPS and Public share

Thus there is a need to negotiate with the NPS. There is a need for interested neighborhood residents to come together on Praja platform. 

pathykv's picture

NPS- Indiranagar

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Another reason for such problems is that these 'public' schools  admit children from far away places for obvious reasons without giving priority to the children within the closer households who can walk down.

As in other countries the concept of 'neighbourhood schools' should be enforced so that priority is given to children from the surrounding areas.

K.V.Pathy

psaram42's picture

@ KV Pathy

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 NPS has a fleet of busses which suggests that children are coming from far and wide. The reasons may be 

  1. The school is looking for smart children from educated families who are financially sound and influential.
  2. Their required number comes from all of Bangalore.
  3. Being near to one of their schools is not a good enough reason for NPS. 

It is a good thought to restrict admission only to children of nearby localities. The “Concept of neighborhood schools” has a very good point indeed. In that case there is no need for the present fleet of busses, as far as NPS is concerned. It is an important suggestion Pathy sir. Noted and Thanks.

blrsri's picture

Heard NPS already does this..

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When they screen resumes for interviews..NPS does give a thought to the distance the child needs to travel..I guess the limit is 6KM radius from the school..

This may not be the case with other schools..

Also the more fundamental problem is with kids staying even 2-3 blocks from the school..would not prefer to get to school walking..or rather are prevented by their parents..

Even play schools in Indranagar have a really big cars double parking on the road to pick up the todlers..its more a fad I suppose..

Hope responsibilities dawn early! 

psaram42's picture

NPS Busses

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 The NPS busses are painted Yellow and marked as NPS busses. These busses belong to private bus operators, who are hired by NPS on contract basis. I counted something like 15 to 20 busses standing on 13th main at about 1 PM. Apart from these Yellow private busses marked as NPS busses there were other unmarked busses which are apparently contracted by NPS. Presumably the students at NPS Indiranagar are from all over Bangalore. 

As commented by KV Pathy the policy of not preferring local students by schools like NPS is an avoidable addition to ever increasing Bangalore traffic.


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Naveen's picture

School Commuting - Broader Steps Needed

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Hi All,

Went through this interesting discussion. A few years back, the corporation & traffic police had tried unsuccessfully to get schools like Bishop Cottons not to allow children to be driven to schools in cars by trying to enforce more severe parking restrictions near CDB schools to encourage use of school buses or PT since cars were clogging up roads at school times.

I think this was a sensible first step, but it came to nothing since most car-using & influential parents disagreed with this idea due to inconveniences with PT & the limited no. of school buses & their reach.

If the corporation regroups itself & pursues this, sanity may finally prevail & schools may be forced to accept new admissions based on commuting criteria for each individual child, including development of solutions to meet the demands for commuting, such as increasing their school bus fleets with much more reach.

Stop gap measures & quick fixes will never work - schools building parking lots or providing parking on their grounds or premises is possibly the worst step as demand will soon increase with many more tending to use cars. The congestion will spill to the outsides of schools in no time & get far worse than before since so many cars will be bound for schools on the same limited no. of streets.

Extending this beyond schools, if companies are mandatorily required to maintain data about commuting habits of their employees & set benchmarks for meeting certain social goals towards congestion reduction by perhaps assigning percentages - say 60% must use PT, or some such criteria to avail tax benefits, it might greatly help in reducing congestion.

The conditions set out for the DLF city that had been planned at Bidadi required a "Walk-To-Work" concept wherein all employees were necessarily required to stay within Bidadi city & within walking distance from their offices. Only such solutions may work. DLF has now pulled out due to the recession, but at some time in the future, such a city may become a reality.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Cross-city travelling to work/schools- Alround sufferings

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Naveen is right in many respects.

Commuting to work places for livelihood, appears to be an absolute necessity and I do not foresee any deliverable solution in the near future unless otherwise, a scenario with hi-end 'work-from-home' pervades the urban residents..

But parents getting their wards admitted into far off (so called) good schools without seeking admissions in similar (so called) good schools in their residential area is something that has to be seriously considered for following advantages for parents and children:

1. Time spent in commuting by children can be utilised for many other purposes including for their playing favorite games;

2. Commuting itself is a tiresome experience and the energy spent therefor, can be minimised for their growing up with some good sleep;

3. The kids will have more time to study or pursue other hobbies;

4. Parents anxiety syndrome about their safety will almost be nil;

5. Curtailing Cross city travelling by thousands of variety of vehicles will reduce fuel consumption, emission of GHGs, wear and tear of vehicles,  traffic chaos, etc.

6. Even if the kids go to so called good schools, they also attend private tutions after school hours and again there may be an element of cross city travelling, albeit short distances around their residences.

7. If this kind of environment is created in the name of providing best possible education to our children, then such an education will have less value due to various pressure syndromes and also will have a telling effect on the performance quotient of the kids.   

8. Classic examples: student residing in Basaveswaranagara goes to Bishop Cottons/Baldwins;  Malleswaram to NPS, Rajajinagara and their pick up buses/vanswill be criss crossing the entire city with one kind of load - students.

- If  only we, the parents can just rejig our priorities, change our mindset and  for the sake of our kids, admit them to the nearest best possible schools in their resident areas, what a service they can render to their kids and also to the society?

- To enable this socialogical change, the school authorities, the policy makers and all concerned must ensure that preference to local area kids is to the extent of 60 per cent and the rest for nearest possible areas in and around the school.  If there are no students or the number of such schools are very many, then status quo has to be resorted and we will have to adjust. 

- Vasanth Mysoremath

s_yajaman's picture

Agree with VKM but..

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Agree with every point from 1 to 8.   I myself send my kids to a neighbourhood school which is 400 m down the road from my house.  It saves them from 2 hour commutes daily and gives them an extra hour of sleep and and extra hour of playtime. 

However this cannot depend on the wisdom and enlightenment of individual people.  The new education bill has to make a start by ensuring that 60-75% of the seats have to be for children from nearby areas.  There will still be cheating by way of false address proofs, etc.  But a start has to be made for the sake of children. 

The other big point is why do people take their kids by cars.  Because the roads and pavements are utterly unsafe for children.  Until that changes, this behaviour will continue.  Put yourself in a parent's place - it is inconvenience/cost vs tragedy.  I would not take a chance myself even at the risk of being called a coward and over-protective. 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

pathykv's picture

School transport

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Another point for immediate implementation will be to ask the schools which cause such congestion to shift their operations outside the city retaining only the neighbourhood chidren in the present location.

Pathy

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Something more to chew on NPS Bubble Gum

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It is the turn of Rajajinagara NPS.  Here is the gist of a mail that appeared in blorgrowl at deccanmail - by Ms.Sadhana, a resident near the NPS, Rajajinagara:

/64th cross, 5th block, Rajajinagara - Heavy traffic during (NPS) school hours (8 AM and 3.30 PM)  - The National Public School buses are parked on both sides of this road between West of Chord Road to 18th B Main Road - Public including senior citizens, children and women find it very difficult to walk or drive on this road. THE DRIVERS OF THE SCHOOL BUSES ALSO STAND AROUND AND TEASE THE GIRLS/WOMEN WALKING BY...../

Traffic law and order enforcement officers cannot be so blind to ignore this everyday inconvenience to residents around such schools.  It is a matter of 'you scratch my back and I will scratch your back' and all is well even if it means a messy situation for the residents.

- SIMILAR KIND OF ROAD OCCUPATION AND INCONVENIENCE TO RESIDENTS GOES ON UNHINDERED WITH RESPECT TO PRIVATE TAXIS AND LOGISTIC PROVIDERS FOR VARIOUS MNCs/IT/ITeS SERVICES 'haves'.  

-  Scores of PT vehicles like SUVs, Tempo Travellers and other glossy vehicles are parked in front of  gates of residents of the area 

 - the behavior of the drivers has to be condemened to hell; 

- they keep chewing ghutka, pan masala and all garbage, keep spitting, smoking, talk using vulgur language, urinate everywhere,

-  some large vehicles with video provision keep watching porno films inside their vehicles while their vehicles are parked,

- some even park their vehicles overnight and early in the morning, they complete all their nature calls around the area, even brush, bathe on the footpaths

- if residents object to all these abnoxious behaviors, the drivers group themselves and started using vulgar language and shout at residents that it is a public road and they have also rights to park anywhere they want (I have used civilised words).

- Sometimes, the night beat police are also seen cozying up inside these vehicles after blowing the whistle a few times.

- Can this go on without the connivance of the law authorities for their lucre?

- All this point to one thing - u scratch my....... and I will scratch your........somebody in authority keep getting Jarathaari Seere for their wives and Silk Jubba for themselves.

- Bottom line: To hell with citizens and their inconveniences.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

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