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s_yajaman's blog

My experience with car pooling

I have been living in Bombay for the past 15 months.  Chose a place to live close to my children's school to minimize their commute.  A number of my (now ex-) colleagues live in the same area - some in the same building, some within 5 minutes walk.   I changed jobs in Jan and my new office is about 1.7 km from my old. 

BBMP (and BTP) and inclusive development

Urban Development

One look at the typical projects happening in Bangalore and it is quite clear that for the BBMP the city is a thoroughfare meant to enable cars to zip across the city with minimal inconvenience.  There always seems to be enough funds for flyovers, underpasses, road widening and asphalting.

First ride on Namma Metro

Metro Rail

Have been out of Bangalore for the past 2 years.  My last long visit was in June 2011.  Namma Metro opened after that.  Am here this week and so decided to try it out with the family (we are all patrons of public transport).  

Reviving Puttenahalli Lake


A couple of years ago, Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase (near Brigade Millennium) was a garbage dump. Today it is filled up with a fair amount of fresh water with 200 trees around and is home to more than 50 species of birds, including European migratories. My wife and three others, along with the BBMP, were instrumental in bringing the lake back from the brink of extinction.

Seat belts optional in Bangalore?


 Is the wearing of seat belts optional in Bangalore?  On my recent visits here I find (on a quick check) less than 30% of private car drivers wear seat belts, almost no taxi driver and LCV driver wears one.

Renewing DL at the RTO without touts/bribes

Private transport

 My wife and I went yesterday to the Indiranagar RTO to renew her DL.  As soon as we stepped into "the zone" there were touts offering help.  We, of course, ignored them and walked up to the RTO.  

As we walked up we realized that my wife's DL said "RTO BNG CENTRAL" (Koramangala) and we wondered what trouble that would mean.  But we decided to check anyway.

There was a helpdesk there.  It was operational.  We asked the lady there if we could renew the license here.  She gave us the forms and asked us to check at Window 3 if it was possible.  We also realized there was a medical fitness certificate (completely in Kannada) to be got from a doctor.

At Window 3 there was a reasonably helpful lady.  She told my wife that it was possible to do it there.  She confirmed if the address remained unchanged.  She asked us to write a letter requesting that the license be renewed there.   

We paid the Rs.250 fee at the cash counter and my wife went to get her MC done.

And more skywalks are announced

InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

 BBMP yet again announces more skywalks.  This seems to be in addition to the 50 or 60 that have not seen the light of day.

Our experience with Karnataka Electrical Inspectorate

Everything else

 Those of us living in apartments might know that an annual inspection of the electrical installations in our buildings (DG set, earthing, wiring, lifts, etc) by the KSEI is mandatory.

This is their vision (from their citizen's charter).

Getting a khata without paying any "service fee"

Everything else

 Been a while since I posted anything - so here goes.  This is a small story of how we in one apartment complex have gotten our khatas without paying any bribe.

For good reasons, I will not disclose the name of our apartment.  Some of you know where I live and request you not to disclose it inadvertently.  It will cause needless problems.

Unpaid traffic fines - a survey


Was checking if there were any fines against my car's number at  None.  Then I decided to do a random sampling of cars on unpaid fines.

Did a random sample of 100 cars across the 5 RTOs for unpaid violations and fine amounts.  This would be fairly representative as the number is quite large for a sample.

Is Bangalore a good place to bring up a child?

Everything else

IDS's post on the Olympics set me thinking a bit.  Though the title of my post refers to Bangalore, we can substitute "any Indian mega city" in its place.

Bangalore today is very different from the Bangalore in which I grew up (70s and 80s).  I won't get into that too much. 

Peak Oil before 2020 a significant risk - Report from the UK

InfrastructurePublic Transport

The other big theme that I follow is peak oil.  There has been a flurry of articles in the mainstream media that last few days on this topic. 

BMTC - tight schedules leading to accidents

BusPublic Transport

Read this in DH today.

Quite a damning report on BMTC's irresponsible practices.  I think quite a bit of discussion has taken place around this.

Estimating travel patterns in Bangalore - possible approach

BusPublic Transport

Have been chastisized by Tarle for pouring ATF on burning embers in a previous post and not using my praja time on more useful things :). 

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