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Meeting with Mr. Sood -- Thoughts on a roadmap for taking this forward

So, we are off to a great start to a potentially rewarding engagement with Mr. Sood. In inimitable Praja style, the floodgates have opened and ideas have come gushing out that touch on a whole myriad of issues, clearly a reflection of the collective knowledge of the group as well as the enthusiasm of the members.

For a recent Bangalore resident and a newly minted Praja member like myself, the experience of absorbing and synthesizing these ideas and suggestions is like drinking from a torrent, to persevere with the metaphor. My understanding of the city’s maladies is limited. However, being unencumbered by knowledge gives me the luxury to reflect and think of a way forward. I also see an opportunity to apply some elements of strategic planning (something that I have done in the corporate world for over 20 years) to this exercise. What I am proposing is not a solution but a process to get to one. We need to continually engage the “brains” of Praja in this process.

First step – start with the end in mind. As the aphorism goes, if you do not know where you are going, any road will take you. Let us visualize the long-term outcome we want from this engagement with Mr. Sood. While it is supremely important to get the road marking right or provide for bus bays or make our roads adhere to IRC standards, these are just pieces of the puzzle. I believe the big picture is that we want to live in a civilized city and leave behind a legacy for our children that we can be proud of. Achieving such a goal requires that we not only help the traffic police do things differently but also help fellow citizens become worthy custodians of the assets that the city provides us with.

Second step – do a survey of the playing field. In the business world this is called situation analysis. This is the step where we dig into the repository of knowledge that Praja members already have. We have to layer on top of that our newly discovered knowledge about what the traffic police can or cannot do jurisdictionally. We will need to synthesize all of this information to identify the most significant “points of pain” – the issues that affect the community. We need to prioritize these.

Third step – Do a quick summary of our own strengths and weaknesses as an organization and the opportunity and the threats presented by the environment. As an example here is what I could think of; a strength of Praja is the unbridled enthusiasm and the collective knowledge of the members; a weakness of Praja is that its strengths notwithstanding, it does not have the recognition in the public at large or with the mainstream media – clearly we need to plan to overcome this weakness; an opportunity is to be an intelligent, well-informed alternative to the mainstream media; a threat is that our efforts end up becoming unfocused because our environment presents us with so many issues that need to be addressed.

Step 4 – integrating the insights from steps 1 through 3 to identify specific objectives for the intermediate term (12-18 months). These should be unambiguous, measurable and achievable. We should be very clear in our minds about the priority of these objectives.

Step 5 – for each objective, identify a set of strategies, owners and performance measures to track progress.

This looks like a lot of work but I have seen complex businesses go through a much more elaborate planning process in a month of focused effort. Of course, we will have our challenges because we are a disparate group of people who primarily communicate through the web site. But at the end of the day, we will have a plan rather than a collection of activities. More importantly, the thought process that is integral to this planning exercise will help us stay focused on our goals.

I will end with one of my favorite quotes – “plans are nothing, planning is everything – General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in WW II and former US President”

Please feel free to share your ideas on each of these steps starting with Step 1.

Rithesh's picture

Excellent write up VVR

You could not have been more correct VVR. The following statment sums it all.
strength of Praja is the unbridled enthusiasm and the collective knowledge of the members; a weakness of Praja is that its strengths notwithstanding, it does not have the recognition in the public at large or with the mainstream media – clearly we need to plan to overcome this weakness; an opportunity is to be an intelligent, well-informed alternative to the mainstream media; a threat is that our efforts end up becoming unfocused because our environment presents us with so many issues that need to be addressed.

The next time when we meet Mr. Sood, we need to be well prepared. Let us start planning for the next meeting in this post. We could very broadly categories our suggestions/planning into short term, medium term and long term. The intermediate and long term plans could (or may be “should”) be backed up by thorough understanding of the issues, research and study. I am sure each one of us has multiple solutions. Merits/demerits of each of these could be discussed here, filtered, refined and then forwarded to the Traffic Police.

To start it off, here is my first suggestion (It could come under short term solutions)

  • Will it be possible to ban the movement of goods transport vehicles during peak traffic hours – mornings 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM and evenings 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. If not in the whole of Bangalore, atleast on the main artillery and ring roads.
  • Is it under the jurisdiction of the traffic police to implement such a law (if not who has this authority)?
To quote some statistics – during the recent lorry strike, the travel time between Whitefield (ITPB) and Hebbal (Flyover) at around 5:30 in the evening was (surprise surprise!!) just 35 minutes. Mode of transport – ITPB buses (Pushpak). It would have be much lesser in case of a car or bike.

On a normal day (when the lorries are plying), with the same mode of transport and at the same time, the travel time increases to around 90 mins (I have been noting down these times :( actually).

Such a law is in place on Hosur road for a few years now, why shouldn’t it be implemented in other parts of the city?

Ravi_D's picture

First Step - Potential Goals

VVR - Vary good way to start....

Below are few potential goals for us to discuss (step #1 in your piece). Ofcourse, we should think of how we could help the Traffic Police and the City achieve agreed objectives.

  • Improve road utilization efficiency (Qty of goods and personnel tranported on existing roads) by XX% in 2 years. A measure could even be average speed of traffic on existing roads. More research is needed before we come to an agreement on numbers.
  • Reduce number of road accidents in Bangalore by XX% in the next 1 year. Again 'XX' needs to be agreed.
  • Improve law enforcement - to a point say at least 5% of the traffic offenders are reprimanded routinely. I bet the number is way below 1% mark right now. This is my favorite. Once enforcement improves, all 'swalpa adjust madkoli' type incidents on the road disappear. Rules are rules, and they need to be followed. If the rules are not correct fix the rules, don't bend them! I am planning to write a separate piece on Praja on this subject - waiting to take some pictures.



idontspam's picture

First step

I think first step is to familiarize ourselves with IRC rules or identify somebody on Praja having familiarity with the rules. I have a feeling IRC or MORTH is where the buck will stop for most issues.

My understanding of the IRC is a society that sets best practices for transport (rules for highways is more evolved as it is centrally governed and implemented). It is not mandatory standard as there is no audit of the roads by either IRC or MORTH. The state has the leeway to adopt if it feels fit and has the monies. The state also has the power to adopt it as minimum standard and extend it to some sort of IRC+.

Somebody needs to correct me if I am wrong in my understanding. This understanding has to form the basis of all suggestions we will give to Mr Sood's organization if he has none of these powers we are barking up the wrong tree and we should be going to IRC or MORTH.

silkboard's picture

Nice plan, lets move ahead

Excellent write up VVR sir. How about a Praja only meeting to talk step 1 and step 3 you mentioned above. Enforcement is a key angle of Transportation (congestion woes of our city). For step #2, if we can jump ahead a bit and start reading and sharing our understanding of how Bangalore Police works and whats in and out of their limits (we still dont know this well), that will help. The website is a good tool for this (step #2).

psaram42's picture

Step-1 Bangalore Traffic Improvement Goals long and short term

The enthusiasm shown in these postings on Bangalore traffic is excellant. However there is every chance of not making any progress if we collectivly do not agree and quantify to what are our:  

  1. Objectives/goals
  2. Constraint
  3. The methodology of solution.

These are simple issues which can be sorted out by public debate. The execution has several pit falls like

  1. Making a proposal plan publicly transparent
  2. Objections and impediments by vested interests.
  3. Opportunism by not so selfless people in different walks of life.
  4. etc.
  5.  etc.

Let us first agree to what we mean by "The ideal Bangalore Traffic". To start the ball rolling,The ideal Bangalore Traffic means:

  1. The daily consumption of transport fuel (carbon foot print) should be the minimum.
  2. The total daily time of all the commuters in Bangalore should be the minimum.
  3. The cost of implementing a master plan should also be the minimum.
  4. Traffic hazards should be eliminated  

Obviously there may not be one single solution for this problem. We can only have a set of "seemingly" best solutions. We can then choose by taking a vote on the avalilable candidate solutions.

I have thought of a sample vote in my blog. Some of you perhaps may want to take a look.

Happy sailing!

---Ananthram PS, Senior Citizen


Sudhirgota's picture


I am familiar with IRC rules; it has to be followed for all the roads in India.  In case you would like some specific questions please mail me @

idontspam's picture

IRC - Sudhir

Sudhir, Thanks for the reply.. is there a copy of the IRC specifications and standards for roads (surface) available as a soft copy? Is it possible to share with members of this forum (as long as it is safe to do so).I would be specifically intrested in the following

1. IRC:86-1983 - Geometric Design Standards for Urban Roads in Plains

2. IRC:103-1988 - Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities

3. IRC:54-1974 - Lateral and Vertical Clearances at Underpasses for Vehicular Traffic

4. IRC:35-1997 - Code of Practice for Road Markings  (First Revision)

5. IRC:93-1985 - Guidelines on Design and Installation of Road Traffic Signals

6. IRC:SP:55-2001 - Guidelines for Safety in Construction Zones

7. IRC:67-2001 - Code of Practice for Road Signs (First Revision)

8. RC:79-1981 - Recommended Practice for Road Delineator

9. IRC:SP:31-1992 - New Traffic Signs

 I am particularly interested in IRC 35 and 86 to compare with other standards. In your opinion how does it compare with the specfications and standards of UK and USA? If it cannot be shared publically I would like to know how to get one. please PM me.


I will also be sending you a mail on the above

tsubba's picture


ids sudir, you i am interested too.
Sudhirgota's picture

Please let me know the mail

Please let me know the mail ids so that i can ask some of my friends to mail it to you. It may take little bit of time as they have to scan it.. ( in case you would like to purchase it visit  ( but i guess it will take more time)..

I am in Manila hence don't have physical access to it. Regarding Indian codes, they are not updated and i am very sorry to say that many are simply copied from the west. In fact we did lot of research on it and i have published a paper on the pedestrian code..

you would enjoy the codes :-)


tsubba's picture

thanks sudhir

thanks sudhir. gmail: tarlesubba
idontspam's picture

sudhir - thanks

idontspam at yahoo dot com.. thank you
Rithesh's picture

Sudhir include me in the mailing list

Thank you.

email: rithesh.rg at comment guidelines

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