Archive for the ‘Government & Administration’ Category

Towards being a truly global city

How does one earmark a city as being truly global? I guess one of the dubious yardsticks is being set by the terrorists unknowingly. If a city has achieved enough, and can make it to the headlines readily, it becomes a potential target for terrorists. The analogy that was good for human beings now unfortunately applies to cities too. When I hear of terrorists being unearthed from our soil, I know we have arrived on the global map.

Pass that ‘Underpass’…

Underpass at Cauvery junction is finally ready, I see the BBMP folks getting out of the stress for planning, execution and most importantly Public relations abode. 3 days to 33 days, a symbolic situation which has raised many questions on capabilities, competence and completion of govt initiatives.

No, I don’t want to start over blame game as the topic is chewed off so much already, but the question is what have we as a system have learnt from this episode(pardon my unified expectations). Few questions at large…

Will we ever plan our public utilities and infrastructure better?

Will the Govt. Machinery ever use professional approach, structured planning methods and enhance communication by and between departments?

Will citizens continue to bear the escalated costs and fiscal burdens for the inefficiencies and ill-accountability within govt departments and scholar bureaucrats finally?

Will people vote for ‘citizen satisfaction’ as a parameter in elections for political parties?

What is it that we don’t like here?

It’s a simple question. All of us – who have been here for ever, those of us who have come in only recently, some of us who come & go what is it that we truly don’t like about this city? And as far as I know generally someone starts to raise a voice only when he/she feels, understands and is in the middle of a problem. If someone is not in the midst of that problem then largely that is not a problem to him. Generally politicians talk only vague things – Development, Better Infrastructure, Education for all, Poverty eradication etc, which for most of us ordinary citizens don’t make sense. Let’s state our problems & the things we don’t like here. Is what we don’t like here the Auto drivers, the ever increasing petrol prices, and the game that the city’s politicians are playing? Or is it something beyond that.

Technology @ work…

Technology is seeping through into the Govt departments as more and more technical gadgets seen put to use in day to day administration work.

Tech @ Markets

A tax collector moves around HAL market to collect taxes from vendors selling vegetables in the market the device used helps retrieve tax dues and prints instant receipts storing the data that can then be uploaded onto the central databases once back in office….

Will you prefer to fly out of Bangalore after March 30th 2008?

The vacation planning to Mumbai is overdue for my family, the reason my reservations to fly from BIAL. Looking at the time and cost estimate I am still confused whether to fly or catch the train. Here are few points to ponder..

Time Factor > The access to the HAL airport currently takes 15 minutes for me from Indira Nagar, this time will be history once the new BIAL opens post march and closes down all passenger flights out of HAL (as per the contract I understand) the new airport is almost 35-40 kms from my house that will eat up atleast two hours for travel. Essentially this means I can not take early morning flights that will not be of any advantage anymore. The air travel is usually taken to ‘save’ time of travel and the BIAL is taking ‘passengers for a ride’ for sure on the ‘time’ factor.

Cost factor > for the present HAL airport it takes me just 50 rupees by auto or Rs.125 by a call taxi. To use the new airport I will have to shell out atleast Rs 600 for a call taxi minimum and completely forget using auto. Knowing the ‘nature’ of private taxi operators to take passenger for granted this cost would easily end up around Rs.800-1000. Reaching airport thus becomes costlier than the airline ticket (that I am used to pay Rs.500/600 if booking is done two months in advance )which I certainly will not ‘agree’ to pay just because someone singed a contract with BIAL without taking general public views / reactions into consideration. It is also learnt that BIAL has sent a proposal to the Union civil aviation ministry seeking to levy use a development fee of Rs 675 on outgoing domestic travelers, which makes me wonder why??

Essentially this ‘arrangement’ of a large airport would have a major impact on domestic travel for both family and business travelers. The business travel which ‘prefers’ the same-day-return travel to save on accommodation cost, this now looks a distant possibility! On the other hand this BIAL can get going good for international travel as it is more pre-planned and these time and cost factors may not have major bearing there…

I am yet to get the grip on this ‘new airport’ arrangement for domestic travel due to these aforesaid practical reasons. I feel BIAL has just lost one customer for sure before it even starts its operation, what say??

The return of SM Krishna

Over the last couple of days this is probably the news that most Bangaloreans have been eagerly tracking. The return of SM Krishna to active politics. When SM Krishna ceased to be the Chief Minister of Karnataka after his party failed to garner the required majority, a lot of people thought that Bangalore would lose as a result of he not continuing as the Chief Minister. A lot of them today would say it indeed has been like that.

So should & will SM Krishna return as the CM?

BMTC bus accidents – A fact of life or something to do about

The report in the Monday issue of Times of India about yet another person getting killed by a BMTC bus caught my attention. It was the typical news piece, picture of the boy who had been killed, pictures of damaged BMTC busses & some startling statistics. What is the reader’s typical reaction to a news piece like this? Read it, feel sorry for the people affected & move to the next page.

Alternate day commute by own vehicle

Irrespective of whether it is good or bad, makes sense or not, the one thing that is appreciative about this system is that it is an idea. Yes, finally the people who matter & need to work on the traffic conditions of the city are actually thinking & coming up with ideas. The administration may come up with numerous roads, ring roads, flyovers, underpasses etc but if the traffic on the road is going to keep increasing then all these improvements make little difference. Hence the idea of cutting out some traffic on the city roads as a rule makes sense. But can a ditto copy of the parking system (odd days parking on one side of the road & even days parking on the other side of the road) with respect to cutting out traffic work?

The road ahead – 10 New Year Resolutions

Although a bit late, here are a few New Year resolutions for the city’s administration responsible for the development & maintenance of Bangalore’s roads.

Re-discovering Volvo Routes…

Now that it is evident that Volvo incorporation into BMTC is useful for the commuters and many have opted using it for regular commute giving away their own vehicles. I still feel that it is important for BMTC to cater to this V-class commuters more and introduce more buses on major roads / area’s and enable criss cross travelers to enjoy Volvo travel within city. Here are few more options worth think about….

1. There is a huge opportunity to use these buses more creatively and assess crowded areas connecting them back to residential areas like connecting Commercial Street to Bannerghatta road or Indira nagar.
2. Tying/Teaming up with corporate to give monthly passes and use them as point to point shuttles to Whitefield. Electronic city etc help take off the private buses employed by IT companies.
3. There is an opportunity to ply them on weekends from and to major malls in the city from different area’s like forum mall to Indira nagar then to KR Puram and HRBR layout. Or Garuda mall to Malleshwaram etc
4. Add point to point buses from religious important places like Iscon temple to Koramangala, Bull temple to Indira Nagar etc.
5. Simply map these buses for every normal BMTC route and add them in say ratio of 1:8, one Volvo for every eight normal buses. These can run only on peak times ( 7-10 am and 5-8 pm) to start with and gradually increase the ratio and timings…

The demand to elite travel within the city has been rediscovered by these buses and eventually it has started growing with expectations, in future these Volvo’s have potential to become the backbone of v-class travel and have ability to provide flexible options which can not be provided even by metro rail. As we continue to add more roads we should get far more creative adding more options for travel for those who opt for private transport …this certainly will have more space being created on roads for public transport and reduce no of private vehicles on city roads! What say??

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