Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Retaining HAL !! The last hope…

– “HAaL ya B(IA)haaL!!”

May 22nd 2008, yes that’s the date! Just a day before HAL is pushed to cease domestic travel. Despite formal position of the civil aviation ministry is that metros require two airports likes of Mumbai and Delhi….

In an interlocutory petition filed by social worker B Krishna Bhat, Bangalore City Connectivity Foundation (BCCF) and advocate G R Mohan, SC sought the details regarding the meeting’s held involving the Chief Secretary and other senior officials on April 19 and May 12, it is learnt that in these meeting they found it impossible to retain the HAL airport.

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HAL, In the memoire….

Now that the May 23rd 2008 takes all commercial flights off HAL airport, after the great ‘fixing’ of the protests to keep it open HAL is finally set to rest, an article written by Mr. R K Mishra about this episode in todays times highlights the same…

The new airport is all set to put holes in the pockets of the travelers under UDF charges and roaring taxis that will clinch out few more hundreds, that’s the story now!! The infrastructure starving city is now getting hoaxed by this new ‘arrangement’ by and between few that would churn many closing the HAL airport…uhhhh!
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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??

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?
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Bangalore Experiences to savor

Here are a few recommendations based on my interests & knowledge that according to me give the perfect Bangalore flavor. Give in yours, and add to this list. Anything & everything that you think someone from outside Bangalore or even a resident Bangalorean should see/visit/experience here. I am sure there is a lot more.
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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.
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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??

Explore the unexplored

Living in the city, most of us feel the need to go out into the wide open and explore the beautiful countryside. Breathe some fresh air and maybe get a glimpse of life on the other side of the fence.

Well, here’s an attempt to connect folks like us to rural India and hopefully they can provide a platform to those who want to venture into unexplored parts outside of Bangalore city.

Called Rural Zing, their aim is to be “an Initiative to connect urban and rural economy”.

The day long trips are organised on Saturdays and Sundays and for details you can log on to:
Web: Rural Zing
Mobile: 9886201103
Email – reservation@ruralzing.com

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The road less travelled

BMTC > for the Public, by the Public..Going Public!!

Heard this recent news that BMTC..

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation with over 4,500 buses doing close to 9.5 lakh kilometers every day is one the most profitable government departments in Karnataka will go Public with the first ever IPO from a state-owned transport undertaking to raise Rs 4,000 crore through this offering.

A good news for the commuters who are blessed with new buses new routes and ease of travel can really look forward to something more on the platter…let’s wait and watch!!

Discover the countryside: Terahalli & Lepakshi

These are two seperate locations but it’s possible to cover both in a day as they’re about an hour or so away from each other by road.

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Terahalli: This is on the way to Kolar, a diversion just before reaching the town. A road leads upto the hills from where you get a view of the plains of Kolar. The hill is dotted with rocks of different shapes, reminiscent of the general landscape of Hampi.

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