CW Games continues to drain Delhi of its finances

       Rs 10 Crores. How many fans could have been provided in MCD schools?

How many toilets for children?


‘Useless’ Games FOBs to cost 10 crore

Not Needed Now But PWD Has Made 70% Of Payment For Projects Near JLN Stadium

Indrani Basu TNN

New Delhi: PWD is building two foot overbridges near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium which are costing the exchequer Rs 10.34 crore but will serve almost no purpose. But the public works department is still going ahead with both as “70% of the payment has been already made” for these Commonwealth Games projects.
One of the two FoBs, coming up in front of the gate number 4 of the stadium, had collapsed two years ago, leaving the Delhi government redfaced. Traffic police, however, said there were now very few pedestrians who crossed at these two points and the FOBs would serve little purpose as the Games were over. Government sources also confirmed it.
“The matter had come up in a working committee meeting and later at a UTTIPEC governing body meeting where concerns were raised that the FOBs are not required. However, PWD officials claimed that 70% of the payment had been made, and the money could not be recovered so the FOBs should be allowed to be built,” said a senior government official.
One of the FOBs will be built near the gate number 4 of the stadium where the Barapullah elevated road currently ends. The construction of the deck of the second FOB — near the end of the Bhishma Pitamah flyover near Fourth Avenue Road — was begun on Friday night. Both FOBs are expected to be completed by October-end. Portions of the FOBs have been imported from France, said PWD officials.
The FOBs were to be used during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, when the stadium was expected to be filled to its capacity of 70,000-80,000 people. “At that time, players were supposed to use the FOBs after getting off the Games buses at the parking opposite the gate number 4. Spectators using the park-andride scheme at the Safdarjung parking and walking to the stadium would have also taken these,” said a senior traffic police officer of the area.
“Lodhi Road was then out of bounds for general traffic as only VIP movement was allowed on the stretch during the Games ceremonies. Hence, there was high pedestrian usage. Now, people can just get off next to the stadium entrances,” he added.
The FOB near gate number 4is of no use to the nearby residents of the Sewa Nagar railway colony as there is a high boundary wall running along the entire length of the colony that cuts access to the FOB. Further, buses use the parking only as a depot and don’t operate out of it, said officials.
The second FOB has the railway colony on one side and the Lodhi Colony on the other. While there is an opening at Lodhi Colony for residents to access underconstruction FOB, this is not the case for the railway colony residents. Currently only one bus uses this stretch to go to AIIMS but even that service is not frequent.
PWD, however, defended its action, claiming that it will be of use to residents and those coming to the stadium. “When there is a game at the stadium, the FOB near gate number 4 will be used. Nearby colony residents can use both the FOBs as well,” said PWD director (works) Deepak Panwar.

FEW USERS: Traffic police say there are very few pedestrians who cross at these two points

Road Rage : A tragedy in Mumbai

Mumbai woman thrashed after accident, loses baby

V Narayan TNN

    Mumbai: A 35-year-old woman suffered a miscarriage after being kicked and thrashed by four members of a family, including two women, in full public view on a busy road in Mumbai’s Kurla (W). The victim, Vidya Pednekar, a nurse, cried for help but none of the onlookers came to her assistance, said the police. The woman was assaulted after she rebuked one of the accused when his motorcycle hit her.

      Based on descriptions provided by Pednekar, the police arrested Rahul Satpute (23). They are looking for the other accused — Satpute’s mother Rajeshwari (40), sister Shraddha (18) and cousin Pappu Kanade (20) — who fled after the incident.

     The victim had conceived six years into her marriage after opting for a test tube baby.

     Pednekar was on her way to work when the bike hit her from behind. While Satpute was riding the bike, his mother and sister were sitting pillion. “I was in pain and shouted at the biker for rash driving. Suddenly, the two women charged at me and started hitting me. Worse, the youth kicked me in my stomach,” Pednekar said.

     The assault did not stop there. As Pednekar fell on the road, Kanade — who was passing by — joined the Satputes and the four kept hitting her. “According to eyewitnesses, the accused left the spot only after they felt they had thrashed her enough,” said a police officer.

NRI: Five Young Andhrites Die in Car Crash In Oklahoma

Oklahoma Accident Aug-10-2012

TANA shocked with the death of five Telugu youth in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Accident Jaswanth Reddy Subbayyagari Phanindra Gade Srinivas Ravikanti Anuraag Anthati Venkat Rao Maddala
Five Indian youth were killed during a deadly accident at the junction of I-35 and I-40 in Oklahoma City. Around 1 a.m. on August 10th, 2012.  Police say the car was driving eastbound on Interstate 40, exiting to the I-35 onramp when it hit a big rig. The car slid underneath the truck, went down an embankment and burst into flames. All five people in the car were ejected and killed at the scene. Police say none of them were wearing seatbelts. The case is still under invistigation.

According to their friends; Jaswanth Reddy Subbayyagari, Phanindra Gade, Anurag Anthati, Srinivas Ravikanti and Venkata Rao Maddala were the people killed in the accident. Currently the bodies have not been officially identified. Among the five software professionals, only Venkat Maddala is married.

TANA President, Prasad Thotakura, EVP, Mohan Nannapaneni, Foundation Trustee, Srinivas Jarugula, TEAM Square committee chair Anjaiah Chowdary Lavu are closely working with the families and friends of deceased. TEAM Square volunteers Srikanth Rava, Rajasekhar Bheemireddy and Ravi Mallapuram are helping TANA TEAM Square in making arrangements to send the deceased to India.

Prasad Thotakura spoke with the Oklahoma City’s medical examiner, funeral home in Dallas, and the Consul General of India (Houston) and is making all the arrangements to send the bodies to India from Dallas, Texas as soon as possible. TANA expresses deep condolences to the families and friends of these young people.

TANA TEAM Square is not seeking donations at present, however there may be a need for financial assistance as all these individuals have recently graduated and employed.

If you would like to make a contribution, please visit: ( Choose TEAM Square for your donation)

TANA is planning to arrange a viewing in Dallas, Texas, before transporting the bodies to India. We will have more information on the release of bodies by the medical examiner. Currently we are putting the necessary information together and working closely with all parties associated.
Please visit for updated information.

A car went under a tractor-trailer and caught fire early Friday at Interstate 35 and Interstate 40 near downtown Oklahoma City. 

By BRYAN DEAN and ROBERT MEDLEY | Published: August 10, 2012

Six people were killed Friday in two separate accidents near the Interstate 35 and Interstate 40 interchange in Oklahoma City, including five in an early-morning crash.

The five-fatality crash occurred about 1 a.m. when a car and a tractor-trailer rig collided in the southbound lanes of I-35 just south of I-40.

      Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers said the car was southbound on I-35 when it left the road, then returned and went under the truck, shearing the roof off the car.

      The car then spun onto the westbound lanes of I-40 as it caught fire, said Capt. Chris West, patrol spokesman. He said all five people in the car were killed. All five were thrown out of the vehicle. The truck driver was not injured.

        The crash forced the closure of the eastbound and westbound on-ramps from I-40 to southbound I-35 for much of the morning.

     Four of the five victims were foreign nationals from India, West said.

We are not confirming their names at this time until we have talked to family members. It is our policy to not release names until patrolmen have notified family members but it’s difficult getting hold of them …” because they are in another country, West said.

Southbound motorists on Interstate 235 also were forced to exit at NW 6 while workers cleaned up the wreckage.

Car crash in US kills 5 techies from Hyderabad

       Washington: Five Indian software professionals, all from Hyderabad, died when their car hit a tractor-trailer and burst into flames in the US city of Oklahoma on Friday, the police said.

     The accident happened when the car, a Chevrolet Camaro, hit the tractortrailer, the Oklahoma highway patrol spokesman Capt Chris West said. Police said the car going eastbound on Interstate 40 was exiting to the I-35 on ramp when it hit a big rig on the ramp.

      The car slid underneath the semi, went down an embankment and burst into flames. All five people in the car were ejected and killed at the scene.

     The five have been identified as Jaswanth Reddy Subbayyagari, Phanindra Gade, Anurag Anthati, Srinivas Ravi and Venkat, the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) said quoting friend of those who died in the accident.

     All of them were software professionals working in US.

     Among these people, only Venkat was married.

       The truck driver was not hurt. Police said none of them were wearing seatbelts. TANA president, Prasad Thotakura, said the organization with working with the police and local community to inform the families of the deceased, and making necessary arrangements to send the bodies to India. PTI



Auto driver returns 1L to passenger



     New Delhi: In a rare instance of honesty, an auto driver, a south Delhi resident and a constable teamed up to return Rs 1 lakh to a passenger who had left it inside an autorickshaw.

     The passenger, Raj Kumar Bhalla, had on Tuesday boarded an auto — bearing registration no. DL-1R-F-1083 — from Pratap Nagar to Pitampura. While alighting he forget his polythene bag containing the cash. The driver reached Pitampura Metro station, where another passenger boarded the auto. The next passenger, Ashwani Kumar, who lives in South Extension, noticed the bag kept on the passenger seat.

      The two did not flinch on seeing the money and approached constable Ram Nazar, who was patrolling the area. They then went to the place where the passenger had de-boarded the auto, but could not find him. Nazar then contacted the RWA of RU Block, Pitampura; after doing several rounds of the area, they spotted the passenger. The bag was finally returned to its owner. Bhalla lives at Krishna Nagar in east Delhi

     Auto driver Raj, Ashwani and the constable will be rewarded for their act of honesty, said police.



Govt plans to choke city with 38 more botched BRTs

        DIMTS Ready To Replicate Flawed Experiment 

     Govt Refuses To Allow People’s Participation In Decision-Making

Rumu    Banerjee TNN

      New Delhi:The Delhi government decided to rechristen the bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor as integrated transit corridor in 2011, perhaps hoping to erase the memory of the ordeal Delhiites undergo everyday on the Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand BRT.

        Unfortunately, that’s the only change it has brought about. Plans for 38 new corridors — 14 of which have been approved by Delhi government — clearly show the government is hell-bent on implementing a design that has already been panned by the city.
A case in point is the preliminary design for BRT corridors to be constructed by DIMTS (Delhi integrated multi-modal transit system). The agency, which operates and maintains the existing BRT, has been entrusted with six corridors. Despite the experience of running the Ambedkar Nagar BRT with its attendant jams and long-signal cycles, DIMTS opted to replicate the same design on corridors it will be building — central dedicated lane for buses, girded by the motor vehicle (MV) lanes on both sides.

      The rest of the road, DIMTS officials say, will be retrofitted as per guidelines set by the umbrella traffic and transport agency, UTTIPEC. “The principle of the BRT at Ambedkar Nagar is sound. We only have to learn from our experience and design a better model for other corridors,” said a senior DIMTS official.

        A better model, according to DIMTS, is a corridor that will have 15m set aside for the dedicated bus lane with 11m on either carriageway for MV lanes. On either side, a section of the road space measuring 10-11m will be devoted for the footpath, cycle and non-motor vehicle track. This is a typical cross-section on a 60m road, as suggested by UTTIPEC. On roads that are narrower, the lane width goes down correspondingly. But the segregated bus lane is not done away with, unless the road is narrower than 24m. That’s not all. The design also suggests separate parking zones for autorickshaws and Gramin Sewa on the road space in the corridor, aside from hawker zones near intersections. All this will be carved out in the existing road space.

        BRT proponents say existing lane space for private vehicles will not be touched in the new corridors. “We will make more space on the road where possible,” a DIMTS official said. Considering the corridors are going through highly congested areas like ISBT Kashmere Gate, the airport intersection, Vikas Marg, Seelampur, Dilshad Garden, Azadpur, Shahdara, Mahipalpur and Gokulpuri, the idea may seem ludicrous. DIMTS claims that’s why it has opted for a ‘hybrid’ system — where the segregated bus lane may merge into mixed traffic on stretches that are too narrow.

       Transport planning expert Prof P K Sarkar says, “The design as implemented at Ambedkar Nagar BRT is not optimum utilisation of space. The biggest problem is with the junction treatment in the BRT, where signal cycles are too long. Only if the bus lane is completely segregated at these junctions, perhaps made elevated, will the corridor work in Delhi.” According to Sarkar, any traffic-heavy junction where the bus lane is at grade with the MV lane will result in traffic jams. He dismisses the government’s proposal to reclaim road space in areas like the Yamuna riverside, by concretizing strips along the stretch. “Can that be done along all the roads in Delhi? Obviously not,” is the scathing retort. Sanjiv Sahai of DIMTS says the benefits of the BRT will be felt once the network is completed. But why wasn’t the network completed in the past four years since its inception? There are no answers.

           That the government itself is confused about the project is apparent from the fact that the PWD, which has been asked to build the rest of the seven BRT corridors (with one to be built by the MCD), has no clue whether the BRT will be a central or side-dedicated bus lane. PWD officials say the design will be finalized by consultants. The PWD is still in the process of hiring them.

       With a cost of Rs 15-20 crore per kilometre, the experimentation drive by the Delhi government on the BRT project that will cover over 300km raises several questions. Why is it insisting on extending the corridor when the existing one still doesn’t function properly?

       In a city with shrinking road space, rampant encroachment, lax enforcement, why is the government relying on a system that can only tackle moderate traffic flow? The government’s refusal to allow public participation in the decision process has only mired the project in more controversy. But is the government listening?
( C o n c l u d e d )

In 2011, Delhi govt gives nod to 14 more BRT corridors .   BRT now called integrated transit corridor .Corridor will now be built by land-owning agency
DIMTS, PWD & MCD are selected agencies .Corridors cut through congested areas like
ISBT Kashmere Gate, IGI intersection, Gokulpuri, Dilshad Garden, Karkari More, Sarai Kale Khan-Jor Bagh (via Barapullah), Connaught Place

Design chosen by DIMTS same as Ambedkar Nagar-Delhi Gate BRT
Dedicated bus lane to be at centre
Bus stations to be staggered, bus stops on either side of lane
Rest of road to be retrofitted with footpath, cycle track, kerbing of central dedicated lane
Pedestrian crossings near bus stations
Bus priority at minor junctions
CHANGES SUGGESTED IN NEW ITC Follow guidelines for streetdesign laid down by UTTIPEC
Corridor not to eat into existing vehicle space/ road space
Will have parking zones for autos and Gramin Sewa on corridor
Hawker zone near intersections
Higher parking charges
for vehicles in corridor
Grade separators at major junctions
Ban on turns
More buses
DIMTS ready with initial project report of six corridors
PWD yet to hire consultants. Once hired, design will be chosen for corridors
CM called for review of BRT project

Mumbai :Train Tragedies Preventable

More than 23K killed, but city still crosses tracks

Trespassing Caused Most Fatalities On Railway Tracks Since 2002,

Overcrowding A Close Second

Manthan K Mehta & Somit Sen | TNN

             Deaths due to rail and road accidents in the city are much higher than those caused by terror attacks.

      A query filed under the Right to Information (RTI) act has revealed that the death toll on rail tracks hovers around 3,700 since 2006. But the worst years for railway commuters were 2006 and 2007, during which the number of deaths registered under various circumstances touched 4,029 and 3,997 respectively. Since 2002, stretches falling under Kurla Government Railway Police recorded 3,360 deaths due to trespassing. Likewise, on Western Railway, stretches under Borivli GRP topped the chart with 3,334 deaths.

       The RTI, filed by activist Chetan Kothari, revealed trespassing-related deaths were highest in 2004 in which 2,734 people died, including 1,495 on CR alone. In fact trespassing was the largest killer, causing 23,820 fatalities since 2002.

       Kothari said, “Besides trespassing, the second most common cause of death was falling from a running train.”

       Despite the increase in suburban services, 734 and 675 people died after falling from trains on the suburban network in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Kothari said, “In 2010, 519 people died after falling from trains on CR. The figure was only marginally low in 2011, when 468 deaths recorded on CR.”

        On WR, these types of deaths are registered primarily in crowded stretches of Borivli GRP, which includes stations from Dahisar and Goregaon and Vasai GRP whose jurisdiction is between Mira Road and Virar.

An analysis of figures highlighting deaths due to falling down from trains reveals that most of these incidents occurred in Borivli and Vasai GRP jurisdictions, where on average 50-60 people died per year. On CR, deaths due to this reason occurred primarily on stretches of Kurla, Kalyan, Dadar and to some extent Thane. Kothari said, “From 2010 to November 2011, a total of 223 people died due to falling from trains in stretches under Kurla GRP.”

      Deaths after being hit by a pole reduced drastically in 10 years. Kothari said, “In 2002, 96 people died after dashing against a pole from a moving train. This figure has fallen to 19 in 2011.” Likewise, deaths due to falling into the gap between the platform and train reduced drastically. “In 2003, 46 people died, this has become single-digit since 2006,” he said.

      Injuries also witnessed an alarming increase. Kothari said, “In 2002, 2,614 people got injured in various circumstances. It crossed 3,500 in 2005 and has remained above 4,000 since 2006.”

       Road accidents too are a cause for concern, experts said. “Mumbai should follow the road discipline of London, New York and Singapore. Here, motorcycle-borne youngsters and those in SUVs break signals with impunity and cause accidents. In foreign cities, there is invisible patrolling through CCTV cameras, which is yet to take off in a big way in Mumbai,” said traffic expert and activist A V Shenoy.

         An RTO official said, “We are conducting a refresher course for driving instructors in Mumbai in the first week of January. Also, we have made driving tests at Andheri RTO stricter.”

FOBs widened, extended and newly built at many suburban stations
Metal dividers provided between platform on WR; CR has invited tenders to install iron railings between CST-Kurla
Level crossing gates closed at Belapur, Vikhroli, Nerul and Sewri
Awareness drives conducted through print and electronic media, street plays and bulk SMSes

RTO Office In Vasant Vihar Delhi : No Bribes Please

       Difficult to Believe? Unbelievable but true.

     Please see our earlier blog of Sept 2010, where in we expressed surprise that one could get a driving license issued without paying bribes.

    Last month a member of my family had gone to get his driving license made. He got the license without any hassle, and without paying a bribe.

        The RTO and staff deserve praise.