Sunday, November 23, 2014

रोड सेफ्टी के लिए पहला प्रयोग, साइिकल और रिक्शा के लिए एनएमटी ट्रैक

नवांशहर/चंडीगढ़. पंजाब में रोड सेफ्टी के मानक गाड़ियों को ध्यान में रखकर तय किए जाते हैं। लेकिन सेफ्टी के लिहाज से पहली बार इसमें पैदल, साइकिल व रिक्शा सवारों का भी ध्यान रखा गया है। चंडीगढ़ की तर्ज पर पहली बार 'नॉन मोटर ट्रांसपोर्ट ट्रैक' का प्रयोग पायलट प्रोजेक्ट के तौर पर नवांशहर से शुरू होगा। इसके लिए बाकायदा नॉन मोटर ट्रांसपोर्ट (एनएमटी) सोसायटी भी बनाई गई है। इसका चेयरमैन जिले की डीसी अनंदिता मित्रा को बनाया गया है। उन्होंने बताया कि पैदल के लिए फुटपाथ और साइिकल व रिक्शा के लिए अलग से रोड बनाई जाएगी ताकि बड़े वाहनों की चपेट से आने से इन्हें बचाया जा सके। प्रोजेक्ट पर काम शुरू हो चुका है। शुक्रवार को पंजाब सरकार द्वारा जारी रोड सेफ्टी पॉलिसी में भी एनएमटी को शामिल किया है।
 
फुटपाथ और लग्जरी रिक्शा
पहले चरण में पैदल चलने वालों के लिए फुटपाथ बनाया जा रहा है ताकि मुख्य सड़कों पर भीड़ कम हो। बस अड्डे पर निजी वाहनों की भीड़ कम करने के लिए विशेष रिक्शे चलाए गए हैं। यह लो फ्लोर रिक्शा होगा। इसमें शॉकर्स हैं, जो सफर आरामदायक बनाते हैं। इनमें रेडियम लगा है जो रात में चमकता है। इससे हादसा होने के चांस बहुत कम रह जाते हैं।
 
यूं लुभाएंगे 
रिक्शा पैसेंजर फ्रेंडली है। सेफ्टी के लिहाज से सीट बेल्ट है। सामान नीचे रखने की जगह है। पहिए कवर हैं ताकि महिलाओं के दुपट्टे न फंसें। 
 
नवांशहर ही क्यों ? 
नवांशहर स्टेट हाइवे पर स्थित है। शहर सड़क के दोनों ओर बसा है। ट्रैिफक के कारण पैदल और साइकिल चालकों के लिए जगह नहीं बचती। बड़े वाहनों की चपेट में आने का खतरा बना रहता है। 
 
यूं आया आइडिया: डीसी मित्रा ने बताया कि सड़क पर भीड़ का कारण इन्क्रोचमेंट पाया गया। दूसरी वजह निजी वाहनों की भीड़ और तीसरी वजह पैदल व साइकिल सवारों के लिए कोई अलग रास्ता नहीं होना।
 
चंडीगढ़ में एनएमटी: चंडीगढ़ में ज्यादातर सड़कों के साइड में एनएमटी ट्रैक बनाए गए हैं ताकि बड़ी गाड़ियों की चपेट में आने से लोगों को बचाया जा सके। यह प्रयोग यहां काफी सफल भी रहा है। इस तरह के हादसे शहर में न के बराबर ही होते हैं। 
नाटक के जरिए पढ़ाया ट्रैफिक का पाठ
अमृतसर. हादसों के खिलाफ चलाया जा रहा भास्कर महाअभियान शनिवार की शाम कंपनी बाग में सैर करने आने वाले लोगों पर भी छाप छोड़ गया। इस मौके पर साई क्रिएशन की तरफ से पेश नाटक ने जहां लोगों को जागरूक किया। वहीं लोगों ने संकल्प भी लिया कि वह ट्रैफिक नियमों का पालन करेंगे। 

साई क्रिएशन की तरफ से कलाकार गुरिंदर मकना लिखित तथा निर्देशित नाटक 'आजा मेरे शहर दी नुहार वेख लै' की थीम चरमराई ट्रैफिक व्यवस्था पर थी। इसमें कलाकारों ने इसके विभिन्न कारणों पर बड़ी ही बारीकी से रोशनी डाली। विकास के नाम पर खराब की गई सड़कें, अतिक्रमण, सड़कों पर बेशुमार वाहन, ऑटो रिक्शा की भरमार, रेड लाइट जंप करना और ट्रैफिक पुलिस में भ्रष्टाचार जैसे मुद्दे दिल को दू गए।
 
पोस्ट ऑफिस के कर्मचारियों ने प्रेशर हॉर्न न लगाने की कसम खाई
जालंधर/नाभा. दैनिक भास्कर महा अभियान के तहत मेन पोस्ट ऑफिस फोरम के मेंबर्स ने प्रेशर हॉर्न न लगाने का संकल्प लिया। कर्मचािरयों ने कहा, भास्कर ने आम लोगों की प्रॉब्लम समझी और सही दिशा में जागरूकता कैंपेन चलाया है। कहा, हम न तो प्रेशर हाॅर्न लगाएंगे और न ही ट्रैफिक नियम तोड़ेंगे।

नाभा| रेड लाइट को कभी क्रॉस मत करें। हेलमेट पहनकर दोपहिया वाहन चलाएं। घर से निकलते समय गाड़ी के कागज चेक करें। शराब पीकर गाड़ी कभी भी ड्राइव न करें। गांव तूंगा के सरकारी स्कूल में बच्चों ने ट्रैफिक जागरूकता रैली निकाली। हाथ में बैनर लेकर वह पूरे गांव में घूमे। 
 
 
बठिंडा: भोखड़ा स्कूल में ट्रैफिक अवेयरनेस को लेकर स्टूडेंट्स की हुई प्रतियोगिता
बठिंडा. ट्रैफिक नियमों से अपडेट करने के लिए मानवी अधिकार सुरक्षा संगठन के प्रोजेक्ट मिशन रीच सेफ के तहत सरकारी सेकंडरी स्कूल भोखड़ा में प्रतियोगिता आधारित वर्कशाप का आयोजन किया गया। ट्रैफिक नियमों संबंधी स्कूल के 40 छात्रों से लिखित टेस्ट लिया गया। मिशन कोऑर्डीनेटर नवनीत दुग्गल ने छात्रों को नियम फॉलो करने के लिए प्रेरित किया। इधर, आर्य मॉडल सीसे  स्कूल में सुबह की सभा में ट्रैफिक अवेयरनेस वर्कशाप लगाई गई। प्रिंसिपल विपिन गर्ग ने बच्चों को सड़क पर चलने के नियमों से अवगत कराया। साथ ही बच्चों से सुरक्षित गाड़ी चलाने की सलाह दी।
 
लुधियाना पुलिस फेसबुक पर लोगों से मांग रही सुझाव
लुधियाना. सिटी का ट्रैफिक सिस्टम सुधारने के लिए पुलिस सोशल नेटवर्किंग साइट फेसबुक के जरिए सीधे पब्लिक के बीच पहुंच गई है। इसके लिए पुलिस ने फेसबुक पेज Traffic Police Ludhiana को सुझावों के लिए ओपन कर दिया है। इसमें पेज से जुड़ा कोई भी व्यक्ति शहर में ट्रैफिक सिस्टम को ठीक करने के बारे में अपने सुझाव दे सकता है। जिस पर पुलिस अफसर चर्चा करेंगे । 


CRRI Report quashed by HC : Civic body pulls down 15 unipoles along expressway

Hindustan Times, Gurgaon Edition 23 November 2014
 
Complying with the high court's orders to remove all advertisements along the expressway within 24 hours, the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) dismantled 15 unipoles.
 

The Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the removal of advertisements along the e-way in 24 hours.Officials have also disconnected the LED advertisement atop a DLF cybercity building.

There were 13 unipoles displaying advertisements along the highway that had been allotted on tender and two more with special permission near Ambience mall, they have all been removed. The HC has asked the department to submit a compliance report by next Friday.

According to a report submitted in court by a road safety expert, 77 sites in the city have been approved for advertisements.The court on Friday also quashed a report by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and asked the MCG to follow the instructions in the report submitted by the court-appointed road safety expert Navdeep Asija.

"We have been told to remove advertisements along the expressway and we are implementing the same. All advertisements will be removed by Saturday evening," said Vikas Yadav, MCG commissioner, Gurgaon.

According to officials, the department earns revenue of ` 1.5-2 lakh per month from each unipole. The total revenue from advertisements is approximately ` 1.2 crore per month.

"The MCG officials identified 200 locations for Unipoles and hoardings for the inspection. Out of these, 77 locations were found to be safe. These have been finalised for outdoor advertisement plan after audit and inspection in phase -1," said Asija, road safety and sustainable transport consultant.

The report further states that six unipoles are installed within 500m of IFFCO Chowk flyover and need to be removed. Of the 15 unipoles that have been dismantled, five were displaying advertisements near Iffco Chowk.

"The MCG placed a list of 125 locations including more than 30 on the national highway, which falls on existing black spots. It is requested that MCG may review its document," added the report.
The CRRI report that was sought by the MCG to review the observations of the court appointed expert had approved all 125 locations proposed by the MCG for advertisements.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Standards dodged for new Gurgaon roads

Times of India, 17th November 2014

GURGAON: The consultant appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court to study the implementation of the Integrated Mobility Plan for Gurgaon made by Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), has raised objections concerning several aspects of the plan, such as width of roads, cycle tracks and footpaths, etc.

According to the mobility plan, HUDA, HSIIDC and MCG together were to build 250 km new roads, while also undertaking repair on about 200 km of existing roads, and also building 200 km of footpaths, with cycle tracks where feasible.

Earlier this year, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) chief administrator had written to the Department of Urban Local Bodies, stating that with the exponential growth of the city and its vehicular traffic, the widths of roads sanctioned in the development plan needed to be revised. Following this, instructions were issued to all senior town planners, as well as the district town planner, to upgrade the widths of all sanctioned roads, with the width of major arterial roads raised from 60metres to 75 m, arterial roads kept the same at 60 m, width of sector roads raised from 30 m to 45 m, collector roads from 18 m to 24 m and local roads from nine metres to 12 m.

However, on its own, the high court appointed Navdeep Asija - who shot to fame with Ecocabs, his dial-a-cycle rickshaw concept that won him India's National Award of Excellence in 2011 - as an expert to study the ongoing works, as well as implementation of the Integrated Mobility Plan by various departments. In his report, which he submitted to the court on October 17, he has pointed out various anomalies in the implementation.

According to Asija's report, submitted last month, of the 200 km of footpaths to be built, 93 km was to be in HUDA areas - of which 58 km has already been completed with work in progress on another 27 km - work on the remaining 8 km not having begun yet.

The report claims that neither the length, nor the width of the footpaths being made, is as per prescribed standards.

Similarly, of the 156 km of new roads to be built by HUDA, the report claims that although work on 75 km has been completed, the widths of these new roads do not match the upgraded width specified in the chief administrator's directives.

MCG sources revealed that so far as it is concerned, building plans of neither new roads nor footpaths have been implemented, with MCG so far only having managed to appoint a consultant to build cycle tracks and cycle parking in its areas.

If true, this would be a cause for concern for the administration busy projecting Gurgaon as a global city, and an undermining of citizens' aspirations for a cyclist-friendly city, especially in the wake of Raahgiri Day's phenomenal success.

The court, meanwhile, has directed all three authorities - MCG, HUDA and HSIIDC - to submit a response to Asija's claims in his report.

Without elaborating on their responses, officials in both HUDA and MCG claimed they have submitted affidavits in the high court on the issues raised, but haven't yet received any further directives.

MCG commissioner Vikas Yadav said, "We have submitted our status report and response to Asija's complaints, and are awaiting further directions. If any alteration in implementing the mobility plan is needed, we will definitely consider it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla Fazilka (Punjab) get heritage status

Long pending demand of residents of Fazilka to give heritage status to Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla (DC residence)of Fazilka got a nod from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums, Punjab Government through its notification with the sincere efforts of Manjit Singh Brar, Deputy Commissioner.

With the heritage status to Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla (DC residence) of Fazilka, these buildings would now be looked after by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums and its inheritance look will be retained by its proper caretaking.
 
In Focus
 
It may be mentioned that local residents have launched a drive to save a 113-year-old building, Raghuvar Bhawan, and seek heritage status for it. Led by social activist Lachhman Dost, the residents daily gather before the dilapidated building. They have also tied an iron chain around the building, flashing a message "Save it from total ruin".
The building was constructed in 1901 by late Seth Munshi Ram Aggarwal, a philanthropist, in the memory of one of his relatives. He raised a garden spread over 16.36 acres of prime land on the Freedom Fighter Road around the building for cultural activities. He later constituted Lala Munshi Ram Aggarwal Public Trust and dedicated the property for promotion of educational activities.
The notifications have been issued on 21, 29 and 30 October, 2014 for Raghuwar Bhawan, Gol Kothi & Bangla (DC residence) Fazilka and under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1964 for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
In view of the interest of the local residents and initiative by the district administration by taking personal interest, the Punjab Government has issued the notification for declaring the heritage status to these buildings.
The action of the government for this historical decision has been welcomed by NGOs, religious institutions, youth clubs, educationists and intellectuals. Deputy Commissioner, Manjit Singh Brar also thanked the Punjab Government for this effort.
Expressing his pleasures on the issue of notification by the Punjab Government, Brar, Deputy Commissioner said, "Efforts would be made to get the heritage status also to other more than 100 years old buildings in the district so that coming generations could be put wiser about their heritage history."


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why blame only cops? System needs overhaul

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh HT, 2nd October 2014


- Navdeep Asija

There is tendency to blame the traffic police for road crashes. That instant reaction is based on the fact that the police are the only department that interacts with the common people every day on roads. But, in our system, there are over 20 departments responsible for overall road safety.

We must note that our eight decade-old legal system for road safety is designed to find faults with humans, not with authorities. Besides the driver, the vehicle and surrounding environment are also responsible for road safety. Research shows that responsibility in 54-62% cases is of road infrastructure and environment, 28-34% is of faulty vehicle and design; and 8-12% human error.

Ideally, a safe road is like a mother who informs, warns, controls, guides and even forgives errant behavior. At present, our road infrastructure punishes us.

As for Chandigarh, the administration a few years ago widened spaces for rotaries along with creation of wider slip roads for smooth flow of traffic. This made dedicated fast-lane rotaries. Rotaries/traffic circles are traffic-calming devices used to slow down the traffic. So, this technically wrong move made negotiation of traffic at rotaries miserable. Thankfully, remedial steps were taken by installing speed tables and other traffic-calming measures.

As for human errors, let me cite an example. In 2012, of the 12 female accident death victims in Chandigarh, five were on scooter and died because of not wearing a helmet. Rules say helmet is not mandatory for Sikh women; but it is difficult to identify women on scooter on the basis of religion. How do you tell? I would reserve comment on such political laws related to safety. But it is high time communities too woke up against unscientific laws.

From vehicle safety to road design, planning or in execution, police are not involved in any step. In all three conditions of road crash — pre-crash, in-crash and post-crash — police have minimal role to play. The buck has to stop somewhere but certainly not only with the traffic police. Terming road crashes as 'accidents' is also wrong in a sense. The meaning of 'accident' is 'something unavoidable'. But road crash is not an act of God. Even the World Health Organization in 2004 adopted the slogan, 'Road safety is no accident'.

Kids zipping on roads is expensive vehicle is not a matter of pride. It's a shame. Songs like 'Tere liye hi toh signal tod-tad ke' reflect our society. Parents must not feel proud if their son or daughter starts driving at the age of 14-15 with a fake licence. In the case of a crash, your kid might survive but it is possible another poor mother might lose her child! At one level, rather than blaming cops, we could be thankful to them for maintaining a minimum level of road safety in our country despite limited resources.


Writer is technical adviser to Punjab State Transport Society, and founder of Ecocabs-India. Views expressed are his personal.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Fazilka entrepreneur's 'debt-free farmer' model discussed in UN forum

Dinesh K Sharma

FAZILKA: A business model enabling small and marginal farmers to hire implements for farm operations -- brainchild of a Fazilka-based entrepreneur -- was showcased in an event of United Nations in Indonesia recently.

Vikram Ahuja, proprietor of Zamindara Farm Solutions, was invited for the conference of UN's Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at Sarpong in Indonesia on September 11, where he discussed the model that helps small peasants to use hi-tech implements without the need to buy them.

On his return from the UN conference, Vikram said his "debt-free farmer" model was discussed by delegates as the event's main thrust was to make agriculture viable for small and marginal farmers.

"Smaller peasants are the worst hit in Punjab, which is the breadbasket of the country. They are forced to spend huge amount of money on buying implements despite having meagre landholdings, which puts a huge financial burden on them. Most of them are unable to pay off the debt as their earnings are not enough due to smaller land holdings. To help such farmers, we formed a company that provides implements like tractors, harrows, JCBs (excavators), rotovators, seed sowers, harvesters, fodder choppers and many more on nominal rent. We hope this model will be emulated across Punjab," said Ahuja.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In Punjab, Muktsar, Fazilka worst hit by rains

BATHINDA/MUKTSAR: With large tracts of cotton and paddy fields submerged under rain water in several districts, farmers and administration fear that crop damage would be very high this year.

Muktsar and Fazilka districts are the worst affected where huge areas of paddy and cotton fields are submerged. According to agriculture department officials, around 40,000 acres of cotton and 15,000 acres of paddy in Muktsar, over 40,000 acres of cotton and paddy in Fazilka and around 15,000 acres in Mansa were under water on Monday. The state drainage department is trying to pump out water from the fields.

Chances of further rain on Monday evening triggered panic among farmers. Efforts to drain out water have not yielded the desired results till now.

It is feared that over 15% cotton crop could be damaged and more rains could aggravate the situation.

Muktsar deputy commissioner Jaskiranjit Singh said efforts are being made to drain out water from fields and minimize the loss.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Smart Cities in India

Hoping Smart Cities would also transform their residents as smart & responsible citizen, who would love to work more towards their duties than their rights like Right to litter, deface or damage...

To me the definition of Smart city would be in which "a Woman alone can come back to her home safely by using public transport, even after finishing her work during midnight hours ".. This one aspect will cover all aspects of "Good n All Inclusive Cities", like crime free, better transport, gender equality, social inclusion and being environment friendly and sustainable..

#Smartcities

Friday, August 29, 2014

20 Years of being GENCONIAN:

20 Years of being GENCONIAN: Probably 20 years back this was the time when a batch of 198 people entered into this royal institution and got the privilege to be the part of royal "Genconian" family. Those four years were as if we all lived one life together. Couple of days back I met Gurwinder (Bagga), a batch mate of mine at ISB Campus, Mohall and my instant reaction was "oye saliya tu ithe kive". My reaction towards him was pretty natural, without realizing this fact that he is Associate Director, Career Advancement Services there. Probably this is a beauty of "being genconian", which helped to keep all of us humble and together.
Entire Genconian clan was divided into five broad categories "Pendu Quota", "Day Scholar", "Delhi Wale","Bhappe" and "Group Wale" . Combination of all was popularly known as "JANTA". Amongst them minority status communities were "Day Scholar", "Delhi Wale" and "Bhappe". For girls, we had only one respectable classification system and that was "BHABHI", which somehow showed our commitment and respect towards them at that time. The minority status communities always remained on our targets because of their close association with "Bhabhi" community. "Tea" was our official drink and that too from "Jatt Tea Stall". "Land Line" phone in girl's hostel was the only technical source of romance and communication for us. Unlike today, technology never supported us and that was the reason we had only one" in house love affair" in entire batch of 198. Speaking in English was treated it as a "serious criminal offence", as if we are not in GNE but in France. Cochran boiler is still mystery to all of us and I had been informed by my seniors that top wire on high transmission electric towers is used to facilitate birds to sit…. Difficult to pen down those beautiful feelings. Thank you Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana for making us what we all are today…salute to the spirit of "being genconian". 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

नई सोच का "नवदीप"

Nai Soch Ka Navdeep

Satya Swadesh, 24th August 2014, National Chandigarh Edition

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Government Primary School, Dona Nanka and New Salemshah

Brand Fazilka : "ਦੇਹ ਸਿਵਾ ਬਰੁ ਮੋਹਿ ਇਹੈ ਸੁਭ ਕਰਮਨ ਤੇ ਕਬਹੂੰ ਨ ਟਰੋਂ ॥"
Meet my two friends and the most dedicated teachers from our Fazilka regionLavjeet Grewal and Rakeysh Kamboj..their work can be seen in the pictures below..these are the pictures of the two Government Primary Schools, Dona Nanka and New Salemshah respectively....last two villages on India Pakistan Border...and what they have created in their schools is simply outstanding...24 x 7 power backup, RO water..toilets for boys and girls... their government schools are far better in terms of infrastructure and results...e.g. Dona Nanka Primary School kids won 17 awards out of best 20 in the entire state..people in nearby villages have actually stopped going to private schools, from their own pockets they have made beautiful campus and office...(Red is Dona Nanka and Brown back wall is New SalemShah)...they are certainly in the 1% category of those government teachers, who believes in delivery than protesting...i never found them discussing their promotion, transfers and increments unlike many others....then themselves never climbed water tanks but made their students on the top of the world....they have created all from the same set of resources which are meant for everyone.....Hats off to you..

"Irade nek ho to, sapne bhi sakar hote hai..
agar sachchi lagan ho to,raaste aasan hote hai"

Will introduce you with few more of our champion teachers, who are creating miracles in this border town.....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More Bikes on Our Roads Actually Make Them Safer

Attention, drivers: You might want to think twice before flipping the bird at that morning cycling group for slowing down your commute. In fact, you should probably thank them.

study published in the April issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention suggests that more bikes make roads safer for cyclists and motorists — a finding that could have national implications as more and more Americans hop on two wheels. "Improving the streets to better accommodate bicycles may enhance safety for everyone," said Wesley Marshall, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado Denver and co-author of the study.

Marshall and other CU Denver researchers honed in on the city of Boulder, where 12 percent of residents ride bikes, one of the highest rates in the country. Their goal? To create a safety performance function (SPF) for the city's bikes — a mathematical model of the relationship between the frequency of crashes and the major factors related to them — that could inform traffic safety laws and infrastructure. (SPFs exist in a number of cities for vehicles, but not for bikes.)

The researchers focused on the intersections throughout Boulder, where more than two-thirds of crashes occur between drivers and cyclists. They compared collision data from police reports to city data on the number of bikes wheeling through the intersections each day.

Their findings? The chance of collision actually decreased with more cyclists. Specifically, intersections that saw more than 200 bicycles a day had "the largest safety benefits," Marshall said.

The number of people who pedal to work in the U.S. jumped 60 percent over the last decade.

The reasons for the trend aren't entirely clear — yet. Marshall and his colleagues think it could be due to "safety in numbers," the theory — and common Mom refrain — that being part of a large group makes you less likely to be part of a collision or other mishap. A group of bicyclists tends to be easier to spot than lone individuals, alerting drivers who are then more likely to take extra precautions. Indeed, earlier studies proposed that when drivers expect to encounter a large number of cyclists, they're more apt to glance over their shoulder before making a right turn, for example.

Or there's the possibility that cyclists simply gravitate toward safer streets. The team plans to unravel the underlying causes in future studies.

Although the researchers' SPF applies only to Boulder, their method for creating the model "can and should be applied and tested everywhere," especially amid today's biking boom, they wrote. The number of people who pedal to work in the U.S. jumped 60 percent over the last decade, according to the Census Bureau.

The study doesn't prove that more bikes are directly responsible for safer streets, but there does appear to be a link. And there's one strategy for boosting ridership — and hopefully road safety as well: creating protected bike lanes. A recent National Institute for Transportation and Communities study of bike lanes in Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago and Washington, D.C. found that ridership increased an average of 75 percent within a year of installing such lanes. Pedal on.

Source: Ozy

NB: Press Cutting Service

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat

Friday, May 30, 2014

High court returns Raahgiri reins to organizers

GURGAON: The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to allow the original team of NGOs and citizens' groups associated with Raahgiri Day to organize the weekly event without "insisting on deposit of any advertisement fee/charges or prior approval".

The instruction was issued by a special division bench of justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari in open court last week as an aside to an ongoing PIL hearing, after the main petitioner in the case, Navdeep Asija, brought up the matter of Raahgiri Day and the MCG's recent move to take on the role of the event's organizer.

The interim order issued by the high court, a copy of which is with TOI, states: "We direct the Municipal Corporation, Gurgaon, to permit the NGOs, namely, 'Peddal Yatri', 'India Cycle Service', 'EMBARQ India', 'I am Gurgaon' and 'Road Safety Officers', to organize 'Raahgiri' programme in Gurgaon on Sundays without insisting them for the deposit of any advertisement fee/charges or prior approval."

"I drew the court's attention to the show-cause notice issued by the MCG on May 5, 2014, to the Raahgiri Day organizers. The bench said that the MCG has been directed to support Raahgiri Day, and also to provide all the approvals and necessary support required to the organizers," Navdeep Aseeja told TOI.

The MCG's show-cause notice effectively withdrew organizing rights from the core group of Raahgiri Day associates, although it was addressed only to EMBARQ India. The notice stated that "prior permissions" are mandatory to obtain "if any advertisement has to be put up" around the venues, and that it was also deemed necessary for the organizers to deposit an "appropriate government fee with the Municipal Corporation". The notice concluded by instructing the addressee to "not organize this event till further intimation by the district authorities in the matter".

According to Asija's counsel, advocate A P S Shergill, the high court's new directive virtually gives the green light to the original organizers to continue running the event as before on the community-initiative model, which was reportedly lauded by the bench. "The honourable bench said that the NGOs which started this event should be allowed to organize it without any interference from the district authorities," said Shergill.

The MCG commissioner, Praveen Kumar, said on Thursday evening that he was yet to see the official order. "I have not seen the exact order, and won't be able to comment on that. Let me get some clarification on this first," Kumar told TOI. He said that the original team of organizers would be allowed to play a part in putting together Raahgiri Day, as per the directive of the high court. "They will certainly be included in this event. But they will not be the sole runners of the show, as was the case in the past. Their inclusion doesn't have to come at the cost of the exclusion of the government agencies," Kumar said.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Punjab and Haryana high court asks govt to draw up mobility plan for cities

Times of India, December 13, 2013
GURGAON: The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed government agencies in Haryana to work out a comprehensive mobility plan for cities, a shot in the arm for Gurgaon's Raahgiri Day movement that has pioneered the campaign for non-motorized transport in India.

In its order, a special bench of Justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari emphasized the urban mobility plan must be workable and must effectively "address the problems of newly-developed urban areas as well as the old townships and cities".

The bench agreed with P Raghvendra Rao, principal secretary, urban local bodies, Haryana, that there was urgent need for such a plan and directed the authorities concerned to hold a meeting under the chairmanship of the chief secretary in the coming weeks. The meeting, according to the order, is to be "attended by all principal secretaries and heads of departments", and is to be held "before the next date of hearing", which is in February next year.

This will be of particular significance to a city like Gurgaon, where an integrated mobility plan already exists, although the prescriptions made in this document are yet to be implemented. Analysts say a legal push is more likely to make Gurgaon's decision-makers act and take the necessary steps towards upgrading the non-motorized infrastructure here. "This was a special bench of the high court, with justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari, which deals with issues related to non-motorized transport. The bench directed both the states of Haryana and Punjab to form a committee under the chief secretaries and formulate a comprehensive mobility plan. The authorities were basically told to come out with a policy for the handling of non-motorized transport. This will have a special bearing on places like Gurgaon, where a plan already exists," said Navdeep Asija, an expert in sustainable transport who was present at the court on the day of hearing.

According to HUDA administrator Praveen Kumar, a part of the existing mobility plan - which is titled the 'Integrated Mobility Plan for Gurgaon-Manesar Urban Complex' - has already reached the implementation stage. "And the rest of it has been taken into the agenda. The implementation work is definitely going to happen. I haven't seen the latest order. But we've already had a detailed meeting under the chairmanship of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) head Bhure Lal about the integrated mobility plan for Gurgaon, and we have figured out the steps that we now have to take," Kumar told TOI.