Infrastructure Urban Transportation

Railway expansion plan stuck in court

Central railway station is bursting at its seams. The number of trains and passengers far exceeds the capacity of the building and also the railway lines.

Southern Railway has finalised an over Rs 600-crore expansion plan to build a separate terminal on the west side of the Moore Market Complex (MMC) and to realign the railway tracks which would prevent cross-movement of upcountry and suburban trains.
But now the project is mired in a legal tangle as the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) have dragged the railways to court over its plan to redevelop railway stations across the country. The architects’ grouse is that the project size is such that only foreign firms would be able to bid for it.


Infrastructure Real Estate Urban Transportation

No space for shops in most Bangalore Metro stations

By Zainab Bawa , 14 Aug 2008

It will not be a happy Independence Day for shopkeepers displaced by the Metro. The BMRCL has planned shop-less stations in key areas like Indiranagar, drowning the question of compensatory space for them.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL)’s plan for shopping space inside the to-be-built metro stations is likely to leave many displaced traders stranded. Except two stations, one on M G Road and the other at Byapanahalli, and possibly a third — the Trinity Circle station, all other stations will not have shops inside, according to K Nagendra, Public Relations Officer at BMRCL.

Nagendra says that Metro stations which will have provisions for parking lots and integrated transport facilities will be the ones earmarked for inclusion of shops. The other stations are going to be basic.


Continue reading entire article here.

Cities Infrastructure Real Estate

7 deadly sins of Indian design

Came across a very interesting article in LiveMint.


India is enjoying a design boom, but we seem to be making some odd — and expensive — mistakes

by Melissa A. Bell

Every other week a new design store opens in a major metropolis in the country. In every direction, buildings are coming up, hotels are being refurbished, and homes are being renovated. In the mad rush of design and architecture over the past few years, taste, beauty and urban planning have often fallen by the wayside. Here are the seven worst mistakes we’re making as we rebuild India.


Walk into any recently reopened design store on Delhi’s Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road or stroll through the shops in Mumbai’s Raghuvanshi Mills, and you’ll feel as if you’re trapped in a maze of mirrors: Every display looks the same. Didn’t you just see that gold pillow, decorated with sequins, sitting on a beige couch? Wasn’t that mahogany coffee table, inlaid with mother-of-pearl in a dragonfly design, in the last shop?

Designers say the customers take photos of products they like on their cellphones, and then take them to other stores asking for the same design. But even this does not account for the near-identical furniture displayed in different stores.

Most furniture stores have failed to establish any personality — they all meld into a blur of high-priced, straight-lined, contemporary looks that fail to stand apart, or surprise.

Infrastructure Real Estate Technology

Estate Manager Software to monitor Real Estate Projects

In order to monitor ongoing construction activities and ensuring real estate projects are not delayed, builders, architects and international property consultants are launching new innovative software and design tools.

Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) has recently launched a software, Estate Master. Anuj Puri, country head and chairman, JLLM told FE, “We have tied-up with Estates Master—an Australian company and launched the software tool in India.

Real estate developers can keep a tab on construction activities and also avoid delayed deadlines with the help of this software. Besides, JLLM is also planning to foray into master planning and design consultancy for townships and clusters of other real estate projects.

Cities Infrastructure

Rethinking India’s Urbanization

India’s urbanization over the last two decades has been unprecedented in history. At no time have cities grown at such alarming rates. And the lack of initiative and policy early on is now catching up with alarming results.

Even after adding two additional lines (increasing capacity by 50%)on the suburban network, there is no difference. Trains are still jampacked with people and the metro wont be available for a few years. The solutions are many but they are stop gap, ill conceived, short sighted and half baked.

All the good that India Shining brings will be undone if infrastructure does not play catch up. And infrastructure is only one element of the entire urbanization phenomenon.

At a recent conference on Urban habitats…

Philipp Rode, Executive Director, Urban Age; Associate, Cities Programme, London School of Economics & Political Science spoke on “Shaping Cities of Our Future”. He revealed the findings of the Urban Age India Conference held in Mumbai last year and released the Urban Age India Report. “India’s urban agenda is clearly a global issue given that India is the second most populous country in the world. Indian cities are faced with issues of social equity, of overloaded infrastructure and environmental sustainability. The way these cities will deal with these problems and how the upcoming cities will be planned can have a decisive impact on the world at large.” said Mr.Rode

Anupam Yog Founder & Managing Director of Mirabilis Advisory who anchored the discussion concluded that building successful cities which drive economic growth while reducing poverty will be critical to the future of India.

Historically India has been averse to the phenomenon of urbanization. The current response towards urbanization is also marked by short-term and quick-fix solutions. But, there is a critical need to develop innovative ideas for future cities with a long term view. The symposium attempted to better understand the opportunities and challenges that existed in shaping that vision and implementing it.

Continue reading further.

Cities Infrastructure

India and Japan discuss urban development

India and Japan are embarking on sharing expertise in urban development.

The working group held wide discussions on re-use of recycled water for non-potable uses, water training institute, earthquake disaster prevention and urban governance and urban planning in India and JNNURM.

Issues like sustainable urban transport in metropolitan area, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) policy in urban areas, model city bus services and capacity building in public transport sector were also discussed.

Several areas were identified by the working groups for exploring further cooperation. They are clean development mechanism projects in the areas of sewage treatment/other urban sector projects; energy recovery; best practices and emerging technologies in water and sanitation sector; metropolitan planning urban renewal.


Cities Environment and Climate Infrastructure Social Responsibility Urban Transportation

Mumbai Metro rail project to earn carbon credits

The Mumbai Metro Rail project has been in the news for decades. However it is only very recently that it became a real project and is being executed. When completed it will alleviate a lot of the pressure on the local train systems.

Interestingly it will also earn carbon credits.

BL reported that, after Delhi metro rail, it’s the turn of the Mumbai Metro rail project to earn carbon credits. The project will generate 651,938 carbon credits between 2011 and 2020. At the current market price of about INR 1,320, the credits will generate revenue of INR 86.05 crore.

Mumbai Metro One Private Limited, the special purpose vehicle for the project, has submitted a detailed methodology report to the executive board of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change seeking clean development mechanism registration for the project. [link]

Carbon credits are a key component of national and international emissions trading schemes that have been implemented to mitigate global warming. More about that on wikipedia.