Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bus Rapid Transit System project approved in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) on two important roads:
Aundh-Ravet road from Rajiv Gandhi bridge to Ravet and
the old Pune-Mumbai highway from Dapodi to Nigdi

View Larger Map

Aundh-Ravet road will be completed on a priority basis in view of the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) to be held at Shiv Chattrapati sports complex, Balewadi in October 2008. Subways will be constructed Every 600 m on the road with the use of advanced technology.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will create parking areas and terminals for two-wheelers and four-wheelers through public private partnership (PPP).

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project is worth Rs 309 crore said Additional commissioner Subhash Dumbre. This is the first time the PCMC has received funds to develop roads of this kind.
-The Times of India

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

The secret of Shridhar Patankar's health

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But for Shridhar Patankar it has been his cycle that has kept diseases at bay. And that is no mean feat, specially considering that he's nearing a century!

He is 91 years and the secret of his health, he avers, has been the fact that Patankar and his cycle have been inseparable for a long time now. From driving a private tourist bus from Mahabaleshwar to Pune in 1941 to joining the state transport bus service in 1949 to finally riding his cycle and transporting gas cylinders at homes on Pune Nashik road, the cycle has been his companion all through. “That has kept me fit and fine,” smiles Patankar.
So much so that doctors examining Patankar were amazed at his fitness levels. Says Dr Shirish Patwardhan, “It seems nothing short of a miracle.” Patwardhan, who is an avid cyclist, has known Patankar since 1997 and says he has practically zero ailments. “As part of my job to transport cylinders, I used to cycle at least 7-8 kms every day,” says Patankar.

After retirement too Patankar was active and cycled daily in the morning and evening. Yoga is also part of his daily routine and a head stand often keeps him on his toes! “Also, I often visit my daughter who stays at Kothrud and cycle all the way from Chinchwad,” says Patankar as he woefully grimaces because of the traffic scene in the city. The man is not just physically fit, his mind is equally alert and agile and he happily rattles away all his past experiences and even the fact that he wrote to the President of India, Pratibha Patil, about issues and concerns close to his heart, recently.

Well, like they say, where there's a wheel, there's a way.

Benefits of cycling:
Cycling is a great fun activity that is especially enjoyed by kids. It is a fantastic workout that not only enables one to derive pleasure, but also goes a long way in ensuring overall fitness.

There are innumerable benefits of cycling. For example, it minimizes the risk of coronary heart disease and provides protection from the clutches of health problems like strokes, diabetes and cancer, says Dr Shirish Patwardhan, an avid cyclist.

It also ensures that your blood pressure is under control. Pursuing cycling helps a great deal in building your stamina, to enable you to carry out your day-to-day activities effectively, adds Patwardhan, who rides his cycle along with a group of doctors to create awareness about safe motherhood among other health issues.

Cycling is one of the most effective exercises to shed off those extra calories and get rid of flabby abs. Even a small amount of cycling would be good enough to boost your metabolism level, thereby fastening your weight loss program. It helps to improve the overall balance and coordination. Not only, does it pave the way for maintaining health fitness, but also shows the way for leading a healthy peaceful life. So, cycle off your weight and tensions and watch a happy, stress-free life come your way.

Staying on track

le mur jaune on Flickr:'s photos

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an appeal to start private bus service for college students

Among the several issues Jaagar has taken up consistently is that of the worsening traffic situation in this metropolis। Are you aware that about 600 new vehicles keep pouring into the city every day adding to an estimated 19 lakh two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers that crowd our streets! The result? Traffic jams, congestion, air air pollution, delays, indiscreet speeding, indiscipline, accidents, road rage. To put it all in one word, CHAOS! Ironically, all forty lakh-plus inhabitants of this city have become contributors to, and victims of this self-inflicted tragedy. Do you honestly believe, your community is an exception?

What is the way out? The citizens of Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad, through Jaagar, have been relentlessly pursuing the need to strengthen our public transport because that is the only sustainable solution to the problem. A drastically improved civic bus service and a metro rail, among other modes, will be the key elements of this integrated solution. But obviously, all this will take some time to fructify. Are we going to keep suffering till the civic body and the government get their act together? Are we going to keep adding to our own woes till then? Aren't we going to volunteer some action that would ease our own problems?
Two weeks ago, an open appeal was made through this column to heads of all educational institutes in Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad to start a (private) bus service to transport their students to and from the college every day। This would help improve the road situation even while making life easier for the students themselves because they would not be required to commute on their personal vehicles, it was pointed out. More importantly, it would set an excellent example for all business and other establishments in the city where people assemble in large numbers for studies or work everyday.

read more | digg story

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Footpath? My foot! [FM8579-29]

PUNE: The much hyped and hasty implementation of the ambitious Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) on the 12.2-km Hadapsar-Swargate-Katraj corridor did not have much to offer to Puneites, especially on Satara road, it has created one enormous problem, i.e. footpaths.

The incomplete BRTS route was inaugurated in December 2006 with an eye on the February civic polls, ignoring pleas of activists and transport experts over the incomplete work.

The BRTS was started without a detailed project report (DPR) covering elements like reserved lanes, off-board ticketing, Intelligent Transport Service (ITS), integration with other modes of transport (including PMPML), decisions on routes and fares, depots, buses, finance, management and the operational structure to run the system.

In an effort to segregate lanes for the BRTS-buses, road-widening was undertaken by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The stretches were widened on Satara road, but no provisions were made for footpaths and cycle tracks. In fact, whatever pavements and cycle track network did get initiated stands encroached upon today. And ultimately the Satara road stretch, except a few patches, is sans footpaths.

"Both sides of the road are without footpaths. At many spots, they are encroached upon by vendors and shopkeepers," says Vishwanath Patil who stays near the Shankar Maharaj Math. "Besides, there is no space for walking as showroom owners park their cars on the roadside," he says.

At places, like opposite City Pride, footpaths have been encroached upon by shop owners. "It is difficult for senior citizens to even get a place to stand here,” a citizen complained.

Despite the Union government having approved Rs 65 crore for the BRTS pilot-route under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, politicians and administrative officials do not seem to have done any justice to it.

"People park their two-wheelers on the footpaths and even after repeated complaints, the PMC officials have done nothing about it," says Vasudha Joshi a senior citizen who says that walking is impossible on Satara road. "The lives of pedestrians are in danger here with vehicles speeding on the road and no footpath or zebra crossings to keep them safe," she says.

With shopping malls and eateries coming up here, traffic jams and congestion are a regular affair, especially during peak hours. "It is difficult to even step out of the house. Without any facilities for those on foot, we have no choice but to walk on the sides of the road. This leaves us at the mercy of motorists," says Vitthal Puranik, who lives near the Rajrishi Shahu housing society.
Source: The Times of India, Pune

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Increasing Acceptance of Alternate Fuel Vehicles Aiding the Growth of the Indian Alternate Fuel Vehicles Kit Market - Frost & Sullivan analysis

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Alternate Fuel Vehicles (LPG & CNG) Kit Market in India, finds that market earned revenues of over $82.7 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $473.4 million in 2012.

Spurred on by the growing acceptance of alternate fuel vehicles, the Indian alternate fuel vehicles kit market has seen a definite upswing in the last two years. Alternate fuel vehicles are overcoming the initial hindrances of low availability of fuel and are beginning to be widely accepted. The ability to convince and convert customers will offer vehicle manufacturers and kit manufacturers lucrative market opportunities.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the Alternate Fuel Vehicles (LPG & CNG) Kit Market in India, then send an e-mail to Ravinder Kaur/ Nimisha Iyer, Corporate Communications, at ravinder.kaur[.] niyer[.] with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number, and email address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email. Interviews with the press are also available.

"The market for alternate fuel vehicles in India is expected to grow at a significantly faster pace than the regular vehicles," notes Frost & Sullivan Program Manager Jose Paul. "Stringent emission norms, specific Government directives on use of alternate fuel vehicles and increasing availability of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) will all drive the market rapidly."

Most key vehicle manufacturers are looking at launching alternate fuel vehicles in India over the next two to three years, and this has increased the acceptance levels of alternate fuel vehicles among end users. Furthermore, with petrol prices continuing to increase, many owners of existing petrol vehicles are also looking at converting their vehicles to run on alternate fuels.

However, the lack of widespread availability of alternate fuels in India is a barrier to the growth of alternate fuel vehicles. While the availability of CNG is currently limited to select centers in the west and north, the penetration of LPG dispensing stations has been concentrated on specific cities, with their network on highways remaining almost negligible.

"The expected ramp up of refueling networks is expected to take time with the CNG pipeline project slated to be operational only by 2008-09," says Paul. "Moreover, the set of mother and daughter stations is likely to take an additional two to three years; similarly, it would take about five to six years to build up the number of LPG refueling stations across the country."

In order to increase their market presence, alternate fuel vehicle conversion kit manufacturers will need to focus on existing centers, where CNG and LPG are available. They will further need to aggressively market their products and also tie-up with vehicle manufacturers at the original equipment (OE) level and vehicle dealership levels.

About Frost & Sullivan:
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Consulting Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's Growth Partnership Services, Growth Consulting, and Career Best Practices empower clients to create a growth-focused culture that generates, evaluates, and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses, and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.

NewswireToday - /newswire/ Press Release.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Sujit Patwardhan of Pune Traffic and Transportation Forum questions Pune Municipal Corporation's sudden interest in the monorail project

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is looking at the monorail as a possible solution to the city's traffic problems.

Pravinsinh Pardeshi, Pune Municipal Commissioner, says that monorail would be cost-effective and easy to implement as compared to other modes of transport.

On November 12, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had brought out a 'request for qualification' (RFQ) for the Mumbai and Pune projects.

According to the news in The Times of India, Pune:

"The response to the RFQ was good and some multinational companies have shown their interest in implementing the monorail project in PMA," a state government, requesting anonymity, said. "Prominent among them is Malaysia-based Scomi Group Bhd which has developed the latest monorail — Scomi Urban Transit Rail Application (SUTRA) — that scores high on capacity and safety."

Indian companies like Reliance have sought the database of Pune to explore the possibility of implementing the monorail in Pune. "Some companies from Japan have also approached the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for the database," said additional city engineer Shrinivas Bonala.
However, traffic activist, Sujit Patwardhan, Pune Traffic and Transportation Forum, demands public debate on this issue. I am sure , we all agree with him on this point. PMC should explain what the monorail would mean to the city and how it would solve the city's traffic problems.

Don't you think that PMC has already messed up the city's traffic and transportation?

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

XITE, South India's first battery operated scooter - environment-friendly, cost effective and hassle free means of transportation

It moves silently, gives out no emissions and runs on rechargeable batteries. This is the XITE, the new generation green bike that hit the Indian roads this summer. Launched this July, the Chennai-based Kabirdass Motor Company has already sold over 600 Xites. ‘‘We were automotive component manufacturers and had enough experience in parts development and had contacts all over India. This gave us the idea of doing something innovative,’’ says Murali Kabirdass, the company’s managing director.

This is my second post on this blog. I started this blog with an idea to share my cycling experiences. Cycling, to me , was only a physical exercise and a mode of transport. But since, i have decided to go for "cycle to work", i am changing very fast. Yes, not only physically but mentally too. I have started seeing things which were, until now, invisible to me! For example this XITE! Today, I found this story, Green Bucks, on Indianexpress dot com.

You know, basically, i blog on Pune Real Estate. Obviously, I could only see the news stories about real estate. No, not anymore. Now, i can see lot more! I thought, i must share this information about XITE with you. After all, we Punekars love scooter. Isn't it? And on this Cycle2Work Blog, let us talk about roads, transportation and traffic in Pune, and all types of vehicles which will make our life better. What do you think? Isn't it the most important issue in our Pune?

So let us talk about XITE. I found some more information about XITE on IndiaPRwire dot com. This is their press release, published when the XITE was launched:

XITE’s three variants, 1) XITE - K101 LA 2) XITE - K100 LA 3) XITE K15 SI and ARROW are manufactured with state-of-the-art German technology.

XITE - K101: is 250 Watts and weighs 120 Kg and has enough luggage space and ideal for an office-goer

XITE - K100 LA: is a much sleeker and slimmer model which will be ideally suited for students.

Charging: overnight for a period of 7 to 8 hours can run for approximately 60 Km.

XITE - K101 LA and XITE - K100 LA: can reach a maximum speed of 25 km

XITE - K15 SI and ARROW: models can touch up to 80 km / hr.

The pricing: for the vehicles range between Rs. 28,000/ Rs. 45,000.

XITE - K101 andXITE - K100: models require no license and registration.

Mr. Murali Kabirdass also added, “Riding XITE will save a lot of trouble for the rider in terms of saving on fuel, almost nil running costs, no regular servicing required and most importantly no air and noise pollution.

On Indianexpress dot com, Jaya Menon reports that the company, Kabirdass Motor Company, has embarked on an expansion plan to indigenise the production of critical components and is looking at an investment of Rs 106 crore.

‘‘We now have one assembly line with a capacity to manufacture 40,000 bikes per annum. We will increase it to five lines next year and make it to 10 in the next five years. The overall capacity will be 1,000 bikes per day within five years and the market for this India and several countries abroad,’’ says Kabirdass.

Kabirdass, i wish you all the best and launch XITE in Pune as soon as you can!

Please, let me know what do you think about electrical bikes in the comments.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Software engineers and businessmen are giving up speed, looks and comfort of the four-wheel kind to feel the bumps on a bicycle

Cycling to work is a trend which is gradually catching up in traffic-congested Bangalore, especially in the desk-work dominated software sector:

It is not unusual to see sweaty engineers pedalling to work and heading straight for the shower and a change of clothes once they get to the office. While Dasarathi has inspired a few colleagues with his environment spiel, Balasubramanya Ramananda, 35, a software engineer with a leading multinational, cycles to work every day because “I like it, though I am concerned enough about the environment to take the bus on days I can’t cycle.”

read more | digg story

Cycle section on flickr by Esthr

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