Saturday, November 29, 2008

KLAUS Multiparking and Automag in JV to set up Pune facility

KLAUS Multiparking Systems, the German leader in mechanized car parking and the Pune-based Automag group, in a 50:50 joint venture project, has set up a manufacturing facility in Pune to produce mechanised parking system sets.




Mr Guenther Siederer, Managing Director, KLAUS Multiparking Systems said that India's explosive growth and rapid urbanization need modern facilities like mechanized car parking system and KLAUS is very happy to partner with AUTOMAG group to set up manufacturing facilities in India. The company provides mechanised to computer aided parking solutions to their customers.

With the number of cars in India all set to increase from the present level of about 1.5 million to 8 million cars by 2020, Nitin Bhave, Managing Director, KLAUS Multiparking Systems India, said that mechanized car parking is emerging as the most ideal solution to the serious problem of car parking in Indian cities. The mechanized car parking also enables optimum usage of space, safety & security of car, savings in fuel and reduces effects of pollution. To read more, please, visit - MACHINIST

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pune-Satara highway, including Katraj-Dehu road bypass now to have six lanes and a few flyovers!

Motorists on the Pune-Satara national highway will soon be able to enjoy the pleasure of driving on a six-lane way. The decision was made, after the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) received as many as 27 bids from private companies to convert the four-lane, 140 km long, Pune-Satara highway into six lanes.

A senior NHAI official said the expansion would also be extended to the Katraj-Dehu road bypass.

In addition, the Rs1,724.55crore project will also include the construction of seven-metre-wide service lanes on both sides of the highway. From 60,000 to one lakh vehicles ply between Pune-Satara daily.

However, an NHAI official said the number of motorists using the Katraj-Dehu road bypass is more than those using the Pune-Satara national highway. To read more, please, visit - DNA

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why India’s Bus Rapid Transit Projects don’t excite me - Dr Adhiraj Joglekar

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as it is currently planned in India is suggested as the one-size-fit-all solution to our transport woes.

Having travelled on Mumbai’s bus service (BEST) for thirty years & London’s public transport since 2001, I can’t share the optimism of those who believe BRT (as it is currently planned) is the way forward.

When senior citizens, children & disabled struggle to cross the roads safely, one would hope for a solution that improves all aspects of mobility.

I wonder why a city like Pune would spend crores of rupees on BRT when 40% of its roads don’t have pavements (see state of Pune pavements here). That almost a third of Pune citizens commute by walking makes the question more poignant.

I have for some time now tried to find an answer to the question. My quest has led me to assess available information on the BRT projects implemented in India’s two cities. My understanding has grown but as have the questions. Our BRT planners unfortunately have overlooked many issues. To read more, please, visit Better Pune

Related Story:

Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation finally starts work on the 14.5-km-long Aundh-Ravet Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) route

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Monday, November 17, 2008

To discourage private vehicles from congesting roads - increase parking fee and decrease parking duration

PMC civic administration Vs. Civic general body

The civic general body had on October 23 approved the civic administration proposal for charging parking fees. Before giving it the go ahead, the actual proposal was amended.

The civic administration had originally proposed a parking fee of Rs 5 per hour for the first three hours and Rs 10 per hour thereafter for four-wheelers. For two-wheelers, a fee of Rs 2 per hour was proposed.

The general body approved it with the parking fee of Rs 5 per hour and Rs 15 for ten hours, for four-wheelers. This was far less than the original proposal for long duration of parking. For two-wheelers, the charges of Rs 2 per hour were approved, but the general body kept the maximum at a mere Rs 5 for 10 hours.

“The purpose of discouraging private vehicles on roads by increasing parking charges cannot be achieved with the approved proposal. That’s why the civic administration decided to table it again,” a civic officer said.

The move comes on the backdrop of the state government expressing concern over increasing parking problems in urban areas due to rising number of private vehicles.

Activist Sujit Patwardhan of Pune Traffic and Transport Forum (PTTF) expressed shock at the way the proposal was amended. “The changes in the civic administration proposal shows the elected representatives’ lack of understanding of the issue,” he said. Although a parking fee of Rs 2 for two-wheelers was welcome, Patwardhan said the general body decision did not achieve the aim of discouraging private vehicles on the roads.

“The plan to increase ticket charges of Pune Mahanagar Parivan Mahamandal (PMPML) and the low parking fee for private vehicles will encourage more vehicles on the roads,” Patwardhan said.

Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrian First said the general body decision had converted public places into private parking spaces for long durations at a cheaper rate.

“Long duration parking should be discouraged. There should be incremental charges after two hours,” he said. The parking space on city roads is mostly occupied by shopkeepers and their employees which in turn creates inconvenience to the visitors who park for short durations, Inamdar said, alleging that the corporators had taken the decision in the interest of shopkeepers. - Express India

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to take a loan of Rs 350 crore from the Asian Development Bank to start a Bus Rapid Transit System service

Rs 1,300 crore for 6 Routes:

Speaking to media persons on Wednesday, municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma said the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation PCMC has received a letter from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressing its willingness to provide the loan for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project.

Sharma said, "The PCMC plans to start the BRTS service on six routes in the township at a total cost of around Rs 1,300 crore. The ADB will extend a loan to cover 25 per cent of the project cost, which comes up to Rs 350 - 400 crore."

Repayment in 15 years:

Explaining the reason for taking the loan, the civic chief said, "Normally, bank loans have to be repaid in seven to eight years. But the ADB's loans can be repaid in 15 years. Further, the PCMC has an AA+ credit rating, which means that we can get bank loans easily."

Social and Environmental impact:

"We will be working out details of the loan amount and the terms and conditions in two weeks. The ADB has appointed a consultant to assess the social and environmental impact of the project, which is expected to be ready in three months. The loan agreement with the ADB will be signed after that," Sharma further said.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme:

The municipal commissioner explained that the PCMC will seek 60 per cent of the project cost from the union government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme. The civic body will bear the remaining 15 per cent of the expenditure, Sharma stated.

Urban Mass Transit Company Limited:

Sharma said the PCMC will appoint Urban Mass Transit Company Limited to prepare the operational plan for its BRTS project, as had also been done by the PMC.

Reacting to the opposition, Sharma said, "We have taken enough precautions and followed the technical experts' recommendations ensure that the BRTS buses run on the lanes between the concretised portion of the old Pune-Mumbai highway and the service road."

He also reiterated that 42 bus shelters and 15 toilets will be constructed along the old Pune-Mumbai highway on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
-The Times of India

Related Stories:

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

2) Footpath? My foot!

3) Sunita Narain: Buses and Barack Obama

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Sunita Narain: Buses and Barack Obama

We need to change our policies to get more buses on the roads — in Obamaspeak, we need change we can believe in.

What does the election of Barack Obama as the president of the US have to do with buses in India? A lot, if you think about it. The fact is that Obama has stood for something that he calls ‘change’ — in the way we think and the way we do business. But this is great rhetoric unless we can translate this into practical changes in our everyday lives. And to do this we must understand that change will require changes in our business models and most important changes in the priorities we set for what is essential and what needs to be invested into and how.

Anyone who lives in Indian cities and is crushed under the weight of traffic and pollution will accept that we need a massive transition to public transport. But the fact is that even as we say, we need public transport in our cities the number of buses in each of our towns has gone down and not up. In 1951, one of every 10 vehicles sold in India was a bus, today out of every 100 vehicles sold, one bus makes it on our roads. To read more, please, visit - Business Standard

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