Just curious #1

A short one. Was looking at referrer links when I found this interesting one: traffic statistics for BIAL (New Bangalore Airport) website. See Jan, see Feb. What do you say – is there good excitement or interest around, or numbers seem low? We are talking 40-50K hits per day, though I don’t quite know the difference between hits and visits (only 400-500 per day).

Anyways, I keep hearing BIAL will open either on or ahead of schedule. I just cant wait. Not so much because the new airport excites (not till they get connectivity right – looks like it will be the original expressway before the train, and haven’t heard about the helicopters again). Its more because the Airport Road should get a lot lighter once the airport moves away. That should be some relief to Whitefield commuters!

A relatively light Airport road, and 100% complete Marathahalli bridge – we, the Whitefield/Brookfield residents/commuters, should get that double gift in about an year’s time!


Neo’s All Star Cricket

Neo2Flip flop. Kabhi haan kabhi naa. Don’t call me any of that simply because I am going to put in a good word for Neo here. If you read either of this (Best vs Best), this (BCCI vs MLB) or that (Hoysalas vs Bulls), my dreams of a glamorous, popular and entertaining domestic cricket league should be well known by now.

Neo1So this year, the zonal format domestic one day cricket competition called Deodhar trophy has a new name. They call it the “All Star” series. Face lift with perfectly fitting name – well, I say a good idea! Colored clothing, white balls, nice grounds, day-night matches, nice TV coverage, and experienced commentators like Arun Lal and Laxman Siva. Neo has put together a nice package for us cricket fans.

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Stacking lots

It is parking lots today, and could be stacking lots tomorrow. The theory sounds nice – stackable cars, you can fold and stack lightweight cars once you arrive. (MIT researchers design stackable cars). However, the part I like more than the stackable car concept is “shared transportation“.

Think about it, cars *are* the problem. If we could just get rid of them in the cities, and insist on public transportation instead, MIT media lab would have spent their research dollars elsewhere. As they say in Hindi – “na rahega baans na bajegi baansuri” (translation: no bamboo, no flute). But you can argue that we need personal vehicles as well. Like say when you are in a rush and cant wait for the next bus, or when you head out on those long drives few weekends an year.

This is where the shared transportation concept seems to fit. Even today, at any given point of time, I bet 70% of the cars stay parked and idle. That number (70%) is a wild guess, and averaged over the whole day. Yes, usage may be higher during the commute hours. But if you were to imagine a public transport heavy city, like say Mumbai, you make people want private wheels only when they have that rushed need in the middle of a workday or during those weekends.

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Neo racist?

The heat is on Neo now, and for the right reasons. Those ads they ran to drum up excitement around India-Windies and India-Lanka cricket series were definitely not in right taste. Threatening to drown a few tourists in a lake? Showing a few Indians putting tourists in trouble in front of a canine, and showing off a range of Indians – a breastfeeding mom included – as people who wont offer water to spiced up mouths of West Indians. What the hell was all that? If Neo wanted publicity by way of controversy, they sure have had a good dose.

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Mumbai best, Kolkata worst.

[Resident Alien‘s observation about Mumbai and Bengalooru drivers makes me write this big note] I have been to all the so-called Indian metros a few times over last 2 years. Been in the dreaded taxis and private cars as well. Based on experiences and observation, here it is, for the first time ever, silkboard’s Metro traffic rankings :)

  1. Mumbai
  2. Chennai
  3. Delhi
  4. Bengalooru
  5. Kolkata.

This order is based on the stress you endure while driving, and not just the average speeds or crowding levels. Stress, I would say, is more a function of traffic sense drivers have, and then some other things like policing and general design of roads (width, traffic lights etc).

Now, on to the potentially controversial attempt at explanations.

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Lane lane go to Spain

Bangalore city roads: Forget about them.

Mysore highway: Not exactly forgotten, folks do take note of them, though some use the bright white lines as virtual monorail (this particular Omni was diligently driving on the lane-divider line for about 30-40 kilometers!).

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Pay up and get ‘regular’

What is your take on this latest development (Building regularisation brings relief to many) on building norm enforcements in Karnataka? In case you didn’t read it, here is a quick summary:

… deviations can be regularised by paying penalties. The state government on February 5 approved and published rules for the regularisation of deviations in properties … violations can be regularised to a tune of 50 per cent in residential and 25 per cent in commercial properties … compounding fee ranges from Rs 20/sq metre to Rs 80,000 /sq metre, depending on cities and area …

Penalties wont be small for Bangalore:

For the city or town with a population of 50 lakh and above, the penalties vary from Rs 3000/sq metre to Rs 30,000 for violations up to 25 and 50 per cent.

Good, or no good? I can’t make up my mind.

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Safe n sound

Construction activity at Marathahalli Railway Bridge. Figure the odd man out here.


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The music-movie thing

As much as you may hate Him, I mean Himesh, I like him. Why? When you listen to his songs, you think Reshamiya the musician and nothing else.


Who comes to your mind first as soon as I hum “Woh ladki hai kahaan“. No Shaan, No Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, No Kavita I bet. Saif Ali Khan, I am sure yes.

Chura liya lai“? Zeenat Aman.”Phoolon ke rang se“? Dev Anand. Right?

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Us and Them – 3

A different “Us and Them” piece this time. No photos, and a lot more chatter.

Did you follow the recent noise around Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) in Pune? Ignore the fact that they rushed to inaugurate a half ready system (they always do that, don’t they), that thing sounds like a good idea if implemented as promised. I hear Ahmedabad too is going BRT, and Delhi may join in as well.

What is Namma Bengalooru up to? Metro sounds exciting. The Volvos are definitely on, HDK again talked about getting a thousand more. But where exactly will these 1000 machines ply? Compete with our cars for the same lanes?

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