Just curious – staples?

Tell me on thing. Why do our courier guys use so many staples on every package they ship? Is metal too cheap, or they don’t trust the adhesives to do the job? Or is it that they simply like punching holes through our personal documents?

staples.jpgTell me who makes these small staple pins. I would go and buy their stock. With at least 3 metal loops accompanying each package, and healthy growth forecast for these couriers, that could be a good investment :)


Just wanted …

… to use a custom header image, so played with a few themes. Hope this one looks okay. Could have put one of those Bangalore traffic pics on the header, but thats a bit too real. And those things are temporary as well, matter of 4-5 more years :) Left part of header is railway sunrise near Muri, Jharkhand over Subarnarekha river as taken from Neelanchal express. The image on right is Lalbagh one summer morning. India and Bangalore, the way I want and think them to be :)

The interesting Metro update

[Cross posted on Praja]

Just read through Bangalore Metro’s August’07 updates. Read through the first few pages of that pdf, and you realize that land acquisition seems to be delaying a few tasks – notice the schedule column, search for phrases “revised” or “after land acquisition”.

These delays were always expected to be a part of the project, so no complaints there. But one key update you and I should look forward to takes the cake as far as disclosing information is concerned: Continue reading

Airport expressway update

[cross posted on Praja]

We have all been screaming on the subject for a while now. But this business-standard update on BIAL expressway is interesting, because it talks dates:

… sources said many powerful politicians also owned land along the alignment … and wanted it changed … “We changed the alignment five times unofficially before freezing it. But they are still not satisfied. If the land acquisition process is completed by July, the expressway will be ready by March 2009 but that appears improbable. As things stand, the expressway will not be ready even by 2009-end,” a source said.

So, even the best case scenario puts us in March 2009. April 2008 to end of 2009, 1.5 years of hell if HAL airport does get shut as planned. May be those who are willing and able will be allowed to para-jump from the planes straight into the city. That should take care of arrivals for some :)

BCCI and ICL, how about a real fight?

Trust me I am not trying to script a Bambaiyaa movie plot here. But how about BCCI and ICL decide to fight their battle the right way, as in on a cricket ground?

My dream (here, back in Sep 06) is about to come true. We will have plenty of Mumbai Locals vs Bangalore Drivers (pardon the club names there!) sometime in October. 50 matches in all, yes that is what Mr Kapil Dev promises. I am sure readers are current on all related developments (ICL poaching Ranji players and some foreign stars, BCCI raising domestic match fees 10x etc etc).

Now, what would BCCI do while ICL sweeps its bench? I wont go into bitching one over another, BCCI (ignorance of domestic cricket, politics, regionalism) or ICL (money, defiance). Instead, how about they do all they can to spot talent and produce their best teams. At the end of an year, we can have a BCCI vs ICL decider – and may the best team err… organization win!

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Reva and Autorickshaw?

[cross posted at Praja-Bangalore]

There is this one thing I was hoping would happen, but it never did. Why did the promoters and makers of Reva (Maini) never try to push electric vehicles as an alternative to present-day auto-rickshaws?

An auto-rickshaw costs around Rs 1.3 lakhs today. 4 stroke ones would be a little more expensive than that. Most metros will sooner or later be pushing for a rickshaw overhaul, which as per today’s plans is an upgrade to cleaner engines running on CNG or four strokes.

What if they could produce a stripped down Reva – even a 3 wheeler would do – and bring the cost to under Rs 2 lakhs? And then, push the government for subsidies etc to further reduce the price for buyers. You get clean ‘engine’, and no noise, a valuable guard against these complaints of noise pollution that are growing louder by the day. Plus, lower running costs should keep the operators happy.

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Elevated Inner Core Ring Road – whats up?

[Cross posted on Praja-Bangalore]

Remember the Inner Core Ring Road (ICRR) project? Find some documents here in case you need to jog your memory. BBMP and newspapers haven’t talked much about it lately, and then The Hindu carried this piece (steel structures favoured for ring road) a few days ago.

There was one thing that struck me as odd in that news peice. Chief Engineer (Infrastructure) of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is advocating use of steel structures to build the expressway and is also dreaming up a 3 level road:

it could have three levels for vehicles to travel — the existing ground level, one for two-wheelers and another for four-wheelers, he said.

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Bangalore Police’s take on city roads

[Cross posted on Praja-Bangalore]

I was googling around when I stumbled upon this page on Bangalore Police website. Well written open talk, that goes to tell you that they do know the traffic problems and possible solutions. First up, a clear admission of the problem:

As there is no growth in infrastructure compared to the growth of population, both human and vehicular, and in the absence of planned investment on such infrastructural problems, various issues have arisen. One such problem is the vehicular congestion apart from problems of road safety.

Next, the dislike of road structure:

The City’s road structure is radial in nature and converging in the core region. Though there is said to be in existence concentric orbital roads connecting the radial roads, they are discontinuous.

Read on and you will notice list of key roads they identified for improvements to make maximum impact:

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Comedy of errors

That second Ind-Eng test was a memorable one, definitely for me. India won a test match abroad, okay, that is one. And they did this despite the fact that their best batsman didn’t play. Yuvraj Singh – the most talented bat in the lot right now (save perhaps for Dravid) and future anchor of the team – can’t be played as some seniors can’t make way.

One of these seniors is a true great nearing the end of his career. Watching him bat provided another set of memorable moments. Wide medium paced delivery – half hearted swing and a miss. The dolly repeated again, our man lets the ball go. Scared to get on to front foot and play shots, struggling against James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom, Mr Tendulkar was reminding me of his often repeated quote – “I bat according to the situation”. Team sitting on a healthy score, test running a bit tight on time as pitch seemed to ease up, he truly played like a lion on his deathbed – determined to make a point via a decent personal score, but batting with mere flashes of his past.

Now, what would be your worst TV commentary troupe ever? Don’t go back to Maninder Singh, Kapil Dev, Saba Karim types, you have it in this series whenever Ian Chappel, Harsha Bhogle and Sunil Gavaskar get together and … and, hang on, it is Tendulkar grinding in the middle.

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I want to play

“Radium”, he said. Sitting inside Chaibasa-Tatanagar passenger, I was curious to know the name of this kid who was lugging a big cricket kit.

“We live in Delhi. He is my son, a very good cricketer”, his dad started the conversation.

Delhi! And they carried a cricket kit all the way to this mining town in Jharkhand. Why? I was even more curious now. So I asked and chatted more and found out that Radium was here to play under-18 cricket so that he could get into Jharkhand state team. Getting into Delhi under-18 team is pretty tight. They know some people at this town, so they came down to play some club cricket to be eligible for selection into the state team.

“He is only 14, but he played so well with 17 year olds that everyone was praising him. See this clip with scorecard and a word of praise”. He showed me cuttings from a local newspaper.

Continue reading