ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Driverless Vehicles and Their Future in India

As driverless vehicles become a reality, there is a need to understand what such technology could mean for urban transportation in India. Even as the penetration of autonomous vehicle technologies may be limited in India, and its labour market and land use implications few, it could prove to be a highly efficient low-cost urban transport alternative compared to the hugely expensive metro systems of today.

Transport and Health

There has been much firefighting in Delhi in the name of clean air, but very little effort in understanding the causes of air pollution. So while we know that urban air pollution poses serious health risks to people living in Indian cities, we do not have a consensus on the details regarding the sources of the pollutants. This is mainly because central and local governments have not invested in setting up and funding an adequate number of research groups in academic institutions to conduct detailed studies around the country. Such neglect leads to knee-jerk reactions like the odd-even scheme.

Automobile Manufacturers, Advertising and Traffic Safety in India

An analysis, based on a survey of the print advertisements and TV commercials for safety content, and the pricing policy for offering safety technology of six major automobile manufacturers, shows that manufacturers are not promoting safety issues or their safety technology in any significant manner. They are not offering airbags or anti-lock braking systems in most of the base models costing less than $12,000. It is the responsibility of the Government of India to announce strict crashworthiness standards for cars sold in India, since vehicle manufacturers generally do not provide safety features unless forced to do so.

Moving around in Indian Cities

Seven years after the National Urban Transport Policy was announced by the central government, the problems identified in it remain the same, or have worsened. Land use planning has not enabled the lower-income groups to live closer to work, road use is more dominated by private vehicles, and there is little money to improve facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. This paper notes that though much of the basic data on urban transport in India is unreliable, there is enough to show that the challenge is to keep the share of non-personal transport at 70% as incomes increase in our cities. For this, walking and bicycling have to be made safer and public transport more attractive by making it readily available.

Learning from Obaid Siddiqi

Obaid Siddiqi (7 January 1932-26 July 2013), a pioneering biologist, passed away in Bangalore after battling injuries from a traffic crash in his neighbourhood.

Mythologies, Metro Rail Systems and Future Urban Transport

There is still no clear vision among planners, policymakers and transport experts about what will make Indian cities better places to live in as far as mobility and access are concerned. The prevailing mythology is that construction of metro rail systems will somehow solve the problems of the future. A review of urban mass transport systems over the past century shows that metro systems were the obvious choice when relatively inexpensive cars and two-wheelers were not available. With the introduction of efficient buses, computer and information technologies to manage large fleets, and the need to have flexible, medium capacity systems that go close to homes and destinations, bus rapid transit systems with dedicated lanes seem to be the only choice for providing affordable mass transport in our cities.

Operating on Three Wheels

Increasingly the poor are being pushed to the edges of 'illegality' and 'invisibility'. Nothing describes this better than the plight of the auto-rickshaw drivers of Delhi who are facing a concerted attack by the administration and the media for their supposed 'venality'. Findings of a study undertaken to get a better understanding of the perspectives of both the commuter and the auto-rickshaw driver and to move towards policies that will benefit both parties.

Road Traffic Crashes, Injuries and Public Health

Like all other developments in science and technology, road safety in the highly motorised countries developed at certain historical junctures and are imprinted with the prevailing socio-economic situation. Nonetheless some very innovative work has resulted in a theoretical understanding of 'accidents' as part of a sociological, psychological, physical and technological phenomena. Similar efforts need to be made in India, building on this understanding but innovatively planning for local conditions.

Sustainable Transport Systems

While discussing issues concerning public transport, safety and the environment, this paper illustrates that unless the needs of non-motorised modes of traffic are met, it will be almost impossible to design any sustainable transport system for urban areas. If the infrastructure design does not meet the requirements of pedestrians, bicyclists and non-motorised rickshaws, all modes of transport operate in sub-optimal conditions. However, re-designing existing roads will not only provide a safer and convenient environment for non-motorised modes, it will also improve efficiency of public transport vehicles and enhance the capacity of the corridor when measured in number of passengers transported per hour per lane.

Science Dynamics, De-Globalisation and Social Developments

Science Dynamics, De-Globalisation and Social Developments Dinesh Mohan Developments in science and technology in India can only be understood in the context of factors influencing the emergence of fundamentalist movements, migrations and lack of national self-confidence.

Liberalisation of Universities-Promoting Slow Death

generated by industries and enforce conformity of these standards as per the water act." A review team of the committee recently toured Thanjavur district and listed the complaints of villagers and traditional fisherfolk against the shrimp farms. The committee plans to finalise its regulatory scheme by December. A senior official of the department of fisheries who is a member of the review team points out that implementation of regulatory and environmental safety laws would be hindered, as an estimated 40 per cent of the shrimp farms in the state, which are major contributors to the Rs 320 crore worth of shrimp export from that state, are unregistered. The Andhra Pradesh government had also constituted an expert committee on this issue and then proposed a draft legislation to regulate the shrimp farms and aquaculture industries in the state. The committee assesses that over one lakh acres of land has been converted into shrimp farms along the 974 km Andhra Pradesh coastline stretching from Ichapuram to Tada, particularly in the districts of Godavari, Krishna, Nellore, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. Thus the shrimp aquaculture industry is now a multi-million industry in India and it is widely accepted that the industry will continue to grow. The oppressed and the poor are paying a high environmental and social cost for this expansion, which is being largely disregarded by governments and companies, heavily involved in intensive shrimp culture. The struggle against it, however, is bound to continue.

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