Dec 20, 2009

Sports bring people closer..

Last week I was travelling in a bus, and met a tourist on her way to Kovalam. She introduced herself as coming from Florida and on a business-pleasure trip to Kerala. She is basically from Venezuela. Suddenly I went blank as I didn't know the geographic position or anything of Venezuela. Later came to know from her, it is North of South America.

On my way back, I thought why that country doesn't strike me in first place? I know about Brazil, Argentina and even heard about Copa-America football played over there. Playing football makes these countries known to everyone. We know better what Maradona do in Argentina and RO's in Brazil.

Every Indian cricket fan knows the stadium name, place, pitch and climate conditions of South Africa, Australia, and WI. Why? Because playing cricket between India and these countries bring people and countries closer over years. Every cricket fan of Australia, knew the ploughed pitch of Mumbai and bad days at Eden Gardens.

South Africans hosted IPL as if it was their domestic tournament. Such is the support sports make. Similarly we know Harare, Nairobi and Barbados.

It doesn't matter whether it is football or cricket. It is like marketing your own country as South Africans done it with their Safari Ride, and WI on Caribbean islands to name a few.

When a cricket match telecasts from Sri Lanka, you see monasteries and smiling faces. When a match was held in Mumabi after 26/11, you didn't see any terrorism, but people who moved back to normal life.

Such is the power of sports, which heals all wounds and bring nations closer.

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Dec 7, 2009

Traffic lights in Thiruvanthapuram

It has been a nice move from the part of TVM traffic police to have traffic lights in place at the intersect of Nanathancode - Museum Road.

The KELTRON traffic lights are bright and visible . But it lacks timers. Pattom junction traffic lights have timers. It saves a lot of fuel rather idling the vehicle.

The traffic police too can sigh a relief, as they don't need to stand in dust, sun and rain without any gears.

It is high time to have a traffic light at intersection of Kazhakttom Bypass and NH 47.

KELTRON too can improve their traffic light technology from timers to solenoid. Timers are old fashioned. Disadvantage of which is, even if their is no traffic in the green lane, red lane people have to wait.

Solenoid technology changes signal as per the traffic volume. These solenoids are buried at the start of each lane and working backwards to 3-4 cell areas. This gives a nice picture of traffic volume.

Plight of roads/traffic in Kerala

Pure drinking water is one of basic need of all living kind. JICA is one such agency that is helping Kerala to achieve pure drinking water to all. The pet name for this project is "Japan Kudivella Padhathi" (or Japan Drinking Water Project).

But in the name of laying pipes, they have made roads nothing but muddy puddle. Half the lane has vanished from NH 47 near Chavadimukku area. More pipes are heaped on the road side and moving towards Sreekaryam Junction. Already known for infamous traffic blocks over here, digging the roads will make matter worse. If the plight of NH47 is this, what can be said about the pocket roads of Thiruvananthapuram.

If I am right, the Medical College - Murijapalam road had been dug 3-4 months back to lay pipes. Same with the Arya Central School- Pattom Road and Pattom -Kowdiar Road. But still the road has not been restored.

These muddy puddles have been the death traps of two wheelers and night mare for pedestrians.

Public Works Department(PWD) is responsible for the road works in Kerala. If they are not, someone else. They will be based in Kerala, at the most. I am sure of that.

Why no poth holes in Raj Bhavan Road? Suppose, if President of India, needs a road travel in Kerala, those SLEEPING officials who can't repair the road in years, will repair the road in an overnight. How pity!

If they have the excuse for not having funds, which engineer/s sanctioned estimate of JICA project? Does he made estimates for laying pipes through air? Road reconstruction must had to be included in the estimate.

The pipes are being laid in city, according to some plans. So the road repairing officials too can come out with some plans to re-tar the spoiled roads at the earliest.

Or else, all city people will have the feel of the blood of innocent, when JICA pumps drinking water through it.

Why Kerala doesn't need a Volvo?

The title is inspired from the superman movie, where Lois Lane got Pulitzer prize for "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman?".

It is nice to see the introduction of new Volvo 8400 buses as inter-city bus transit system under JNNRUM scheme. The buses were flagged off on Nov 17.

Then the inevitable happened. Mishap of KSRTC volvo near East Fort. All regional news channels gave a good coverage for the incident. Later officials confirmed, two window panes are damaged and just need Rs 50k per pane. So 'they' may have to spend Rs 1 lakh or more to repair it.

Person who favours Volvo say, those are AC buses, low floor, no hassle with rickshaw wallahs, clean, moderately priced and many more. But is it true? A window pane is just enough to make big holes in the pocket of already sinking KSTRC. If KSTRC is proud to have Volvo in its fleet, will they replace all TATA and Leyland buses? They are just opposite of what adores Volvo.

You can see quarter empty Volvo buses plying from Kaniyapuram- Kovalam, where as other local buses carry people hanging in foot boards? Still those buses run in loss. So how come Volvo bus break-even the cost, with high maintenance cost?

You may also say, people using cars will shift to Volvo buses and thus reduces carbon emission and city traffic. What is the guarantee that a Volvo will turn up as per the schedule? If the bus is out of service, will KSTRC arrange another one to cover it up? Telematics is unheard off.

It is right time to ask, whether we need luxurious buses to ply less than 20 km or 2+ ordinary buses for the cost of one Volvo. Running cost per km for Volvo is atleast twice that of regular ones

What we need is just a basic transportation, where people can atleast travel without risking their lives. Almost all buses plying in morning and evening have school children hanging precariously on the bus. When you can operate regular buses at half the cost and half the investment, do we really need a volvo ac bus?

Last chapter of every deal closes with Corruption. Hope next government, won't dig anything out to screw the people behind the Volvo initiative. It is nice to recollect painting the green hi-tech buses back to red when government switched.:)