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Roads are meant for walking

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2014
In India, traffic accidents are not on the health agenda. It is time the agenda is changed. Last week when the Union Minister for Rural Development met with an unfortunate and tragic accident on the road in Delhi, the issue was highlighted. But as yet, there is little understanding of the seriousness of the problem, and why India, which has just begun to motorise, needs to take action, and fast.

Pedestrian questions

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2013
Have you ever noticed the footpath? Does it even exist? And if it does what is its height from the road? What should be the ideal height that allows for pedestrians to walk without fear of being run over or breaking a leg clambering onto it, while not allowing cars to park and take over this public space?

Ponty, buses and PPPs

Issue Date: Dec 15, 2012
Liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother who were killed in a fratricide incident had another business not widely known. Ponty had recently acquired the concession to run public transport buses in Delhi. His company had won the bids for three clusters with a combined fleet of 600-odd vehicles. Now questions are being asked about who will run the business.

Temporary solution, permanent jam

Issue Date: Sep 30, 2012
I write this stuck in traffic. Nothing unusual. But my location makes me realise, once again, how our highway route to progress is going nowhere. The road I am using is newly commissioned and expensive. It is the 28-km Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, which was built just a few years ago to take care of the explosion of traffic between the two cities.

Parking that can’t be found

Issue Date: Aug 31, 2011
Khan Market in boulevard Delhi is said to be the most expensive real estate in India, maybe even in the world. But in this richest shopping destination, buyers do not want to pay for parking their vehicles.

Before cars take over

Issue Date: Mar 15, 2010
There I was, zipping down bustling Ahmedabad. The bus stopped at a station, designed so the doors of the bus and the station open simultaneously to let passengers out and in. People were walking to the station, buying tickets and waiting.

The right right

Issue Date: Apr 15, 2009
The world's cheapest car, the Nano, rolls out in India this week. Manufacturer Tata Motors says it will change the way Indians drive, for the inauguration places the personal car within the reach of people who once could only dream of owning one. Indeed, the Nano has been marketed as an 'aspiration'--the right of every Indian to a car. No quibble here. There is no question an affordable car is better than an expensive one; or that a small car, being more fuel efficient, is better than a big one.

The tale of 21st century's dinosaurs

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2008
Have you noticed how the mighty automobile industry in the US is beginning to sound like the now infamous tobacco industry at the time of its collapse, taking cover behind the people it employed to whitewash its inefficiency and perhaps its sheer inappropriateness? The tobacco industry, in its last days of conviction, when it became clear that the science of toxicity of this leaf was real, hid behind farmers who grew it.

A complicated bus-ride

Issue Date: Nov 30, 2008
What does Barack Obama's election as president of the us have to do with buses in India? A lot. Obama stands for what he calls 'change'--in the way we think and do business. But the call will remain rhetoric unless we translate it into practical, everyday life, changes. To do that, we must bring changes in our business model and, most importantly, in what is essential and what needs to be invested in.

Change must be championed

Issue Date: May 15, 2008
Did the Nobel Prize committee make a mistake when it gave the 2007 Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former us vice president Al Gore? I wonder. My disquiet is not because the prize recognized and put climate change at the centre of global debate. It stems from the fact that the Nobel Prize has held up, as champions, an organisation and individuals that are cautious, conservative and play strictly by the book when searching for answers to tackling climate change. There is nothing wrong in being so.
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