Guest Editor – Sam Vidyasagar

October 1, 2013





Mr. Sam Vidyasagar has over 25 years of Operational and Management experience in the Industrial Control and Automation field. He is currently an Account Executive with Transdyn – a leading supplier of Traffic Management Systems in the United States and around the world. As an Account Executive his primary responsibility is Business Development in new regions for Transdyn and working with Trandyn’s key accounts. Prior to joining Transdyn in 2002, he was an Operations Manager for a startup division of ABB where he worked in various engineering and management positions for 15 years. He has a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology-BHU and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from Drexel University.

When asked about  what I thought about the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) applications in India, I realize all I have is personal  experiences to go by as I have not studied a great deal of data or spent the time in India trying to understand the market. On the other hand since I have been exploring the opportunities in the Indian ITS market for the last five years I have been thinking about it for quite some time.

The two conversations that come to mind are the one when I was travelling in Mumbai in a rental car the driver who owned his car and worked for the rental company asked me what is the type of product that I was selling to the customers I was meeting with in India. It so happened we were in a traffic jam on the way to the airport in Mumbai on a highway near Bandra. I explained to him that it is software that calculates travel times and displays this on Variable Message Signs for this route and alternate routes and providing the most current information to motorists. Interestingly he thought it was a very useful tool and was he even willing to pay a small fee for such a service.

The second conversation was with one of the project managers at an Indian company that provides a great deal of ITS related services to the highway constructors. I was meeting him for the second time after a couple of years now. Initially the company he works for had contacted us and was very excited about the prospect and growth of ITS in India. They wanted to be a pioneer in this field in India and had invested some resources in time and money. In this recent meeting he was telling me that he felt that it will be many years before Indian Highways and roads will have full blown ITS systems.  He went on to say that the focus today is just the roads and the highways. Once we have sufficient roads and highways we can focus on ITS. His experience was that all the big projects they worked on that had ITS as part of the specifications never got installed as the Consortium managing the construction usually ran out of money by the end of the project and the ITS never got installed or got cancelled.

When I think back on these two conversations it really paints a picture of the dichotomy that exists in India. On the one hand there is an urgent need for an ITS system and the customer sees good value in it and on the other hand the infrastructure and the processes and systems in place for the infrastructure development in India keep that from being a reality. So I really think two things need to happen the Systems have to be tailored to the traffic needs of India and the Roads and the Highway projects have to be planned with the ITS as an integral part so that they do not get cut from the project during construction. Hopefully the ITS community can help in developing such integrated specifications that will successful implementation of ITS projects. So it is left to the people working in the ITS field in India to help make ITS a reality in India.



Sam Vidyasagar

Industry corridor may get land near IGI

May 4, 2013

Dipak Kumar Dash TNN
New Delhi: A major portion of a 130-acre prime land adjacent to the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), may go to the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC), a government firm, for a song. 

Government sources said that the company wants about 100 acres spread over two sectors in Dwarka from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for developing a complex that would include a convention centre, hotels and luxury housing/service apartments.
The patch spread over Sector 25&26 in Dwarka sub city was originally earmarked for relocation of wholesale trade centres in central Delhi, including Sadar Bazar, Nai Sadak and Khari Baoli, which are known for large-scale grain, paper and chemicals markets, in Master Plan-2021. Five more such areas were identified in the Master Plan-2021. The plan document says that the new wholesale markets are planned “as counter markets to cater to the demands of the growing population of Delhi only, near the rail and road entry points of NCTD. These should be linked with the proposed integrated freight complexes where the wholesale business could be operated more efficiently in a better environment”.
Sources said the task of developing an integrated freight development complex spread over 30 acres might be entrusted with the DDA.
Government sources said that DMIC Development Corporation (DMICDC) has moved its proposal, and the Union urban development ministry recently held highlevel meeting on the issue. It is learnt that while the UD ministry is in favour of allotting it at lesser price than the market rate, a section of DDA officials are hesitant since the market value of the land would be around Rs 10,000 crore.
Sources said that in a worst-case scenario, the DDA would have to allot the land for institutional use and per acre rate for such a plot is Rs 3 crore. In case the entire land is allotted to DMICDC as an institutional plot, the corporation has to cough up only Rs 300 crore.
“There are many within government who don’t agree to the proposal of giving the land at a concessional rate,” a government official said.
But there are others who have argued that DDA should focus on how to allow most efficient use of its land. “It may bring manifold investment and create job opportunities,” an urban development ministry official said.