2nd Annual Saudi Arabia Transport & Infrastructure 2015

April 2, 2015

27th – 28th of April, 2015

Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh.

The government of Saudi Arabia is spending more than $90bn on the construction of a modern rail network linking all the provinces in the Kingdom by 2040.  These public transport mega-projects will overcome barriers and blockades faced by the Saudi Arabian region to facilitate rapid urbanization and development.

At the 2nd Annual Saudi Arabia Transport & Infrastructure 2015 conference we are going to discuss some of the key projects include:

- GCC Railway project

- Saudi Railway Master Plan

- Arriyadh Development. Authority’s Comprehensive Development Plan

- Jeddah Public Transport Plan

- Riyadh and Jeddah Metro

- Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro

-  Updates on the Haramain High Speed Rail Project

- Doha Metro

- and many more…


Key Topics to be discussed, include:


- Policy and Regulation

- Funding Aspects

- Urban Transportation

- Mainline & Urban Transit Project Developments and Updates

- Transit Oriented Development

- Technology and Security Solutions in Rail Transportation


For more information please visit the event website http://infraoutlook.com/

If you would like to register for this conference or would like to partner with us, please make an enquiry today ( mailto:[email protected] ).

I look forward to welcoming you to this timely conference.


The persistent bottleneck

July 16, 2014

On weekdays, the signal at Jagathy Junction causes a traffic jam stretching all the way to the AIR gates

Can a traffic signal produce a traffic jam half a kilometre long? If you want evidence of this, drop by Jagathy Junction on a working day morning. And yes, leave your vehicle at home because you sure do not want to be part of that half-kilometre queue.

Even on a quiet day, the All India Radio-Jagathy Junction road is busy. On working days, traffic on this road is nasty to say the least. After DPI Junction, the road narrows down, and there is hardly enough space for two-way traffic.

At Jagathy Junction, whenever the traffic light turns red, the result is a traffic pile-up all the way back to the All India Radio gates and, sometimes, even beyond. This also bring traffic to a standstill at DPI Junction, which is a crucial transit point for emergency vehicles coming from Jagathy, Poojappura, and beyond. The Jagathy bottleneck also proves frustrating for drivers who use Kochar Road to bypass traffic on the city’s ‘main’ roads.

Some people argue that such a small junction as Jagathy can do better without a traffic signal; what is needed, such people aver, are more personnel who can manage traffic more intelligently than a pre-programmed signal system. Is there any merit in this argument?


The Vellayambalam-Kowdiar stretch has achieved notoriety for high-speed bike racing by youngsters late in the night, early morning, and weekends.

The installation of cameras and clampdown on speeding have prompted the racing aficionados to shift to other places in the city. Of late, the wide stretch from the Kowdiar traffic signal to Pattom, especially till Kuravankonam, has become another sought-after place for racers.

Perhaps, it is time law enforcers turned their attention to the stretch before any untoward incident occurs.


It is not a surprise that whenever a work is under way on any road in the city, even if it is intended at improving the traffic situation, normal traffic is further thrown off-track.

The ongoing works on M.G. Road are perhaps the best example.

At East Fort, it is the work on shifting the median that has affected traffic and worsened the chaos, while a little ahead, towards the Secretariat, work on the Melepazhavangady flyover has seen iron sheets being put up, narrowing the road almost to a single-car pathway. This slows down traffic here at peak hours.

This is where a little bit of planning might come in handy.


Sources: The Hindu

Green signal for traffic overhaul

July 11, 2014


NEW DELHI: Generous funding in this year’s Budget could turn around the capital’s traffic infrastructure. Against just Rs 4 crore last year for installation of traffic signals and related infrastructure, there’s Rs 11.5 crore this time. Another Rs 11.4 crore has been allocated for developing traffic and communication networks, taking the total to Rs 22.9 crore. Funds for modernization projects have also doubled-from Rs 34.9 crore to Rs 67.9 crore.In total, Delhi Police has got 13% more funds-Rs 5,030.5 crore against Rs 4,455.2 crore last year. There’s Rs 67.9 crore under the plan head and Rs 4,585.3 crore for non-plan expenditure. An additional Rs 377.3 crore has been provided for housing infrastructure.

Sources at police headquarters said the allocation is in line with their demand and the department will not face a financial crunch this year. Important projects like the city surveillance system and intelligent traffic system, which are part of the Safe City Project and pending for years, could be implemented this fiscal.

The two projects have already gained pace with police officers visiting Surat in this connection and studying the setup there. The higher allocation will enable police to fill up vacancies and acquire more vehicles for patrolling. The department is also hopeful of starting to pay back the Rs 760 crore it owes other states.

The budget has also paid heed to the city’s demands for sensitizing Delhi Police. Funds under the head of training have been increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 4 crore. This will give a fillip to the planned training programmes, some of which are going on in central Delhi.

However, the allocation for induction of latest technology is below police’s expectations. While it had demanded Rs 2 crore, it has been given Rs 44 lakh. A senior officer said that adequate funds are available for implementing other projects and the department will make do with the smaller amount for new technology this financial year.

The allocation for the Nirbhaya fund remains unchanged at Rs 3 crore this fiscal year.

Maharashtra govt agencies float tenders for Bandra Versova Sea Link project

April 7, 2014

Manthan K Mehta,TNN |

MUMBAI: Maharashtra government agencies have floated tenders for Bandra Versova Sea Link(BVSL) and elevated corridor from Eastern Express Highway (EEH) to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), besides inviting consultancy services to built terminal facilities for inland passenger water transport along the Eastern coast.A official from MSRDC said, “The Rs 4,300 crore BVSL project will be built over a period of five years. It will reduce travel time between South Mumbai and Versova by 45 minutes as motorist will have the option of avoiding the congested stretch on SV road and WEH.”

Another project which will help faster travel between Western and Eastern Suburbs is Rs 261 crore elevated corridor between EEH to BKC.

MMRDA official said, “It will cut down travel time be 30 minutes once this 2.5km long elevated corridor is ready in 36 months.”

MSRDC said passenger water transport on Eastern Coast will connect south Mumbai (Jamshedji Bunder) to Nerul via catamarans and hovercrafts.


Raids by transport officials reveal half the buses flout norms

November 5, 2013

By Express News Service – TIRUPATI

 A file photo of Tirupati RTO MSSB Prasad checking a fire-extinguisher in a private Volvo bus in Tirupati | Express photo

  • A file photo of Tirupati RTO MSSB Prasad checking a fire-extinguisher in a private Volvo bus in Tirupati | Express photo
The raids conducted by the transport department officials against private operators revealed how the private buses are flouting the norms.

First among the violations is that most of the private bus operators, who took contract carriage permit, completely violate the norm. According to the contract carriage permit, the operator should transport a group of passengers from one stage to a fixed destination without allowing any passengers in and out of the bus in the middle of journey between the starting and ending points. But, a majority of the bus operators pick up the passengers for filling up vacant seats.

Similarly, about 50 per cent buses operated to various parts from Tirupati do not have the prescribed mechanical condition and other tools like fire extinguishers. The norm of the presence of two drivers in long journey buses, more or less remained on the RTA rule books as no private bus plying between Tirupati and Hyderabad having such a facility.

“Hardly it takes 10 hours for reaching Hyderabad from Tirupati and we don’t think there is a need for additional driver,” said a private bus operator on the condition of anonymity.

When asked a transport department official over the violation of the norms by private bus operators, he said that they are limited to converting crime into revenue. “Following the mishap in Mahbubnagar district, we swung into action and are levying fine on private bus operators for flouting norms, which is nothing but using such incidents as a source of revenue generation.”

Saying that unlike the forest and excise Acts, the Motor Vehicle Atc (MV Act) does not have authority to confiscate the vehicles flouting norms, he added that as per the MV Act they are only permitted to seize a vehicle for violation and will have to release the same after collecting some money in the form of fine. But, in case of the forest and excise Acts, the question of releasing the seized vehicles will not arise, he said and sought such ruling in the MV Act. As the Volvo bus will will cost at least Rs one crore, no owner will dare to violate the prescribed norm as they don’t want to loose their vehicle, he observed.

Though, it is not at all a financial burden to place fire extinguishers and hammers in side the bus,  which are required tools in case of emergency, the operators adopt negligent attitude due to lack of serious punishment, said another official.

Admitting that the transport department is not in a stage to take up drives at regular intervals, the officials attributed it to the staff crunch. As we have to deal with office work like issuing licenses, registrations and other tasks, we are only limited to take such drives only on some occasions, they said.

When contacted the Tirupati regional transport officer (RTO) MSSB Prasad, he said that about 50 per cent of buses do not have required conditions as well as flouting the norms. Particularly, on weekends, private bus operators are plying unconditioned buses. To cash the passengers rush on these days, they are bringing up the substandard buses on to the roads playing havoc with the passengers lives, he said.

Stating that they are taking up raids on the private buses time to time, he said that they are going to organise an awareness meeting soon to drivers of private buses.

On the lines of flights, where the air-hostess explains the passengers about the emergency exits and availability of balloons and parachutes, the bus drivers should also explain the passengers about the emergency windows, hammers and how to use them during emergency before starting journey, he said adding that the proposed awareness meet is aimed to deal with such issues.




State urged to bring urban transport under Urban Development Department

August 19, 2013

‘This will facilitate integration of land use and transportation’


The Union Ministry of Urban Development has asked the State government to designate the Urban Development Department (UDD) as the nodal department for all urban transport-related matters.

The Ministry said no planned urbanisation could be successful without an effective and efficient urban transport system.

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which caters to the public transport requirements of Bangalore, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North Western KRTC and North Eastern KRTC come under the Transport Department.

In a recent communiqué to the Chief Secretary, Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna said the State UDD should also be responsible for planning land use for urban transport. Urban transport and planning should go together. However, in many States these two are segregated between the Transport Department and the UDD, he said. It had been well recognised that urban transport was the key for urban development as more than 70 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from cities.


Mr. Krishna said, “It is a matter of concern that despite this being one of the conditions of reforms at the State-level under the scheme for funding of buses for urban transport under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and in spite of issuing two advisories from the Ministry to chief secretaries of all States and Union Territories earlier, only a few States — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan — have brought urban transport under one nodal department, i.e., urban development department.”

Designating the UDD as the nodal department for urban transport was necessary for the integration of land use and transport plans as envisaged in the National Urban Transport Plan, Mr. Krishna said. With this, urban transport remains as an integral part of urban planning at all levels and cities could be planned in a holistic manner, he said.

Responding to this, a senior Transport Department official said the department would have no objection to the move. The government had to take the decision, he said.

Mr. Krishna said failure to comply with the advisory, however, would not attract any penalty. There were about 30 conditions for funding under the JNNURM. Some of them are mandatory and some, including a single agency for urban planning and transport, are desirable. Karnataka, at least, had a Directorate of Urban Land Transport to plan for urban transport under the UDD, he said.


Officials told to use LEDs

August 16, 2013

DC |


Visakhapatnam: Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration & Urban Development Dr Sailendra Kumar Joshi suggested that GVMC officials prepare a proposal on comprehensive transport system for the future traffic needs of the city.

He advised officials to replace existing street lights with LEDs as it would cut down 50 per cent of the expenditure.

He held a review meeting with officials here on Saturday. When officials told him that they would prepare a plan for eight BRTS corridors in and around the city with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,200 crore, Joshi advised them to prepare the plan covering all areas of the corporation.



Higher fines on cards for parking violations

August 14, 2013

PUNE: Parking in no-parking zones or straying into bus rapid transit system (BRTS) lanes in Pimpri Chinchwad may soon attract heavy penalties ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, with a new proposal from the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) awaiting the nod.

The traffic police and the civic body will share the fine amount equally if the proposal comes through.

The civic administration has tabled the proposal for the city improvement committee’s (CIC) approval. The proposal explains how motorists park their vehicles haphazardly on and along roads, obstructing vehicular

traffic and causing congestion. It states how the traffic police have the right to impose fines on such errant individuals under the Motor Vehicles Act, but the fine amount is significantly low to act as a deterrent for repeat offences.

With rising vehicle numbers, such offences are only expected to increase. The traffic police has been long demanding that the PCMC grant powers to them on the lines of Pune Municipal Corporation, under Section 208 of the Maharashtra Municipal Act, which allows them to impose fines on all vehicles that are parked without authorisation, parked in no-parking areas and are driven in BRTS lanes. The Pune civic body had granted such powers to the traffic police in 2004.

The Pimpri Chinchwad civic general body had approved a resolution in August 2009 to grant powers to the traffic police to take action against only commercial vehicles. The traffic department has been seeking the powers to take action against all types of vehicles. The approval of the city improvement committee, standing committee and general body are necessary to grant such powers to the traffic police.

A PCMC official said that the proposal was kept pending by CIC, since its members have sought more information from the traffic police.

Vikas Patil, president, Paryavaran Sanvardhan Samiti said, “The fine is not a solution for disciplining people; it might increase corruption. The civic body must remove all vehicle repair, washing and selling centres located on pavements. Banks, ATMs and shops facing roads must make adequate parking arrangements for their customers to prevent roadside parking. Basements must be used only for parking vehicles.”



Delhi: After delays, e-challan finally sees light of day

August 14, 2013

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi,


The much-awaited e-challan project of the traffic police has finally kicked-off in the city though the official inauguration of the project will take place at the end of this month.

“We made all 1,200 e-challan devices operational a few days ago. However, certain technical glitches remain which are being sorted out. We hope to formally launch the project by end of the month and make available the e-payment option in the devices,” said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic).

 On Sunday, the police issued 2,239 e-challans to traffic violators in the Capital.

The e-challan has replaced a traffic policeman’s age-old challan book. It aism to help the police catch repeat offenders as it will be linked to the central database and will provide the policeman a record of previous traffic violations, if any. Traffic police claim the device will enable them to raise at least Rs. 120 crore per annum through e-challans, about three times the average annual amount of Rs. 45 crore.

With the launch of this project, Delhi has joined the league of Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, where such a system is already in place, though sources said the devices are showing some glitches like heating up and connectivity problems.


The hand-held devices have been distributed among policemen in all traffic circles and are together likely to generate nearly 2,500-3,000 challan receipts every day, said a senior traffic police official.

The police have also received a go-ahead for the e-payment gateway from the ministry of home affairs and have tied up with State Bank of India for the facility, said officials.

The e-challan project had faced a number of administrative and technical roadblocks. These included the machine malfunctioning due to weather conditions and the inability of policemen to operate the devices.



Road plans good only on paper: High court

August 14, 2013

Rosy Sequeira, TNN |

MUMBAI: Trying to cover up for its shoddy job so far, the BMC on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that it is working towards utility mapping and coordinated placement of underground cables to ensure conditions of roads did not suffer in future.

The BMC explained its proposals to the HC, which took a suo motu cognizance of potholed stretches in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. “Your paperwork is good but results are not there,” the HC told the civic body.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday told Bombay High Court that it is working towards utility mapping and coordinated placement of under ground utilities to provide for good roads in future for Mumbai.

Highways leading to Mumbai were excellent but one realizes “you have entered the municipal limits by looking at the condition of the roads”, a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha observed. “All of us want proper roads. Property prices are so high, people cannot afford to buy flats in south Mumbai. They stay far away and commute the distance. Roads are the arteries of a city. If you give good roads, people don’t mind staying 50km away,” said Justice Shah, adding that good roads cut down , adding that smooth roads and good connectivity can cut down on commute time.

Defending the civic body, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kumar claimed that indiscriminate digging of roads to lay underground cables for services such as phone, water, gas, electricity and petroleum led to potholes. “We have 1,941 km roads in Mumbai and every year, we have to allow digging of 400-450km, either to lay cables or repair them,” he said. When the judges asked if the ducts could be laid in such a way that roads did not have to be dug up every time service providers had to work on cables, Kunte said they had come up with two measures that might solve the problem-utility mapping and coordinated placement of utility cables. “We are working on a road map. Once we get our hand on the utility problem it will be an enduring solution,” said Kunte. The judges asked what civic bodies across the world did to maintain roads. “There is coordinated placement of utilities. Whichever city manages utilities properly, has cut down on digging,” said Kunte.

The civic chief said tenders were awarded, as mentioned by the Standard Technical Advisory Committee rules, only to the lowest bidder, meeting all criteria. “Your paperwork is good but results are not there,” Justice Shah riposted, questioning if the BMC could pay contractors over five years, settling only 20% of the cost per year so that the shoddy firms could be exposed. “The contractors will have to hike prices but you are assured of quality,” said Justice Shah.

The judges also questioned why all agencies, such as MSRDC and MMRDA, could not jointly award road contracts. But MMRDA commissioner U P S Madan said the agencies worked under individual boards and the BMC under the Standing Committee. The judges also questioned why all the agencies, such as MSRDC and MMRDA, could not jointly award road contracts. But MMRDA commissioner U P S Madan said it was difficult as state agencies worked under individual boards and the standing committee approved BMC contracts. MMRDA’s additional metropolitan commissioner Ashwini Bhide said the BMC maintained 85% roads, while the state agency had absolutely new roads. The size of tender packages was another reason why the MMRDA attracted bigger players and could construct quality roads, she said.

While urban development department state principal secretary Shrikant Singh blamed improper draining of water for asphalt stretches not stabilizing, Advocate General Darius Khambata said there was no agreement on the technology to surface different roads.

The HC added Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar civic bodies as party to the case and directed the BMC, TMC and NMMC to submit their action plans at the next hearing on September 5.

He added that the city had been undergoing transformation and the constant installation of waterlines, sewerage, Metro and Monorail utilities, natural gas and IT worsened the road condition.

He said utilities is a major problem and there is a move towards a master plan for it in future including ducting and other methods.





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