Gurgaon expressway snarls causes concern, says Canon CEO

October 15, 2013

Gurgaon,  — Canon India president and CEO Kazutada Kobayashi Monday termed the regular traffic snarls on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway a “cause of concern” and the poor infrastructure here a scar on millennium city’s developing face.

“Traffic problems on National Highway 8 (Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway), specially near toll plazas, are a cause of concern,” said Kobayashi, who has been living in Gurgaon for more than a decade since the company set up its Indian headquarters in the city in 1997.

“I was caught in long traffic jams at several occasions,” he said, adding he keeps a time margin when he heads for the airport to avoid missing his flights.

Noting that Gurgaon has rapidly emerged on the world map, Kobayashi said its dynamic growth and fast becoming a growing hub of MNCs deserves appreciation but its poor infrastructure and lack of maintained roads was the “dark side of the story”.

Speaking on Canon’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, he said that enrolment of girl children in senior classes in Ferozepur Namak village in Mewat district, some 35 km from Gurgaon, increased by 45 percent from last year after Canon adopted the government school in the village.

The number of teachers at the school also increased from nine to 44.

Canon undertook the responsibility of developing the village infrastructure in November 2012 to provide seamless support to its inhabitants with core interventions in eye care, education and environment for a period of three years.

Other CSR projects undertaken by the company include adoption of three Rapid Metro stations for creating a green belt around them in Gurgaon and a photo exchange programme between Canon India and Canon China wherein kids in the adopted villages in both countries click pictures with Canon cameras and share them across boundaries with each other.

Canon India now plans to initiate its village adoption programm


Pitiable road conditions cast shadow on tourism in Kullu

September 26, 2013

Dipender Manta, Hindustan Times,  Kullu,


The resumption of flights to Bhuntar Airport in Kullu after a month-long hiatus was definitely a shot in the arm to the tourism industry; though worries are not yet over for the industry, thanks to the precarious condition of the Kullu-Manali national highway, an arterial road, which is taking its toll on the tourists’ footfall.
Thousands of tourists, who visit Kullu and Manali for vacation every year, are the lifeblood of the tourism industry and a means of good and sustained revenue generation for the Himachal government.

However, owing to the pathetic condition of the national highway, feels the industry, the footfall is on the wane. The road from Raysan to Manali is in a bad shape, enough to make commuters’ journey miserable.

Anup Thakur, president of Hotelier’s Association, Kullu-Manali, told Hindustan Times the resumption of flights to Kullu had brighten the hopes of the tourism industry, and urged the Himachal government to increase the frequency of the flights so that it could give a boost to the tourism sector.

However, worried over the poor condition of the NH from Raysan to Manali and other parts of the district, where tourists’ footfall is normally very high owing to its scenic beauty, Thakur said that we had requested the government to maintain the NH properly for the betterment of the tourism sector. “Most of the tourists take to the NH to reach Kullu and Manali while fearing uncomfortable journey many visitors cancel their trip.”

Buttressing Thakur’s statement, Naresh Kumar, a bus driver, said: “The NH has developed potholes at several places that make driving very difficult and uncomfortable experience.”

Meanwhile, the tourism industry in Kullu has been witnessing a steep fall in tourists’ footfall in the district.

According to district tourism officer, Kullu, Ashwani Kumar, last year 30,82,545 Indian and 1,43,900 foreign tourists had visited the district, but this year the number had shrunk to 14,68,914 Indian and 55,679 foreign tourists till June.

He said the Uttarakhand and Kinnaur tragedies had also added to the woes of the tourism sector.

“We demand from the government to take serious cognisance of the problem, as livelihood of most of the people living in this region depends on tourism,” said Thakur.

“We demand the construction of Manali Bridge and Manali bypass road for the comfort of the tourists,” he added.

Prem Aanad, sub-divisional officer (SDO) with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Raysan region, said the repair work was on, and the road would be restored soon.


Illegal parking takes a big bite out of busy Kochi Broadway

September 24, 2013

Unauthorised parking on Broadway has made life difficult for the public and traders. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

(The Hindu–Unauthorised parking on Broadway has made life difficult for  the public and traders.                     Photo: Thulasi Kakkat)

  The name might have made sense a few years ago.

But today, calling one of the oldest and busiest business centres in the city Broadway is laughable as unauthorised parking has shrunk the road.

“It should be renamed narrow way,” remarked Joseph D’Silva, a member of the Broadway Shop Owners’ Association (BSOA) formed to find a solution to the commercial hub’s parking troubles.

Mr. D’Silva said two-wheelers parked in multiple rows on the left side of Broadway made life difficult for the public and traders alike. He said Broadway had become congested because employees of a shopping complex, sandwiched between Shanmugham Road and Broadway, parked their vehicles on the road.

“Employees of the shops in this trading complex have made Broadway the de facto parking space for their two-wheelers. This has cramped the 250-metre stretch of Broadway right from its entry point,” he said.

Complaint lodged

BSOA has lodged complaints with the City Police Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic, seeking a permanent solution to this problem.

P.A. Sageer, president, BSOA, warned that shop owners would be forced to resort to protests if authorities concerned failed to address the issue.

“The business in shops facing the illegal parking area has taken a severe beating. Our efforts to sort out the issue with owners of the shopping complex have proved futile,” he said.

K.S. Baby Vinod, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Traffic West, said the police regulated parking at Broadway this festive season by deploying additional men and conducting bike patrol.

“The idea is to continue the arrangement and restrict parking to just one row and that too where space is available. Declaring Broadway a no-parking zone is the possible permanent solution. But it draws opposition from a section of traders,” he said.

In fact, the Ernakulam Merchants Union, now rechristened Kerala Merchants Union, along with the City Corporation had made Broadway a no-parking area a few years back. But that experiment fizzled out.

Gopal Shenoy, general secretary, Kerala Merchants’ Union, said the experiment facilitated smooth progress of trade along Broadway. However, the adjoining Cloth Bazaar Road and Market Road became clogged with parked vehicles and a section of traders there suffered.

Later a section of traders in Broadway allowed customers to park their two-wheelers while making purchases, but this led to customers parking their vehicles and cramping the road.

Mr. Shenoy said the police seemed to be considering the possibility of bringing back a parking ban in Broadway.

“In that case, we will ask for a similar ban on Cloth Bazaar Road and Market Road to avoid a repeat of the past,” he said.

Kerala Merchants’ Union is all set to hold a meeting with the police and BSOA to find a permanent solution to the parking woes of Broadway.





Excessive Toll Charges at Vasna (lyava) Toll Plaza SH 17

April 29, 2013


From: Hasmukh Shah
Subject: Excessive Toll Charges at Vasna (lyava) Toll Plaza SH 17

Message Body:
Dear Sirs:

On 17.4.2013, I had been to Sanand for the inspection of our GIDC Plot at Sanand. From Ahmedabad to Sanand, I had to pass through a couple of miles of Express Highway for which the Toll Plaza SH 17 TPO1 has charged us Rs.75/- vide Transaction No. TP0L122130417132672 Date and Time 17.04.2013 11.09:34 Hrs.

We feel that the charges are extremely high for using this small piece of Express Highway. In fact, you should have not charged Toll tax for the same.

Please clarify it.

Hasmukh R. Shah



Complain-Against RVTL Toll Plaza Jamnagar Vadinagar

December 29, 2012

From: Anil Kumar
Subject: Toll plaza pass

Message Body:
This is with reference to toll plaza Jamnagar Vadinar RVTL section near Bedgaon. I am staying in township near the toll plaza (2 Kms from Toll plaza) and frequently required to go to Jamnagar city for various reasons like Medical treatment, schooling, etc.
We have issued the free passes but need to renew the pass every month, if we are late these people are charging the toll fee to us.
We are normally passing through toll plaza in the morning at 7:30 am or in the evening around 7 to 8 pm, we are unable to match out timings with toll plaza office timing for renewal of pass. Sunday also it is closed. When I discussed this issue with L&T official he was arguing only like he is doing a great favor to us. He is not trying to understand the difficulties we are facing. I was very unhappy the way toll plaza providing the services to us,
Hope you may do something to improve the service.

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