Doubts over utility of foot over bridge

August 12, 2013

Proshun Chakraborty, TNN


NAGPUR: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has started constructing a foot over bridge (FOB) at Law College Square. However, the question being asked is: Will the FOB be used by pedestrians?Citizens’ forums and some government officials say there is no need for a foot overbridge at that spot. The location was chosen more for the advantage of advertisers than pedestrians, they added.

“For whom the foot overbridge is being built,” asked Dinesh Naidu, secretary of Parivartan – The Citizens’ Forum. “There is no justification for constructing a bridge at the present site except that it is a prime location for hoardings,” he said in a memorandum submitted to municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane and commissioner of police K K Pathak, urging them to stop its construction.

These FOBs are result of arbitrary planning and lack of social engineering by NMC. Many norms have been flouted by NMC in conceptualizing, designing and awarding the work of these FOBs, citizen’s forums alleged.

“Such FOBs are not only a hotbed of criminal activities but have also been social nuisance wherever they have been constructed,” the NGO stated in the memorandum. The NGO is also planning to move high court against the construction of FOBs.

The FOB at Law College is among the 24 being built by an outdoor advertisement agency on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis for NMC in lieu of advertisement rights.

Although there is a flat scheme on one side of the road, and two colleges, the square sees hardly any pedestrian movement and hence the bridge is unnecessary, Naidu explained. To prove their claim, the NGO has pointed out lack of use of FOBs in Mumbai.

Traffic activist Vinay Kunte said, “The foot over bridge is being built on the wrong spot for pedestrians,” he says, pointing out that the current location means that college students would have to walk down a few hundred meters, climb up and over, and then walk back. “It’s unlikely they’ll use it at all.”

Many feel that besides being at a wrong spot, such a bridge would be ineffective. “In general, foot over bridges are not much used. We find that people are more likely to use subway rather than a bridge, because psychologically they are more willing to go downstairs,” said an expert.

According to NMC’s executive engineer (Project) R M Hotwani, the civic body is creating the facility for pedestrians free of cost. Referring to Indian Road Congress norms, Hotwani claimed that it is mandatory for the civic body to create facilities (like FOB or subways) for pedestrians. Construction of subways is very costly and NMC is not in a position to invest money on this. So FOB was chosen, he said. He claimed that there was a demand for a FOB at Law College Square from the educational institutions situated there. “People needed some crossover at the junction,” he said. According to him, a study conducted by the PWD had said crossovers were needed at 24 places.

Some of the residents had also demanded that a signal be provided at that junction, he said. However, Law College Square foot overbridge is not the only one which has met opposition from citizens.

Points To Ponder

* To use FOB one will have to climb 30/35 steps which is very difficult for old persons

* While taking a subway people first go down 18/20 steps which is not tiring. While using a FOB they will have to climb 30/35 steps

* Young people are generally in a hurry do not like to waste their time using a FOB

* FOB is suitable only where there is heavy pedestrian traffic, mostly consisting of middle aged people


Intro: Can FOBs help solve problems for pedestrians at some of the busiest junctions of the city?

RBI Square: FOB is not needed at all as there is hardly any traffic. It is quite convenient for the pedestrians to walk

Ajni Railway Station: Not needed because people rarely take a walk from there and choose other ways to reach the places near station

LIC Square: Not needed because a zebra crossing can solve the problem of pedestrians

Mohini Complex: Resolving encroachment issue will automatically solve pedestrian problems

Chitnis Park Square: Encroachment and hawker stalls needed to be removed

Law College Square: Mostly students form the crowd and after their entry inside the college premises the mob is cleared

Shankar Nagar Square: Footpath and zebra crossing help pedestrians

Mor Bhavan: A zebra crossing can do the needful for pedestrians

Hotel Naivedyam: Clearing the mess on the footpath and a proper zebra crossing can make things easy

SFS School (Gaddigodam): A zebra crossing can help as students and their means of transport form a mob only in the noon and morning. Otherwise, the traffic situation is under control

Indora Square: Commercial complex visitors form the main crowd. A zebra crossing will help the pedestrians to walk the path

Anand Bhandar (Katol Road): Encroachment issues need some pondering which will help

Akashwani Chowk: The area is mostly crowded with two wheelers and four wheelers and there are a few pedestrians walking there. Hence there is no need of FOB

Chhatrapati Square Bus Stand: There is no need for FOB as a simple zebra crossing is enough for the pedestrians to walk

MIDAS (Janta Square): FOB construction at this square is a waste as the pedestrians prefer crossing the road using dividers

Sai Mandir: It will be a big task to remove beggars from the front side of the temple. Also, there is already a flyover on that road. Constructing FOB will create mess over there

Khamla (Sindhi Colony): There are hardly any pedestrians on Khamla Road. If required, a zebra crossing will do

Medical Square: The road near Medical Square is enough for the people to walk. Also, the relatives who come to visit patients, hardly use the road. FOB construction would be a waste

Gandhi Putla: As most of the time the road is covered with vehicles there are hardly any people who walk on this road

Agrasen Square: Footpath and dividers do the needful here. FOB is not required

City Bus Stand: Already the crowd of the buses creates havoc here and FOB will add to this.

Mayo Hospital: Relatives of patients come visiting, but they use the approach road of Mominpura. It does not affects vehicular traffic on Central Avenue.

Reshimbagh Square: This square does not have heavy pedestrian movement and hence there is no need for a FOB

Rajiv Gandhi Square: Though it a big square on Bhandara Road, the number of pedestrians is less. Hence, no need for FOB



New bridge on Narmada to be ready by 2016: Minister

August 12, 2013

Harish Joshi, TNN |

BHARUCH: Union minister of state for transport, road and highways, Oscar Fernandes visited Bharuch and assured that the much-wanted new bridge over Narmada will be constructed by 2016.Fernandes is said to have rushed to Bharuch after Ahmed Patel, politicial secretary to UPA chief Sonia Gandhi, expressed severe displeasure over the inordinate delay caused in the project.Bharuch and Ankleshwar residents as well as those travelling on the national highway 8 to Mumbai are facing frustrating traffic snarls due to want of a new bridge. It may be recalled that the foundation stone for the new bridge, which will complement the exisiting Golden Bridge and Sardar Bridge, was laid on May 1 last year.Nazu Fadwala, media coordinator for Bharuch district Congress told TOI: ” Ahmed bhai had written a strong letter to the ministry of transport, road and highways in the second week of July expressing unhappiness over the delay (in the project). He has also mentioned how people are suffering a lot in absence of another bridge.”

Addressing media persons later, Fernandes said, “The old Sardar bridge which is damaged will be repaired by October and made operational only for light vehicles. The new proposed bridge near Sardar Bridge will be ready in next three years. The tender process is in a final stage. Earlier, the contract was awarded to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) who failed to abide the tender conditions, which necessitated inviting of fresh bids.”

Fernandes said that the entire expenditure for the new bridge will now be borne by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) instead of earlier proposed built operate and transfer (BOT). The tender process for the proposed fly over near Mandva and Jhadeshwar crossing and service road are in a final stage.

The minister along with NHAI team and district officials first visited the damaged Sardar Bridge which is closed for heavy vehicles since five years due to want of repair.

The traffic congestion has become a routine affair on the national highway 8. In July alone, the stretch remained jammed for practically eight days.

Rajendrasinh Rana, district Congress president said “We have appraised Ahmed bhai about the nagging traffic problems and he immediately intervened.”

US breaks ground on final part of Ohio River Bridges project

June 20, 2013









{ “The new bridge and its counterpart in Louisville’s East End will be the

region’s first new bridges in more than 50 years.”}

The US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has broken ground on the $1.3bn Downtown Crossing – the second half of the Ohio River Bridges project.

Scheduled to be completed in late 2016, the project involves the construction of a new bridge that widens I-65 from seven to 12 lanes over the Ohio River in downtown Louisville and the reconstruction of Kennedy Interchange where I-64, I-65, and I-71  converge.

The new bridge and its counterpart in Louisville’s East End will be the region’s first new bridges in more than 50 years.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: “This new bridge, and its East End counterpart, will create jobs and provide more transportation options for one of America’s most important trade corridors.”

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said: “By reducing congestion, these bridge projects not only create jobs but will allow local residents to spend more time with friends and family.”

The Ohio River Bridges Project, a joint effort between Kentucky and Indiana, is expected to improve traffic safety and substantially lower traffic congestion between southern Indiana and Louisville, and will help around 100,000 drivers every day.

Planning for the project started in 1969, and works on the East End Crossing began in autumn last year.

The programme was approved by the federal authorities in June 2012, and was originally estimated to cost $4.1bn but later revised to $2.6bn.

The new bridge will almost double the traffic capacity of the river crossing and considerably lower the time and cost required to ship US products through the Louisville metropolitan area.

Image: The new bridge and its counterpart in Louisville’s East End will be the region’s first new bridges in nearly 50 years.


Road Ministry to approach CoS on GMR highway project in 2 weeks

June 19, 2013


NEW DELHI: The Road Transport Ministry will approach the Committee of Secretaries for an amicable way out for the Kishangarh-Ahmedabad Highway project which is stalled after GMR’s exit.GMR Infrastructure BSE 0.50 % early this year had walked out of the project citing difficulties in taking up the project due to regulatory hurdles, including delays in environment clearance and land acquisition.

According to sources, GMR Infrastructure was ready to restart the project with some preconditions, including making piece-meal payments.

The Law Ministry, however, had already rejected the developer’s preconditions, including piece-meal payments, for resuming work on the project.

“We are going to the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) on the matter,” Road Secretary Vijar Chibber told reporters here. He said the meeting of CoS may take place in the next 10-15 days. The CoS is headed by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth.

The company has also said it would pay about 50 per cent of the amount to restart the work on project at present and pay the remaining sum including interest in subsequent years.

The Ministry and the company are already in discussions to rescue the project.

Sources added that the proposal from the Ministry is to ask the company to make requisite payments in time and to seek its guarantee to ensure that the project is not abandoned mid-way, leading to financial burden falling on government.

The project is estimated to have required an investment of Rs 5,387 crore. The Bangalore-based group had won the project in western India through international competitive bidding in September 2011 at Rs 636 crore annual premium for 26 years.

NHAI had said that the company exited the project on account of financial hurdles in arranging finance for the project and not due to lack of regulatory clearances.

It is to be implemented through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer basis.




Akurdi railway underbridge to be opened partially

June 19, 2013


PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) will open one side of the railway underbridge being built nearAkurdi railway station for vehicular traffic and pedestrians within a week.Chief executive officer of PCNTDA Yogesh Mhasesaid the old underbridge gets waterlogged in the monsoon causing disruption in vehicular traffic. So authorities have planned to open one side of the under construction underbridge to provide some relief to commuters and pedestrians.

The contractors have been asked to complete work on the approach road. The old underbridge near the railway station links Ravet, Kiwale, Walhekarwadi and other areas like the old Pune-Mumbai highway and Nigdi-Pradhikaran.

The work order for the new project, to be built at a cost of Rs 8.10 crore, was given in May 2010. The work was to be completed in 15 months, but is still incomplete.


Sachin bridge to make twin-city concept a reality

June 19, 2013

Himansshu Bhatt, TNN |

SURAT: The 700-metre-long rail overbridge atSachin on Surat-Navsari Road is now ready after one-year delay. The work on the two-laneoverbridge had started four years ago. This bridge, built at a cost of Rs 18 crore, will cater to over 20,000 per car units (PCU) and 5,000 commercial vehicles per day (CVD).

The bridge is expected to play a significant role in the development of Surat and Navsari as twin cities in the future. It will reduce travel time by 40 minutes from Udhna-Surat to Navsari town in a car. The lanes of the bridge are 30 and 28 metre wide.Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA) executive engineer PI Patel, said, “The bridge was to be ready by June 2012, but due to some unavoidable circumstances it could not be.”The bridge is located halfway between Surat and Navsari. “The bridge will be a major junction for heavy vehicular traffic on way to Hajira from National Highway 8. These vehicles coming from Mumbai or Ahmedabad need not enter Surat city,” Patel said.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) is building a six-lane bridge next to this rail overbridge that connects Palsana to Hajira. One lane has been completed so far. This infrastructure development is central to overall development of the proposed freight corridor of Surat-Hajira When Surat-Navsari twin cities become a reality in 2026 with a population of 1.20 crore, this ROB will bear the maximum burden of traffic going to and from Surat to Navsari. In the next five years, the vehicular traffic is likely to double.The ROB has been built from the funds sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). It would be dedicated to the people by this month-end

The Road Goes Ever On: Route 66 and the American Dream- A Blast from the past

June 17, 2013


(Andreas Feininger—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Cumulus clouds billow above a stretch of Route 66 in Arizona, 1947.)



One could search long and hard before finding a more stirring two-word phrase in the English language than “road trip!” It works with families, couples, old friends, new friends: pack two or more people into a car with some good music, high-sodium snacks and no fixed, unshakable destination, and you’ve got the ingredients for a (more often than not) excellent adventure. After all, the car — or motorcycle, or VW microbus — is far more than a mere utilitarian contrivance. For roughly the past 100 years, ever since Henry Ford began mass-producing his revolutionary Model T, Americans have been engaged in a love affair with automobiles and, in a much larger sense, with the enduring myth of the open road. Has there ever been a culture that extolled movement for the sake of movement as fervently as 20th century America? In movies (It Happened One NightEasy RiderThe Straight StoryLost in America and countless others) and, of course, in popular songs (by Woody Guthrie, Chuck Berry, Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Dylan and the rest) the notion of getting behind the wheel and simply taking off is celebrated to the point where road-tripping feels like a universally embraced national religion. In 1947, Andreas Feininger made a photograph in Arizona that might be the single most perfect picture ever made of the single most famous road in America: Route 66, the 2,400-mile “Mother Road’ that runs from Chicago through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and finally across the Mojave to Los Angeles. The picture is a remarkable distillation of an idea: namely, that the American West is a place where people find themselves, or lose themselves, amid heat, sun, open spaces, enormous skies. Despite the fact that Feininger’s photograph is packed with “information” — cars, a bus, human figures, a gas station, a garage, towering clouds, an arrow-straight ribbon of road to the horizon — its essential emptiness can be read as a metaphor for the blank slate that innumerable people have sought in the West. Here is where you can redefine yourself, the scene suggests. Reimagine yourself. Reinvent yourself. Then keep moving. Like the American West itself — or like the mythical West of our collective memory — Feininger’s Route 66 feels both companionable and limitless. We want it to go on forever, and if only we have wheels, and enough time, and enough gas, deep down we believe it can. — Ben Cosgrove is the Editor of


30 Rail over bridges in eight years

May 20, 2013

Written by  Parvati Sharma

As many as 30 railway overbridges (RoBs) and one railway underbridge (RuB) have been constructed in Haryana between 2005 and March 2013 at the cost of Rs 651 crore. An official spokesman said that

out of the 31 bridges, 28 ROBs and one RuB were constructed by the Public Works (Building and Roads) wing and two ROBs were built by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The spokesman said that construction work on 34 RoBs and RuBs was in progress up to March, 2013 and these will cost Rs 1,210 crore. The construction work on 13 RoBs and RuBs are in progress under PWD (B&R) wing, two under Haryana State Roads Development Corporation, four under HUDA, four under Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation and 11 under National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). In all, 19 RoBs and RuBs, costing Rs 426.98 crore, have been included in the Railway Work Programme, and are likely to be undertaken soon.

The 73.13-km-long Rewari-Jhajjar-Rohtak railway line has been constructed at the cost of Rs. 602.77 crore with Rs 301.38 crore as share of the state. A sum of Rs 498.25 crore has been spent on the construction of the railway line up to March, 2013 out of which Rs 269.62 crore has been paid by the state government to the Railways. The Hansi-Meham-Rohtak railway line is being constructed at an investment of Rs 406.87 crore. The share of the state government in this railway line is 260.43 crore, and the total length of the track is 68.8 kms. The final location survey is in progress for which the state government has deposited Rs 10 crore with the Railways, he added. The spokesman maintained that the 80-km-long Jind-Sonipat railway line was being constructed at the cost of Rs 694 crore with Rs 347 crore as share of the state. An amount of Rs 435 crore had been spent on its construction up to March, 2013 out of which, the state government has already paid Rs 250 crore to the Railways.


Angadippuram rail overbridge work to begin in june

May 20, 2013

Written by  Parvati Sharma

Road traffic issues in two major towns in Malappuram are all set to be resolved soon. The ROB at Parappanangadi will be thrown open for traffic on June 8. On the same day, the foundation stone will be laid for the rail overbridge (ROB)

at Angadippuram on NH 213.  The construction of the bridge at Parappanangadi began in June, 2010 and the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation (RBDC) had planned to complete the work within 14 months. But the works was delayed mainly due to technical issues regarding receiving permission for the works from the Railways. Land acquisition for the ROB at Angadippuram was also delayed while it waited for technical sanction from the Railways.

The seven metre wide Parappanangadi overbridge has a total length of 565 metres and has been constructed at an estimated cost of 13.5 crore. The bridge is expected to resolve traffic congestion, which is a major issue that has plagued travelers since the Chamravatton Regulator-Cum-Bridge was opened. The traffic woes of Angadippuram town is also expected to be resolved once the ROB turns into a reality. The estimated cost of the two-lane ROB is Rs 12 crore and the work will be completed using funds from the state government.

The estimated cost of the two-lane ROB is Rs 12 crore.

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