Now GPS in buses and PDS supply trucks to monitor unauthorised detours in Mangalore

August 2, 2014

Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim on Thursday instructed officials of some government departments to ensure that select public transport vehicles fix global positioning system (GPS) equipment by the end of September.

Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim on Thursday instructed officials of some government departments to ensure that select public transport vehicles fix global positioning system (GPS) equipment by the end of September.

It applied to vehicles transporting rice, wheat, sugar and kerosene under the public distribution system (PDS), vehicles of oil companies transporting diesel, petrol, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), sand transporting vehicles and private and KSRTC buses.

The equipment in vehicles under the PDS system would help monitor the movement of vehicles and to ascertain whether they had delivered the goods to all fair price shops or not. It would also help monitor the parking of such vehicles en route for long time without valid reason.

Deputy Director of Department of Mines and Geology Nagendrappa told the meeting that about 700-800 vehicles transporting sand had the equipment fixed now.

An official of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. said 180 vehicles of the company had the equipment fixed. An official of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. said the company had 80 vehicles for which the process of fixing the equipment was under progress.

The DC instructed that all buses, including private and KSRTC, should fix the equipment, as it would help to know if they were plying on the routes permitted or not. It would also be known if the buses covered the distance allotted or cut short the trips.

Canara Bus Owners’ Association president Rajavarma Ballal said the association had fixed the equipment to all buses under it in 2010-11 at an estimated cost of Rs. 17 lakh. But there was none under the Regional Transport Authority or Regional Transport Office to monitor their movements, hence the system and their maintenance had failed. Mr. Ibrahim said a proper monitoring system would be ensured this time.


Source:The Hindu

MVD’s interceptors turn money-spinners

July 31, 2014

MVD officials on enforcement drive using the newly inducted interceptor. Photo : Special arrangement
The Hindu MVD officials on enforcement drive using the newly inducted interceptor. Photo : Special arrangement

Mobile interceptors of the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) in the district have proved to be money-spinners, these two interceptors in the city have raked in over Rs. 25 lakh in just over a couple of months

Mobile interceptors of the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) in the district have proved to be money-spinners.

Two interceptors have raked in over Rs. 25 lakh in just over a couple of months, with the department laughing all the way to the bank.

Those carried away by the thrill of over-speeding have turned out to be the biggest contributors, with motorists indulging in drunk, rash and negligent driving left not too far behind.

With the speed limit restricted to 30 km per hour (kmph) near schools, the strategic deployment of interceptors near these institutions helps bring in more moolah as hitting even 40 kmph is chargeable.

The drivers of taxis and other transportation vehicles speeding along at 90 kmph along four lane national highways ignorant of the 70-kmph restriction are also trapped by interceptors.

Only private vehicles are allowed 90-kmph speed on national highways.

No barriers for these buses

Private buses plying in the city have the uncanny knack of flouting rules notwithstanding the odds stacked against their actions.

A classic case plays out at Pipeline near Palarivattom Bypass Junction.

Not that long ago, the traffic police put up barriers along the stretch considering the narrowness of the Kakkanad-Palarivattom Road and the haphazard traffic approaching the bypass junction.

The barriers erected down the middle of the road were meant to bring about a semblance of order and more specifically aimed at keeping in check the unmindful overtaking of motorists trying to cross the junction before the signal turns red.

But some bus drivers proceeding in the direction of Kakkanad continue to overtake along the opposite track as if the barriers were non-existent.

This throws traffic on the two directions out of gear besides worsening the ordeal of motorists waiting at the traffic signal.

A breather for taxi owners

The four-month-long anxious wait of taxi and private car owners has eventually come to an end with the State government issuing an order last week easing the payment of tax.

The State budget had directed payment of tax by vehicle owners for five years from April 1 unlike for each year until then.

Car owners, especially, taxi operators found this to be a huge burden as they had to raise more than Rs. 10,000 as against a little over Rs. 2,000. Those who withheld payment of tax proved to be wise as the order has come with retrospective effect.


Source:The Hindu

Start-ups offer commuters a smooth ride

July 30, 2014

Bangalore has at least 10 start-up companies that are helping commuters pool together to commute using technology to inform them who they can share their transport with and when. Some start-ups provide cabs, some others offer mobile phone applications to tell people when someone else has a seat avaliable in their vehicle.

However, they want more people to go online to increase the probability of finding another person commuting to the same place at the same time.

Four start-ups that have been offering these services in the city are Ridingo, Rideally, Urban Drive and MoveInSync.

Ridingo (, which has 7,000 registered users — with 200 to 300 logging in everyday, is targeted at office commuters. It fixes the cost of the trip and the driver earns Rs. 3 per km.

When asked about how safe it is for acquaintances to travel together, Vardhan Koshal, one of the founders, said there are enough details taken for the police to track down people, if required. Besides, it does not allow men to share women’s vehicles.

Mr. Koshal said the “aim is fill all empty seats in cars so that everyone travelling by is comfortable and secure.”

Taxi sharing

The second start-up, Rideally (, is an open platform to connect people for sharing a taxi. It offers a free application for smartphones and targeted at those living in apartments, corporates, and college students. An average of 30 people each day use the application.

For safety, commuters can choose who they want to share their vehicle with: public, community or group, much like privacy levels in social media.

Hariprakash Agrawal, founder, Rideally, said the company would soon have its own cabs for hire as well.

Similarly, Urban Drive provides shared taxi services on a monthly subscription-basis for commuters. The company has a tie-up with three cab companies.

Jitin Gupta, one of the two founders, said it is targeted at companies that do not provide transport for its employees.

Patented technology

MoveInSync has patented a technology that manages transport fleet (pick and drop), tells passengers where the vehicle is, how long they will have to wait till it reaches them; and says it is safe for women. It allows the control room to track the vehicle, find the distance it has covered, and identify cabs with women travellers. The “auto clubbing” feature suggests which passengers could travel together. Commuters have a PIN-based authentication.

Deepesh Agarwal, founder, said 10,000 people are using 1,000 cabs in Bangalore with the help of the technology.

Source:The Hindu


July 24, 2014

The Times of India (Delhi)


Ambika Pandit

The government has announced its plans to develop a hundred smart cities at a cost of over Rs 7,000cr.
What is a smart city? There are many definitions, but broadly it’s one where the quality of governance is enhanced with the integration and use of sensors, cameras and data centres through the application of IT. It has hugely impacted the management of traffic, policing, power and water supply, healthcare, transport, communications etc around the world. How smart is Delhi? At first glance, we are not even getting there. But there are some bright spots in the city, baby steps, which this new occasional series will attempt to capture
Parking chaos greets you outside the government complex housing the sub-registrar offices in Mehrauli, south Delhi. Hassled men and women jostle to get to a grilled window labelled as “Counter No.1“ to speak to an anxious looking staffer. An elderly couple sits on chairs screwed to the wall, sweating in the heat. Their property agent, overeager to prove his worth, quickly glides through the crowd to reach the next window for submitting documents.Deed writers, advocates and a few agents hang out at the gate in the hope of catching some gullible clients. An asbestos cover is the only relief from the heat and humidity if you don’t count the makeshift cold drink and snack counter. There are no toilet and water facilities. This is the scene outside the sub-registrar office (Kalkaji), southeast district.

The building next door is also a sub-registrar office but nothing like what you would have imagined. This is an e-sub-registrar office (Mehrauli), and that one alphabet has made all the difference. There is a green landscape around the building. A ramp, followed by a broad stairway , leads to a reception area.

A civil defence volunteer sits before a computer and attends to the few visitors here compared to the 200 odd people in the adjacent building. The e-sub registrar offices ­ 11 of them ­ give online appointments through a link on the website of Delhi government’s revenue department. Those who come without one are given at date at the reception. On the online portal, a prominent scroll runs the announcement “appointment with e-sub registrar office“. A mouse click leads to a menu displaying all the 11 e-sub registrar offices and the links.

Then pops up a menu of queries to be filled in for appointment and a checklist of the documents you need to apply for over a dozen kinds of registries ­ from property sale and purchase to transfer deeds, gift deeds, relinquishment deeds, rent agreements and will registration among others. A unique ID number is generated as the reference for the appointment day .

At the Hauz Khas office, which covers a significant part of south Delhi, you find people at ease as dependence on the staff is limited and there is no unseemly hurry .

The staff at the reception verifies the appointment ID and issues token numbers. The people then wait in an air-conditioned area with screens flashing the token numbers and sharp executives manning six counters set up for verifying documents and digitising them.

Radha Khanna, a senior citizen from Jangpura, waits patiently for her turn. She is full of praise for this Cinderella-like for this Cinderella-like transformation of the old system. “I have hired an agent to get my work done, but I am now realizing that things are changing. There has been no harassment so far,“ she says. She has come to register her ailing sister’s property located in the Hauz Khas area.

There is silence in the waiting areas as people watch the screen rather than seek information from the counter outside. Once the papers are cleared, people are led straight to the office of sub-registrar Lokesh Kumar. The data, already fed in by the executives at the counter, appears in the specified format and the registrar simply follows the laid out steps to seal the document.

Speaking on the advantages of the new system, Lokesh Kumar says all the data of the documents registered is stored safely in a server to rule out any scope for tampering.

“For instance, a lot of wills are registered these days. In order to deal with disputes over properties, we now videograph the will registration process. If a court seeks these clips in case of such a dispute, the video can be provided as evidence,“ says Kumar.

A wall-mounted LED screens shows a CCTV image of the various sections of the sub-registrar’s office, ensuring complete transparency . With rooms that have glass and wooden panels, the office represents a clear breaking away from the babu culture defined by closed doors and secrecy .

The last step is a visit to the photo section where the file through the in-house computerised system is declared approved by the registrar.

Digitised photos of the parties are superimposed on the documents in the files and then a final file number generated. The applicant’s documents are filed under the digitised file number and sent to a record room where the file is scanned and saved to the digitised archive. The hard copy is stored in the sanitised record areas made of steel chambers that are secured with locks.

Applicants leave from a door at the other end with a digitised number that promises a secure future for lifelong investments.

Revenue secretary and Delhi’s divisional commissioner Dharampal told TOI that the remaining six of the 17 sub-registrar offices will also move to e-mode by the end of this year. “We are identifying space for having one e-sub registrar office in each of the 33 sub-divisions in 11 districts,“ he added.

Commute made easy

July 17, 2014

A new mobile app, Lets drive Along, aims to make carpooling safe and fun

Traffic snarls and Bangalore have become synonymous over the past few years, as more and more cars clog the city roads making the daily commute a stressful activity for millions across the city. Let’s Drive Along is an attempt to reduce city traffic and make the commute an easier experience. The mobile app provides a host of features that will make car pooling a safe activity.

Srinath S, who created this app, after quitting his IT job says, “The main reasons why people are not happy with the concept of carpooling is issues like the lack of flexible timing and security concerns. This app offers the option for users to pick timings that suits them best. As far as the security aspect is concerned, before accepting a request, a user can see the profile of those interested in the carpool.

“This public profile will have information about the place where the person stays, the company he works for and his phone number. This ensures that you do not need to share a ride with a complete stranger. The app allows you to create lists of potential car pool mates. You are under no obligation to carpool on a daily basis.”

Srinath adds, “You cannot wish away all cars from the city roads. Two cars take up as much space as a bus that transports 50 people. I want to ensure that more people can carpool and travel together. It will bring down travel expenses and ensure that the traffic snarls are reduced considerably.”

Srinath says, “We work on a points system and do not have a monetary aspect. We are open to anyone who owns a car and wants to commute to any location in the city. Points are used and given based on the number of trips undertaken by the commuter. For example, you will gain more points if you drive more people and lose points if you are not driving.”

He adds, “You can pick the days you want to carpool. The response has been fairly encouraging and we are getting more and more hits on a daily basis.

“The police and a number of civic organisations are also helping us. We hope to get more people spread across the city, so that the network covers the entire city.”

Source:The Hindu

Police to begin survey of CCTV cameras in Coimbatore

July 16, 2014

The Coimbatore City Police will begin a survey across the city on the availability of CCTV cameras in hospitals, banks and commercial establishments from Monday. Deputy Commissioner (Crime) R.V. Ramya Bharathi added that the condition of CCTV cameras that have been installed at these facilities would also be analysed during the survey.

The survey has been initiated in a bid to bring down thefts and to enable speedy detection of crimes. This step follows the theft of 25 sovereigns gold jewellery from an aged patient by a man in the guise of a doctor while she was admitted in a private hospital, earlier this week.

“There are multi speciality private hospitals in the city with several hundred beds, but do not have CCTV cameras for monitoring their premises. On the other hand, there are a good number of commercial establishments with CCTV cameras, but do n0t have the required backup facilities — which is equally important — for the recorded videos”, the Deputy Commissioner told The Hindu.

About the survey, she said that it would be conducted by a team led by the Inspector of Police in establishments under his jurisdiction, by visiting the premises.

“The study is expected to be completed in a week, after which efforts would be taken for gearing up installation of CCTV cameras at facilities that do not have one and for mending faulty cameras”, she said.

Ms. Ramya said that a communication would be sent to these institutions, urging them to install cameras on their premises.

She added that steps would be taken at the next stage to enhance surveillance by installing more CCTV cameras — to ensure foolproof monitoring and for having proper storage for the recorded videos.

The Police are also planning to conduct a series of meetings for bankers, jewellers and other commercial establishments on installation of cameras.

Source: The Hindu

Bye street light: Now, a road in Netherlands that glows in dark

April 16, 2014


London: A first glow-in-the-dark ‘smart highway’ spanning 500 metres has been developed to replace street lights in the Netherlands. It is the first time “glowing lines” technology has been piloted on the road and can be seen on the N329 in Oss, approximately 100km south east of Amsterdam.

Designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde teamed up with Dutch civil engineering firm Heijmans to developed the technology. The glow-in-the-dark markings are made of paint that contains “photo-luminising” powder which charges up in the daytime and slowly releases a green glow at night, ‘BBC News’ reported.

Once the paint has absorbed daylight it can glow for up to eight hours in the dark, doing away with the need for street lights. The innovative technology will be officially launched later this month and if successful could trigger a mass switch-off of lighting across the country’s road network, potentially saving the nation millions of Euros.

Heijmans said that the glow in the dark technology is “a sustainable alternative to places where no conventional lighting is present”.
Roosegaarde’s past projects have included a dance floor with built-in discolights powered by dancers’ foot movements, and a dress that becomes see-through when the wearer is aroused. In the UK, engineers have developed water-resistant, spray-on coating that makes roads glow in the dark by absorbing UV light during the day and releasing it at night. The coating can adapt to the lighting conditions in its surroundings to glow accordingly. AGENCIES


Now, get toll plaza info on smartphone

March 27, 2014

Dipak Kumar Dash TNN
New Delhi: Now road users can check whether a toll plaza is operating legally and how much they should pay at each toll plaza. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has launched a portal a mobile-based application that will help commuters locate all toll plazas on a stretch and charges payable for each category of vehicle – car, jeep, truck or bus.
Suppose one plans to travel between Delhi and Mumbai, he just needs to enter names of the origin and destination to get details of all toll plazas.
A government official said the website – – is already functional and information related to 255 toll plazas has been uploaded in the system. Details of other 30 plazas will be uploaded in the next two weeks, sources said.
“Commuters can also access updated information about concessions available for local and frequent users on any toll plaza so that the toll operators can’t fleece them. They can get details of the facilities available near a toll plaza, contact numbers for emergency services, local police station and nearest hospital,” said an official.
To make the information accessible while on the move, the highway authority said that people can also get all these details simply by sending an SMS. All that they need is to download an application (app) on their android smartphones. The app will provide details of all toll plazas within 100 km range.
Overcharging, misbehaviour by toll operators and long wait at toll plazas are some of the major irritants for road-users. Moreover, though it’s mandatory that a big hoarding at every plaza must display the applicable toll charges for each type of vehicle, private developers often fail to put them up. The new IT initiative is likely to address these concerns.



Noise barrier for Pedder Road flyover

December 5, 2013


MUMBAI: The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation ( MSRDC) has been asked to take steps to curb noise, control air pollution and streamline traffic before work begins on the Pedder Road flyover. The suggestions were given by the expert appraisal committee (EAC) for projects related to infrastructure development, CRZ, at its 128 meeting on November 29. While recommending granting of Environmental clearance, the EAC stipulated conditions that will have to be fulfilled during the project work.The 4.2 km long Pedder Road Flyover is starting from North side of Haji Ali junction on Lala Lajpatrai Road and ends at Wilson Collegeon Girgaum Chowpatty.The present proposal is for adding additional four lanes on the existing corridor of Pedder Road. This will provide additional and faster vehicle movement for the southern and northern axis traffic.

This will facilitate easy movement of traffic below and over the flyover and which will reduce air and noise pollution in the corridor.

The EAC has stipulated that should install Noise Barrier System during construction and post construction phase on the alignment of the project. Also, thick vegetation cover should be wherever required for attenuation of noise.

It also asked that stationary construction equipment will be placed away from the habitation and asphalt and hot mix plants shall not be installed at site.

It said, “Noise generating construction activities like drilling, compacting etc. should be carried out only during day time in residential areas.

Besides construction contract specifications should specify use of less noise generating equipments

As regards air pollution, the EAC said, “Fugitive dust entertainment will be controlled by sprinkling water and eco gadgets like solar-powered city air purifiers shall be mounted on street light poles.”

In order to reduce congestion during the work, the EAC said, “The Project Proponent shall use Composite Structures for the construction of the flyover to tghe maximum possible extant. Construction material as well as excavated material should be disposed off or shifted only during the night time when the traffic will be much less. ”

For Construction of Super Structure Pre-cast Segmental construction technology would be adopted, while for in-situ construction, a movable Scaffold System construction method shall be adopted. Thus the construction of piles and substructure shall use only a small part of the lane for a few days, it pointed.

EAC also stipulated that adequate construction boards, portable traffic signs, Chevron Signs, Road Marker Signs, Central lights & linkers on Barricades, etc will be put-up uniformly across near the construction and barricading all along the effective stretch of the proposed road.

GRT bid paves roads to India

November 7, 2013

Jenny Rogers   |

   Global Road Technology’s soil stabilisation and trench compaction products will be  used to build highways in India.   Pic: Supplied

BUNDALL-based infrastructure company Global Road Technology has inked a $115 million road-building deal with Indian construction and energy giant Triace.

The three-year contract will enable the company to put its instant highway technology to work on projects covering 7000km of Maharashtra, India’s most populous and third largest state.

The Triace deal followed the recent signing of a joint venture agreement between GRT and India’s Pearls Group to form Pearls GRT.

Pearls Group is the parent company of Pearls Australasia, which bought the Sheraton Mirage resort for $62.5 million in 2009 and undertook a $26 million makeover.

GRT’s technology director Ben Skinner said the deal was a sign of the Gold Coast-based company’s intent to be a world leader in road infrastructure development.

“Our technology provides a cost-effective and time-efficient solution to the development of road infrastructure in both remote and developing nations,” he said.

He said up to 6000sq m of road would be applied a day using GRT’s products, as opposed to traditional methods that take up to a month to lay a kilometre of road.

GRT uses special compounds to build roads that are stronger, safer, cheaper, longer-lasting and quicker to install than conventional roads.

Their technology makes it possible to quickly seal poor roads in countries such as India and China to reduce fatalities.

GRT already has a presence across Asia, India and South America.

The company is working with major companies across the mining, oil and gas and government sector.

Mr Skinner said GRT polymers could be mixed with in-situ materials to create a range of road surfaces across a variety of landscapes.



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