Monday, February 21, 2011

At what price, development?

I am in Bangalore for a couple of days and needless to say, I am happy, very happy. So too is the missus.

However, the trip was not without its shockers; and deeply saddening shockers -

1. The way the entire roads have been dug up for Namma Metro made me go absolutely crazy. The IISc and CNR Rao circle area look like a bombed out wasteland.

2. And this really sucked the life out of me. The well at home, which has always been a faitful and plentiful source of water has gone dry. Apparently it is the 5th or 6th well to go dry in R'nagar over the last few months; and everyone is unanimous in their verdict - the culprit is, you guessed right, the Namma Metro.

Apparently the slab setting/pile foundation work of the Metro has sucked so much water from the water-table, that never before seen water scarcity seems to have hit R'nagar! :-(

Do we need development of such nature? I am all for making commute of people easier; and at one point I have been a great fan of the Metro; but having had exposure to sectoral development and economics, I strongly feel that a massive fleet of AC buses will do much better than the Metro.

Less, ROW, less cost, and will replace lots of vehicles. Yes, it still remains to win over a lot of the big shots who are used to travelling in their own car(s); but that is far more easier than alleviating the pains of being displaced by the metro (ex: lots of old time shops on MKK road) or depleting water table!

Have a look at this slideshow to understand the economics of bus versus metro!


dilip said...

I agree..But Volvo buses really is not working out bcoz except for the buses that pile around the IT belt at most other places the frequency is not as good. Thats bcoz other than the core IT belt people dont want to shell out extra for these buses..

Also, the whole point of the metro was to de-congest the traffic. If we add more buses to the fleet, i dont know where is the space to run them around?

Deepak Krishnan said...

by the time the metro comes up all traffic projections are going to go helter skelter in any case!

plus, the fact that frequency is not good implies that more buses need to be introduced.

why won't people pay? if they are faced with rising petrol prices versus cheaper buses, then definitely they will pay

dilip said...

More buses implies more traffic jam on the roads..Road widening wont happen unless people give up their prime real estates adjoining the roads (which is very difficult as we have seen in multiple the politicians will anyway think 100 times before initiating such a mass scale prime land acquisition!)

Further as far as rising prices of petrol goes, we are talking of people who commute in two wheelers and buses anyways so they wont be too much directly affected by rising petrol prices..Very few car commuters would switch to public transport just because of rising prices..They might complain about rising prices but, a few hundreds or thousand extra wont matter to them at the end of the day..:)