Articles by G V Dasarathi

In this series, individuals, citizen groups and RWAs explain how they have dealt with the COVID-19 crisis in a constructive manner. In this second part of the series, a resident of Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru, describes the measures he took. Hereโ€™s something that just three people โ€“ my friend Sumir Hinduja, my daughter Amala, and I โ€“ managed to do in our locality Sadashivanagar. There are many construction sites in this area as old homes are brought down to build new apartment complexes. As a result, several migrant workers reside in this area. Most of them have not received their pay for…

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The Greek word Oligarchy means 'Government of a few rich people for their own advantage'. It was coined by the philosopher Aristotle 2300 years ago (he also coined the word Democracy). An Oligarch is a very rich businessman or businesswoman with a great deal of political influence. For convenience, we'll shorten the word to Olly.Karnataka politics has traditionally been funded by various lobbies of Ollys like the liquor lobby, the mining lobby, real estate lobby, and the contractors' lobby (in urban bodies elections). When a politician needs money to fight an election, an Olly funds him, and the Olly in…

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In my locality, Sadashivnagar, BBMP has suddenly started concreting of pavements. This would normally be a laudable activity, but  for these problems:1. The pavements are not used by pedestrians at all. The streets in the locality have sparse vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians walk on the edge of the road comfortably. The picture below shows one such street at peak traffic time of 5:30 PM. So concreted pavements are unnecessary in this locality.2. Concrete pavements are not only unnecessary, they are actively harmful. Concrete and tar are the chief causes of a phenomenon called Urban Heat Island - the city…

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The next time you're on the road at peak traffic time observe this. There'll be a wannabe Michael Schumacher who'll take off like a rocket at the signal, and you'll meet up with him at the next signal. You'll most likely meet up with him at every signal over the next 10 km. Why does this happen, even though he's driving faster than you? This is because of the 'Schumi-Bang effect', a scientific phenomenon caused by the interaction between Schumi's vehicle and Bangalore's roads. Here's the explanation. When traffic signals are close to each other, your average speed depends on…

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Why ruin, then restore?

In 1978, as the city of Seoul in South Korea 'developed', a 6 km. long river called the Cheonggyecheon was covered up. An 8-lane street was built over it, and an elevated expressway built over the street. The road was called Cheonggye Road, in memory of the late river.In 2005 the elevated expressway and the road were broken up and the river restored. It took two  years and the equivalent of Rs. 4000 crore for the restoration. 2002 : Seoul's Cheonggyecheon river in its avatar as a road. Pic source: G V Dasarathi. 2005 : Seoul's Cheonggyecheon river after its…

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During commute time in Bangalore when people are traveling to their offices, how many people do you see:1.    In a car?2.    On a motor bike?3.    In a bus?Answer : 1 in a car, 1 on a bike, 75 in a bus.Here’s a small transportation engineering exercise.If you count the number of vehicles on the flyover in the picture below, you’ll find that they add up to 150. Assuming the people in these vehicles are all going to or from work, each of the vehicles is carrying 1 person.That means there are 150 people between the two red lines. Pic source:…

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