Infrastructure

As our cities witness a construction explosion, find comprehensive reportage and analysis on the latest infrastructure developments, policy updates, and sustainable practices in urban planning. Read deep diving pieces on development and maintenance of roads and flyovers, public transit systems and housing projects. The articles highlight the challenges of unchecked urbanisation and growth in built-up areas, and connect the dots with ecological damage, traffic congestion, and issues of water supply and waste disposal.

At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on 7th November 2021, J R Bhatt, Adviser/Scientist in the Ministry of Environment, while presenting India’s third Biennial Update Report (BUR), referred to the significant uptake of its solar programme. India’s solar energy capacity has risen 17 times in the last seven years, currently standing at about 45 gigawatts. However, when one looks at the various targets set for the shift to solar, it becomes evident that there is still a long distance to be covered. An independent analysis by the Council for Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) had shown earlier that India’s…

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The proposed letter from the building committee of the High Court of Madras to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), asking the latter to consider shifting Hynmers’ Obelisk from its present location, has brought into sharp focus the role of the ASI when it comes to protecting monuments that are under its control. Will it stand up to its mandate or simply give in is the question. We sincerely hope it will be the former option. Little protection for monuments As per the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, it is forbidden to take up any…

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Over the years, Bengalureans have protested against a number of infrastructure projects that they believed went against public interest. For example the protests against the proposed elevated road corridors in 2019. Or the recent protests against metro construction on All Saints' Church land. While the protests mentioned above were successful, many others were not. Citizens often are unable to get government agencies to listen to their concerns. In many cases, they become aware of the details of a project only when construction starts. But public consultations at multiple stages are mandatory for public infrastructure projects as per the Karnataka Town…

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The Delhi administration is finally realising the usefulness of the humble cycle. Not only as a much needed commute alternative, but also as a tool to combat Delhi’s perennial poor air quality. Recently, vendors, factory workers, daily wage labourers and other workers who cycle daily to work joined forces to urge the Delhi government to fast track moves to create safe cycling infrastructure and dedicated cycle lanes. The Delhi government reacted by saying it will develop dedicated cycle tracks across the national capital, especially on stretches that are most used by cyclists. Read more: Delhi divided: Will new parking management…

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Tired of the constant digging up of roads, residents of Ward 45, Malleswaram took to the streets to conduct a peaceful walk called #SAAKU walk on March 6th, 2022, to highlight their issues. While their walk managed to get the attention of the bureaucracy and the politicians, nothing much changed on the ground. Instead of sitting quietly for the authorities to wake up and hope that they keep up their promises, Malleswaram residents decided to take further steps. Here is what they did next. Seeing all this angst of citizens and the enthusiasm during the first Saaku walk, we decided…

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Walking on the streets of namma Bengaluru is an adventure in itself. Not a road left untouched and footpaths non-existent or in disarray; all in the name of development. On March 6th, 2022, to highlight the multiple problems residents are facing because of the unending work on their roads and other infrastructure for months and years, residents of Ward 45, Malleswaram took to the streets to conduct a peaceful walk called #SAAKU walk. The half kilometre walk was from Malleswaram bus stand at 18th cross to 11th cross, 4th Main. Here is what the residents of Malleswaram did: The problem…

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In January 2013, the BBMP forcibly evicted over 5,000 people from Ejipura slum, near Koramangala. Those who protested faced police action and detention. The residents, who were paying rent of Rs 1,000-1,500 for the tin sheds there were too poor to afford rent elsewhere. They also felt cheated - in the mid-2000s, the BBMP Council had passed a resolution that they would be provided flats, and had issued them 'guruthina cheetis' (ID cards). After their eviction, these people were left to fend for themselves. Some lived on the pavements, some left the city, some found accommodation elsewhere, and a few…

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In Mumbai, land is a priceless commodity involving very high stakes. Encroachments and illegal structures have been a part of Mumbai’s exponential growth for decades now. The fact that it continues to happen is no secret. But proving it in a court of law, and getting legal sanction for their demolition, has been difficult for lack of sufficient documentation. An attempt is being made now to rectify that using modern technology. By mid-2022, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to introduce a Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify and act against illegal encroachments in Mumbai. Rs 11.20 crores have been approved and…

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It was just in January that a Government Order was issued for the construction of three new flyovers for the city at a cost of Rs. 335 crores. Now, Chennai’s new mayor Ms. Priya Rajan has signalled the administration’s intent to focus on a new batch of flyover projects as part of a roster of key civic solutions. Flyovers are touted to be essential infrastructure to decongest traffic snarls, but whether the benefits are commensurate with the steep price tags is a matter of some debate. Flyovers did not add much extra capacity A 2016 piece in The Hindu states…

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As Indian cities move towards electric vehicles (EV) for public and private transport, the question of easy and convenient electric vehicle charging in cities becomes paramount. The latest union budget has chipped in to hasten this by announcing a battery swapping policy and interoperability standards. The policy is to ensure all EV manufacturers use standardised, removable/disposable batteries while reducing the cost of EV ownership by negating the need to purchase a new battery, the most expensive component of an EV. This, it is hoped, will incentivise improving electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure across the country. Currently, India is the world’s fifth…

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