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.

In the first of this two-part series, we discussed the quality of the building plans sanction dataset on the BBMP website. The data is potentially crucial in informing, visualising and guiding the built-form in the city. Thus, the imperative to streamline and quality-check the data collation exercise cannot be over emphasised. In the second part, we illustrate the insights from this data. The publicly available data was used to understand the direction and typology of built growth expansion across time at the city, zonal and ward scale. These insights, we argue, are critical inputs for planning and managing the city.…

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For urban planners, visualising a city’s growth requires determining the extent and nature of urbanisation that the city has and is experiencing. While satellite imagery is often relied on for comprehending the built growth, this data does not provide insights on what is the ‘nature’ of the built form: i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, among others. Unscrambling the data on building plan sanctions can potentially bridge this gap in understanding. In urban areas, the built growth or construction of buildings is managed and monitored by local bodies through its Town Planning Department, the first of such management being sanctioning a building…

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On April 24, 2023, 17-year-old, Shahrukh Zulfikar Shaikh, was killed in a truck accident at Malad, when he was cycling. The cyclist fell down after he lost control due when a rickshaw ahead swerved suddenly on his side. Last February, a 12-year-old cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he and his father were cycling in a group on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road.  These deaths are a sad reminder of the dangers that await cyclists in the city. Professional cyclists say that cycling within the city roads is very unsafe and could be quite risky. Urban transportation planner Zohra…

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I was asked to write a piece about government performances, past and present, for Bengaluru. At the outset, it is hazardous appraising a government and predicting the future by looking at the rearview mirror.  Especially as one remains sceptical about party manifestos that contain the usual pronouncements that rarely fructify, and which reach their sell by date on election day.  So, this dreamy writer instead embarks on a wishful, fanciful speech (and hopefully subsequent action) about Bengaluru that the next Chief Minister, who likely will retain the Bangalore Development Minister portfolio, ought to make. “Namaskara. I wish to make a…

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Potholes on roads are a menace for every Mumbaikar – car drivers, bikers and pedestrians. Every year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claims to fill hundreds of potholes during monsoons, yet they seem to crop up the following season and continue to be a safety hazard. In addition to slowing down traffic, the poor quality of roads is also responsible for several accidents and even deaths. Last monsoon, two deaths were reported within two weeks due to accidents caused by potholes. These daunting numbers call for immediate attention. To address the issue, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra recently re-invited bids…

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An accessible, comfortable and functional bus shelter is an essential part of any urban mass transit system. Chennai's bus shelters routinely fail to meet one or more of these parameters, affecting commuters. From the perspective of the local administration, which is responsible for its management, a good bus shelter is one that has low maintenance requirements and is resistant to any form of vandalism. From the point of view of a commuter, an ideal shelter is one that allows visibility and easy access to the bus, is comfortable and convenient, provides clear information and is safe. Both viewpoints are equally…

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When I thought of writing this article my intention was to cover the 100 Feet Road Indiranagar, Inner Ring Road (IRR), and 100 Feet Road Koramangala from end to end, starting from Binnamangala and ending in Madiwala. I planned to cover the whole distance to write about citizens' worries in traversing this road. When I went on the ground to find more details, I didn’t go beyond 100 feet road Indiranagar. There was so much content in the first 2.7 kilometres itself that it was needless to go beyond! The white topping work on the 100 feet road started about…

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The state government has been on an inauguration spree. The ruling party has been traveling across the state launching everything, from mega infrastructure projects, like the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway, to toy trains. It is no coincidence that this frantic activity comes in the lead up to elections. The ruling party pats itself on the back with full page ads for projects that are almost finished, incomplete, just beginning or still in the conceptual state. But how do these projects fare after the fanfare? Prime Minister inaugurates, rains disintegrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the city at least five times since…

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The Bombay High Court (HC) recently came down heavily against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demanding that BMC ensure that Mumbai’s footpaths be made walkable for pedestrians especially for handicapped and senior citizens. The HC suo moto asked BMC to clarify its policy on permitting various facilities on footpaths that hampered smooth movement of pedestrians. It took into consideration that walking on Mumbai footpaths has become dangerous as they are uneven, broken, disjointed or encroached and hence, unavailable to walk. Are footpaths in Mumbai dangerous? About 51% of all trips made by Mumbaikars are on foot. Even those who travel…

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The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) recently decided upon two projects that raise questions about its intentions. It rejected the proposal to build a school by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) citing Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules but approved the proposal for a Golf Course by Mistry Construction Co Pvt Ltd within a day of receiving it. The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority, regulates all developmental activities in Coastal Regulation Zones. It does so for “protecting and improving the quality of the coastal environment and preventing, abating and controlling environmental pollution in the Coastal Regulation Zone areas in the…

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