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.

Professor Ashish Verma, convenor of the Sustainable Transportation Lab at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) recently made a detailed presentation on the problems with the Sankey Road flyover at the Citizens for Sankey meeting. A professor of transportation systems engineering, Ashish has been with the IISc for 14 years and has developed, in his own words, "a systems perspective to problem solving in transportation with a strong focus on development goals." Ashish has been a vocal critic of flyovers. He has provided his scientific perspective to various citizens groups concerned about projects like the Steel Flyover, Elevated Corridor, and, most…

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2023 has arrived and with it, hopeful Mumbaikars are looking forward to some of the key infrastructure projects opening to the public this year. Surrounded by barricades in all parts of the city for the past five years, at least a few of these barricades will be pulled down and new modes and alternatives of transport and commuting will be thrown open to the public. These promise to change the face of Mumbai, and most likely, they will! The Trans-Harbour Link, metro lines 2A & 7, the underground metro line 3, the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road extension, and the coastal road…

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On January 31st, residents in and around the Sankey Tank area organised themselves under the banner 'Citizens for Sankey' and gathered together for a meeting to discuss BBMP’s plan to widen the Sankey road along the Bhashyam circle to Malleshwaram 18th Cross and construct a four lane flyover. BBMP claims that the project would ease current congestion at the Mekhri Circle junction and improve traffic flow. Residents and several civic groups have objected to the project as it would lead to felling several old-growth trees along the route, as well as cause major traffic bottlenecks during the construction process. Close…

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“I have been selling coconuts here for 30 years and one thing that I can assure you is that this line to Whitefield will be of great help to commuters,” says Arif, a coconut seller outside KR Puram metro station. “Everyday I see people running to catch buses and waiting hours at the bus stop. With the metro coming, traffic too should reduce.” The much awaited KR Puram-Whitefield Metro line, likely to become operational in March, is expected to bring relief to thousands of daily commuters, most of whom are tech professionals working in and near Whitefield. Metro ridership is…

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A major urban planning course correction is underway in Mumbai in the form of the redevelopment of the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls. While the large-scale redevelopment of the decaying century-old chawls is imminent, there are concerns about the plans to rehouse the 15,593 families living in 195 three-storey chawls spread across 86.98 acres in Worli, N.M. Joshi Marg and Naigaum in Central Mumbai. Though these families have been promised 500 sq ft housing units - two bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen - in skyscrapers, planners are sceptical about the development model chosen for them. The Worli residents will…

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This year started off with the Bengaluru Metro rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) being in the news for its promise to make nearly 40 kilometres of metro lines operational in 2023. This included the extension of the purple line from Byappanahlli to Whitefield and reopening the Yellow line from R.V Road station to Bommasandra. However, in early January this year, there were tragic reports about an under-construction metro pillar in HBR Layout, along the KP Puram- Airport stretch, collapsing on a mother-son duo, who succumbed to their injuries. An inspection report, submitted by Professor J M Chandra Kishen of the civil…

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There are few people more well-versed about urban planning in Mumbai than Shirish Patel. The civil engineer and urban planner has been around for decades, watching the island city grow into the suburbs. He has witnessed the skyward trajectory of infrastructure in the city and at the opposite spectrum, degradation, crumbling under the Rent Control Act, Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA), and over dependence on floor space index (FSI) rules. He designed India's first flyover, at Kemps Corner. And then, along with Charles Correa, he was the one of the first to suggest and draft a plan for…

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In a tragic incident in early January this year, a mother and her two-year-old son passed away when an under-construction metro pillar reinforcement structure in Outer Ring Road (ORR), near HBR Layout, collapsed on them. This led to righteous outrage among citizens. Questions were raised not only about safety at the metro construction site but also about the roads in front of the Metro stations. How safe is it to walk and cross the roads while construction is going on? How challenging is it to commute to metro stations? How much importance is given to fire safety? How are dust…

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Whether a stampede may recur at a railway station you use everyday, whether property prices in your suburb will appreciate with the addition of a modern mass transit system, whether decrepit chawl buildings will be redeveloped before they collapse, each of these quintessentially Mumbai concerns, are or should be, addressed through an urban planning exercise. Unknown to us, urban planners’ designs and agencies implementing them dictate how far from work we live, how we commute to work, what quality of life we may enjoy, how tools such as floor space index and transferable development rights may densify a particular area,…

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Consumers in Bengaluru would have noticed discrepancies in their electricity bills last year, considering the tariffs went through three revisions in 2022 alone. In April 2022, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) revised the tariff for electricity consumers in the state by hiking the price by an additional 35 paisa for the fiscal year 2022-23. The report stated the hike in price was to recover a revenue deficit of Rs 2159.48 crore.  Following this, in June, the Commission accepted electricity supplying companies’ (escoms) proposal to recover the “money spent on increased fuel costs,” resulting in Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited…

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