Thursday, July 11, 2013

Intelligent Transport System

At Delhi, I attended today a workshop on ITS (Intelligent Transport System) organised by Ministry of Urban Development. We were told of the very many experiments going on in USA, UK, Japan and South Korea. Here is a link of a video from the Korean experiment that we were shown: . I suggested, however, that external examples must be tuned to Indian reality and that simple solutions like periodic announcements in FM radio about traffic conditions may also be taken into account. I also talked about introducing ITS in New Town Kolkata as a pilot scheme. The organisers agreed to come to Kolkata for detailed discussions soon.
* * *
In the afternoon, I attended a meeting at the French Embassy on promoting Indo-French collaboration at the State / ULB level. I alluded to the close parallel between La Defence near Paris and New Town near Kolkata and remarked that in terms of urban planning there could be a lot to share. Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer was also there and talked about the fundamental difference in democracies of India and Europe (In Europe it evolved over centuries and in India it was 'devolved' from the top suddenly, he said). His speech was quite impressive and I complemented him by saying that one wished if it could be recorded !

While at the French Embassy, I recalled my last visit to the same building in 2003 when I had to appear for an interview (which was held after a written test that I had to clear) for being considered for a training at ENA (Ecole Nationale d'Administration) in France. I'd got a diploma in Public Administration (Public Finance) in 2004 after a stint in ENA Paris and Project work in Strassbourg. All course was in French and I didn't know a word of French before landing in France! I shared this with the Embassy diplomats today, who are, it seems, compiling a directory of ex-ENAs from India, of which there was another in today's meeting who'd done it a decade earlier (Ms Sneh Lata Kumar, IAS, Resident Commissioner MP)

Bon jour !
Returning Kolkata this evening.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dear sir,

    I am a student.

    Planned urbanization is needed for better life in a city. Otherwise unplanned one will have congested roads, Sewage-drainage problem, lack of playgrounds (in every 100 acre there should be at least one 70m*100m playground and several smaller one for kids. Land is precious but sometime playground teaches us a lot than school.), as well as threatens to wetlands.

    Lots of planning is going on for planned Urbanization development in the KMA. Only in the North-west side of KMA, lots of planning is going on, like,
    1. DFC Freight terminal at Dankuni.
    2.A new Bridge over river Hooghly between kalyani and Dakhineswar.
    3.Metro from Howrah Maidan to Dankuni-Srirampur-and beyond.
    4.Several satellite smaller township in several regions.
    5.SME, Industrial parks etc.

    All of them should be done under one umbrella and that should be done very fast, otherwise situation may be worsen in near future.

    I have made an integrated planning in that region.
    that contains:
    1.Freight terminal that can handle 1.2-1.5 Km goods trains + Logistic hub + warehouses.
    2.Dankuni Passenger terminal.
    3. A metro, life line of the whole region.
    4. Singur- Baidyabati- Ichapur- Barasat Expressway.
    5. Several townships and industrial parks.

    I will be very happy if you kindly have a look at it.


    here is the link:,88.307076&spn=0.045535,0.079823&iwloc=0004e11194637777e649a

  3. Very impressive that you referred La Defense with IFH.

    For the case of Intelligent Transport I believe we need to integrate the various mode of transport we have. It is imperative in this regard that we should have the maximum number of variants in modes of transport. Your recent decision to work on Tram routes in New Town and Sector V is a great thought as it is cheaper to install and there is available land as well. I would only ask you to Kindly look overseas in this regard. I understand that CTC is an integral part of it and a big chunk of the work will help in its upliftment. I would therefore request you to kindly see if some kind of joint venture can be done by probable companies who are pioneers and have good liveries. For example: Seimens, Volkswagen, Hitachi, Alstom, Bombardier, etc.
    Also, I believe the Circular Rail System too can be integrated with better facilities and ticket screening mechanism to integrate with the metro. This can quadruple the Metro network within the City without much effort. For this though their are bureaucratic hurdles between the Railways and Government that has to be faced, but once done it can really improve the traffic scenario.
    Kindly look into the matter. I will send you a presentation that I had made earlier regarding Smart Transport.

    I hope you will understand how creating bulk Transit hubs will help integrate the various modes and therefore, add on to the intelligent system turning out to be smart and extremely user friendly!

  4. What I understand ITS should have been planned when the implementation of the Town (say, New Town, Kolkata) is on the drawing Board. As for example, we may follow Tokyo scheme which needs to be customized by us considering New Town as the centre of the network.

    In Tokyo, there is an underground metro/sub-way network having its zero date of construction long back in 1927 and it took almost 81 years to put the entire system network in service in 2008 creating a history in ITS. It’s an excellent network with 290 stations and 13 lines covering 310.3 km of the main city linking suburbs carrying 8.7 million passengers daily.

  5. Dear Sir, I think to start with, you could enforce all agencies running public buses in Kolkata, to publish transit timetables in google transit. This will make it easy for bus commuters to get a rough idea approximately when they can catch the next bus and also, what are the route options between two points in the map. ( As a next step, GPS enabled real time tracking of buses - and providing that info to smart phones / mobile phones would be very helpful.