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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:37 AM   #381
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Hoskote reuses Bangalore’s refuse, ends decades of thirst

Quote:
P M Raghunandan, Bangalore, February 15 2012, DHNS:

* Sewage diverted from Yelemallappa Shetty tank to Doddakere lake


Reckless discharge of large quantity of sewage water from Bangalore City may have become a bane for people living around the State capital, but for the water-starved residents of Hoskote town and surrounding areas, it has turned a boon.

A recently implemented project of the Minor Irrigation department, to fill Doddakere lake in Bangalore Rural district by diverting sewage water from Yelemallappa Shetty tank near KR Puram in Bangalore Urban district, has solved the drinking water problem of the parched Hoskote town.

About 60,000 residents of Hoskote and surrounding areas are now getting clean drinking water almost round-the-clock, which was unheard of in the last two decades.

Doddakere, which was once the main source of drinking water, had remained dry for over 20 years.

The water table had depleted to over 1,250 feet in most parts of Hoskote. The groundwater had, as a result, become unfit for consumption, and the farmers had abandoned agriculture activities due to severe water scarcity.

The department drew up a lift irrigation project in 1999 to provide succour to the affected farmers near Hoskote. Yelemallappa Shetty tank is full to the brim because of the free flow of sewage water from Bangalore City (mainly northern and north-eastern parts).

Farmers in Hoskote had initially opposed the project as they feared that sewage water would cause irreversible damage to the environment.

After much delay, the Rs-2.49-crore project finally took off in 2011. It was completed in December and Doddakere was recently filled with about six feet of water.

Water table increased

Not only has the water table increased in and around Hoskote, but the groundwater has been tested fit for drinking. Groundwater is now available at 250 feet. The local body in Hoskote has started 24/7 supply after a mandatory treatment of the groundwater, Minor Irrigation department Secretary P N Srinivasachary said.

Chemical analysis of water was done by BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore. The analysis report confirmed that the Doddakere water is fit for agriculture.

The groundwater samples collected from borewells around the tank and tested were found potable.

Surprise result

“We did not have the slightest inkling that the project would help provide drinking water to the local residents. It has come as a surprise. The project has also helped increase the water table in about 30 villages surrounding Hoskote,” G Krishna Murthy, Assistant Executive Engineer of the Minor Irrigation Department, said.

Krishna Murthy said the distance between the two tanks is about eight km. The sewage water would have undergone natural cleaning during its flow. For the first time after many decades, Hoskote town will not face drinking water crisis this summer, he added.

Similar plan for Sarjapur

Buoyed by the success of Doddakere project, the department is preparing a similar project near Sarjapur. Excess water (mainly sewage water) from Yelemallappa Shetty Tank near KR Puram reaches Varthur tank downstream in its natural course.

The plan is to divert water from Varthur tank to about 12 tanks, including Sarjapur main tank and Padithana Agrahara tank. If implemented, it will help increase ground water level in and around Sarjapur, officials said.
DHNS

Bangalore: Time to move abandoned vehicles
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:32 PM   #382
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Subir Roy: Creating affordable urban capacity

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Redeveloping slums can change the quality of life for the majority of metropolitan Indians living in slums

Subir Roy / Feb 15, 2012, 00:03 IST

How to tackle the massive urban explosion India is and likely to continue experiencing in the foreseeable future? Two comprehensive reports have put a figure to the huge resources required to create capacity to meet the needs expected by 2030. The urban infrastructure report initiated by the ministry of urban development says Rs 39 lakh crore (around half of current GDP); the McKinsey Global Institute’s report, “India’s Urban Awakening”, says $1.2 trillion (Rs 60 lakh crore, around 80 per cent of current GDP).

One way to address this enormous resource crunch is to shrink costs — innovate, think different, find affordable solutions. Interestingly, one set of solutions lies away from the problem areas themselves — to tackle A, do something in B. The bigger the city, the more it costs to create the same capacity. So costs go down if we focus on smaller urban areas. More capacity in smaller cities with job potential will enable them to shoulder a larger share of the growing urban burden.

Next, when working on a city, look more at its periphery than at its centre. Make the peri-urban areas a part of the planning of new capacity, as it is cheaper to create capacity at the periphery than at the core. The current dynamic is that, as a city grows, its peri-urban areas – parts of peripheral municipalities – become a de facto part of the city organically. Those living there have a lower quality of life, but also lay claim to a lot of the city’s capacity by coming there for work, education or healthcare.

Eventually, when these areas become indistinguishably part of the greater urban conglomeration, clamour grows for facilities in them, like piped water and drainage, approaching the standards of the municipal corporation area. Then the peripheral municipalities are merged into the corporation area. But by that time these areas have become “hard”, built up with neighbourhoods made up of unplanned narrow lanes, poor drainage and sanitation. So the solution for the future is to evolve land-use plans for what may still be rural areas next to a city, ensuring that when they urbanise they will do so sensibly and in a less costly way. A classical case of this is the IT corridor which was proposed at the south-eastern edge of Bangalore, but which never came off — because when the decision makers got down to the job, the area in question had already been built up.

To this is linked the third concept. In planning for peri-urban or adjoining rural areas, think a little big. Visualise large mixed-use areas where people can live and work and do not have to commute. Long journeys from suburbs to business areas create incredible pressure on transport, as in Mumbai.

The obvious generic term is “satellite towns”, but one hesitates to use it because so many errors have been committed in the past over them. Many have thus remained poor cousins of the main cities, to which people continue to commute. A thumb rule indicates that for a smaller pleasant town next to a city to be self-contained in terms of home, workplace, education, healthcare, shopping and entertainment, it should encompass at least 5,000 acres.

Within a city, roads are a key element of cost. So go for vastly ramped-up public transport. If there is a regular CNG-powered bus service, then the need to use private cars will lessen. Apart from lowering automotive pollution, this will reduce the incremental demand for road space — and the need to widen existing roads, build flyovers and hugely costly metro rail projects. Seat for passenger seat, metro rail is 10 times costlier than metro bus. Encouraging alternate office clusters away from the central business district also goes a long way in cutting down on commutes, and partly facilitates living closer to the workplace. Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, Rajarhat in Kolkata and Whitefield in Bangalore come to mind.

Another key cost element in creating urban capacity is housing. There is little scope for more housing in heavily built-up areas, but all Indian cities have a great curse and correspondingly a great opportunity — slums. Redeveloping or rejuvenating slums can totally change the quality of life for the majority of metropolitan Indians living in slums. But there is a catch here. The model known and largely practised so far, sought to be used for Dharavi in Mumbai, is deeply flawed. Instead of building apartments for slum-dwellers which then quickly change hands, create facilities like sanitation and provision of drinking water, and encourage slum-dwellers to rebuild their own homes and non-polluting workshops. Then they can remain where they are and lead useful economic activities.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #383
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High-rise buildings regulations spark hope
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Raghava M.

The new zoning regulations with regard to high-rise buildings are being appreciated for being in conformity with the guidelines prescribed under the National Building Code (NBC).

While defining the height of high-rise buildings as a structure that is 15 metres and above as mentioned in the NBC, the zoning regulations make it mandatory for all buildings to adopt all fire safety measures prescribed in the code.

The zoning regulations that have been approved on October 26 define the high-rise buildings as a building having a height of more than 15m, including the stilt floor. (A stilt floor is an open parking area provided at the ground level). It states that the height of the stilt floor should not be more than three metres and the minimum floor-to-floor height should not be less than 2.9 metres. According to a senior official from the Town Planning Department, all residential buildings with three floors will be classified as high-rise buildings. This definition, he said, was in conformity with the NBC's definition of a high-rise building.

The new zoning regulation bars construction of apartments on plots abutting roads that are less than 6-metre wide. “This is more needed as we find it difficult to get access to the buildings located in narrow roads during emergencies,” said Chief Fire Officer H.S. Varadarajan. “There are multi-storeyed buildings abutting roads of 1.2 metres width,” he said.

The regulations prescribe the front and rear setback depending on the height of the building.

While a building with the height of 15 metres should have five metres as setback on all sides of the building, a structure with a height of 55 metres and above should have 10 metres as setback in the front and 16 metres rear and side setback. “This setback has to be for each building in an area where a number of such buildings are coming up,” the Town Planning official said.

The new regulation lays down that permission to commence construction of a high-rise building would be given only after no-objection certificates are obtained from the Fire and Emergency Services, the National Airport Authority, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and Coastal Regulation Zone. It lays down that fire safety measures have to be put in place in buildings with a height of 10 to 15 metres. Promoters of these buildings have to obtain No-Objection Certificate from Chief Fire Officer, Mangalore.

Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Harish Kumar said the process was on to include the zonal regulations into the building bylaws being framed by the corporation.

To prevent deviation from the sanctioned plan, the corporation had been mooting a proposal before the Council for checking the construction of the building at the plinth level.

“We have to check deviations at the early stage of construction. By this we hope to prevent 90 per cent of deviations,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu .

* Regulation hailed for being in conformity with the guidelines of the National Building Code
* It bars construction of apartments on plots abutting roads that are less than 6-meter wide
Four types of clearance needed are
1. Fire Service Department NOC
2. Airport Authority NOC
3. Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) NOC
4. Pollution Control Board NoC

NBC specifies minimum road width for allowing highrises abutting roads. I think in case of BRTS even Fire Engines & Ambulances are allowed to use dedicated bus route.

In addition to road widths what I feel neccessary is not to allow commercialization of national & state highways around 50 to 100 meters on both sides. But, residential buildings can be allowed. Commercial buildings should come up along a separate road parallel to highway with connectivity to service roads of highways. This will reduce unneccessary load on highways.

I am also waiting for road rules for Non-Motorized Traffic (NMT). Especially footpath rules.

Councillors want some clauses in Master Plan Dropped
A master plan of parking problems
Regulations favour the rich, says citizens' form
Revision in regulations rise many eyebrows
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #384
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Urban planning plays a crucial role in affordable housing

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Affordable housing, as entrepreneur Jaitirth Rao pointed out in an article in this paper on Friday, is bogged down in a morass of red tape and poorly drafted rules. In the best states, a developer who wants to build cheap housing needs 17 approvals from various municipal and sarkari agencies to start work.

Rules are not codified rationally, nor are they available easily on the Internet or government publications. What Rao leaves unsaid, but what every Indian knows is that this confusing maze of rules and procedure is deliberate. Excessive and poor regulation is the main driver of corruption.

However, India cannot live with this anymore: it's reckoned that already, there's a shortage of nearly 25 million houses in urban India. This number can only increase as India urbanises fast. Government intervention, in the form of low-interest rate loans for affordable homes or physically building homes for the poor can only do so much.

For housing costs to come down, the rule book has to be rewritten to make housing part of a greater urban plan. First, governments in cities like Delhi, which do not allow construction above a certain number of floors, must revisit these restrictions. Where land is scarce it makes sense to build vertically, so that the cost of land is spread among a much larger number of residents, bringing the cost down for everyone.

Small or mid-size plots should be consolidated to create areas where tall buildings can come up with space for parking and other facilities. Second, the rules to change land use norms must be simplified and it should become possible to apply for and get these permissions instantly after paying the required fee. This will convert rural land into urban and eliminate the artificial rationing of land.

Separation of commercial and residential spaces must give way to mixed land use. Finally, to ease inner city crowding, fast transport networks - good roads, metro systems and buses - should connect suburbs, where the cost of living is lower, to cities. Once these reforms are implemented, cities will become much better, and cheaper, places to live in.
ET
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #385
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Sky City a ridiculous idea: Correa

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One of the most important urban architects in post-Independence India, Padma Vibhushan Charles Correa has inspired generations of young architects with path breaking designs, be it the carefully detailed Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Museum at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, the planning of Navi Mumbai, MIT'S Brain and Cognitive Sciences Centre in Boston, and most recently, the Champalimad Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon. Excerpts from an interview:

I know you like Kerala and Malayalis. Many Malayalis have worked for you. Your comments on how the state can move forward.

Kerala is a beautiful place. I would always like to come back. One main area you have to concentrate on is transportation. You have to make good roads. Since Kerala is a linear state it is easy to make good transportation. Linear transportation always works better. If transportation works, people can stay away from work place.

Recently there was a proposal for making an express way from north to south of Kerala. The project is now stalled. Do you think that we should go ahead with the project?

It is a very good idea to make the express way, but it should be away from the coastal area which is densely populated. This should be connected to the existing coastal road by east west connections. You can develop a north to south water transport system .

What is your opinion about architectural education in India?

The need of the hour is good teachers. I think we should have a system to educate teachers. We should have good training centres for training the teachers.

There is a proposal to make a Sky City on pillars with buildings and a road across the back waters of Kochi. What do you think of it?

It is a ridiculous idea probably initiated by profit makers working with corrupt people.

It seems that you don't like tall structures. Is there any logic?

There is no meaning in tall buildings since good results can be achieved by low level development, say up to five stories. This can bring the buildings to human scale with intimate open spaces. Most tall buildings are built by developers who do not understand the logic between built space and utility space around. Padmanabhapuram Palace is a good model where built areas mix well with open spaces.

When is your next visit to Kerala?

Most probably to experience Thrissur Pooram which I understand is a festival of sound, colour and light.

S Gopakumar is a noted architect based in Kochi, and president, Better Kochi Response Group.
TOI
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Old February 19th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #386
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More cities, cheaper land needed for affordable housing

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New Delhi, Feb. 1:

Though affordable housing is the need of the hour for a developing country with a large population such as India, several roadblocks need to be first removed to achieve this dream.

At a meet organised by the National Housing Bank titled ‘Growth with Stability in Affordable Housing Markets,' challenges such as poor accessibility of finance and shortage of land in urban spaces were highlighted. Other factors necessary are a transparent and supportive legal system and innovation in the sector.

“The policymaker's dilemma is to whether make affordable housing or enable all to afford houses. In India, affordable housing is difficult. Rural to urban migration puts further pressure,” Mr H.R. Khan, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, said.

There is a housing shortage of about 27 million units in urban regions and 47 million in rural regions, Mr Khan said, adding that digitisation of land records will help collaboration between Central and State registries.

More Cities

Mr Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission, said that more cities are needed to spur economic activity and lift people out of poverty.

“Cities are more efficient in terms [of] space and give many employment options within a shorter distance. We need innovation in technology and building concepts to build not cheap, but adequate housing at a lower cost,” he said.

The 10 top cities in India occupy only 0.1 per cent land of the ocuntry, but provide shelter to 8 per cent of the people and contribute 15 per cent of GDP. Interestingly, the 100 top cities together occupy only 0.24 per cent of the land, but account for 16 per cent of the population and contribute 43 per cent of GDP.

However, over-priced land is a major roadblock, Mr Deepak S. Parekh, Chairman, HDFC, said. “In major metros like Delhi, 90 per cent of the cost of house is the land. Obviously, there are faulty land policies.”

He added that a positive development is the draft Bill for a real-estate regulator, which will bring transparency in the sector.

Housing Finance

“There is a huge opportunity for banks to get into mortgage finance. Micro-finance institutions can also get into this, though the challenge is the long-term duration of the loan,” Mr Khan said.

Money for housing sector also needs to be available at lower cost so that it does not exceed 25 per cent of a family's monthly income, another official said.

roudra.b@thehindu.co.in
Business Line
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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:36 PM   #387
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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #388
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oh thats really cool but more cities means more jobs needed from where they will come????
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 05:52 PM   #389
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Three cities show interest in rooftop solar

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CHENNAI, FEB. 22:
Jaipur, Mysore and Thane have come forward to do pilot projects for grid-connected rooftop solar, Mr Tarun Kapur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Business Line. “Talks are on with one or two more (cities),” Mr Kapur said.

Grid-interactive rooftop solar power plant is the ‘big story' about the “solarisation” of India. Delhi, which had proposed a rooftop programme with feed-in tariffs as incentives, recently said it had give it up, because of the question “what if somebody produces electricity using a diesel genset and claims higher feed-in tariff meant for solar-generated power?” In contrast, Gandhinagar in Gujarat has gone ahead with the rooftop programme and has even awarded its implementation to two companies (Sun Edison and Azure).

Clearly, Mr Kapur pointed out, feed-in tariff is not the way to go about it, because it is amenable to fraud. The Ministry is therefore in favour of capital subsidies for rooftop projects, so that the cost of power generated is around Rs 7, not much higher than grid power. Today, as a thumb rule, a 10-kW rooftop system could cost Rs 22 lakh and would generate at best of times 4 units of electricity a day. The cost of generation works out to Rs 10-12, half of what it would have been even, say, three years ago, but still much higher than grid power.
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Chennai metro underground stations to have platform screen doors

TIER TWO CITIES RAKSHAK
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Old February 24th, 2012, 07:29 AM   #390
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Vizag set to become cycle-proud

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G. V. Prasada Sarma


People pedalling on the Beach Road declared 'no motor vehilce zone' from 5.30 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. in Visakhapatnam.

It plans to introduce a community cycling initiative over 10.5 sq km of roads
This coastal city seems set to take new strides in going green – and pedal-healthy.

Having successfully introduced ‘no motor vehicle' zones across 20 km of roads, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is seeking to further the use of cycles in order to reduce pollution caused by motor vehicles.

It plans to introduce a community cycling initiative over 10.5 sq km of roads in downtown Visakhapatnam, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Popular

The introduction of four cycling zones, notably along the picturesque Beach Road, had caught the popular imagination in recent months.
Every Monday, civic officials, including the Municipal Commissioner, use cycles or public transport to go to work, putting away official vehicles for the day.

According to Municipal Commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu, in the central parts of the city, cycling tracks will be earmarked on 100-feet roads to a width of about 8 feet.

Five stations are proposed in the busy areas to park cycles. Such facilities at the bus station and the railway station would aid commuters.
Those who can operate cycles with smart cards will get subsidised membership.

Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said that along the 42-km Bus Rapid Transit System route also, provision has been made for cycling tracks.

The GVMC will seek Rs.4 crore for the project. The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has offered Rs.1 crore. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust and certain industrial units have promised support.

Industrial pollution

Industrial pollution, including that generated by port operations, is a problem here. After sustained protests from residents, the Parliamentary Committee on Science, Technology and Environment has suggested a plan to plant 40 lakh saplings.

Visakhapatnam is one of the four target cities where the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) has been working out strategies for climate change adaptation.

The ICLEI South Asia has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the GVMC for a study on climate change mitigation strategies. It has promised technical support to import cycles to be made available to registered members once the cycling project is in place.
The Hindu
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Old February 24th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #391
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Bangalore’s growth: Planning still in progress

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Sprawling malls and multi-storey complexes continue to sprout at a frenetic pace in India’s technology capital.

However, increasing concern that Bangalore’s development is unplanned has prompted experts in various fields to gather in the city on Thursday to find ways to ensure the growth is solid and not fluid.

The meet, Destination Bangalore, will see participation by senior civil and police officials, urban planners and representatives of various industries, infrastructure companies and real estate developers. The experts will assess whether master plans for Bangalore’s growth “are solid enough to cater to the exploding population of the city and how all stakeholders can add value to these plans,” Shyam Sundar Pani, president of Global Initiative for Restructuring Environment and Management (GIREM), which has organised the meet.

“Bangalore is truly a melting pot of sorts, with people across the country and the world choosing Bangalore as one of the preferred destination to do business. We need to set the pace of development for the next decade to come by building on the strengths of the city,” he said.

Besides, considering whether Bangalore growth story is solid or fluid, the participants will assess the role of metro in easing commuting problems, security aspects and whether the large IT firms can share transportation services to lessen vehicle congestion on roads.

On shared bus services, Pani said, “The IT industry today employs over a million people in Bangalore. There are large clusters of companies operating out of IT parks.Most of the companies operate their own transport systems. They not only cost to the company, but also create more cars on road,” he said.

“Shared bus service is an attempt to get all transport managers of companies to work together on route plans based on their employees pick-up and drop points, thereby collectively collaborating to solve the issue of transportation for their employees by clubbing employees of different companies to travel on the same route by bus rather than cab,” Pani said.

On the follow-up after the meet, he said besides preparing a formal report “specific tasks will be identified and taken to the government for their consideration, with the promise that GIREM along with its partners will work closely with the concerned authorities to make them a reality.”

GIREM is a platform for corporate real estate professionals to exchange ideas and share knowledge in key areas related to infrastructure, urban planning and environment, added Pani.
DNA
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Old February 26th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #392
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Urban renewal mission: Ministry to introduce annual ranking of cities

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* The idea of annual awards is to bring in transparency and accountability into projects initiated under the JNNURM.

Bangalore, Feb 1:

The Union Urban Development Ministry will introduce an annual JNNURM ranking of the cities to measure the stated objectives and the actual outcomes achieved by projects covered under the urban infrastructure and governance component in the JNNURM.

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) Scheme was initiated by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2006 with the objectives of reforms-driven and fast-track development of 65 cities across the country under its Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) component.
Annual awards

Mr Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Urban Development, in a letter to Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP and Convener ABIDe, said the idea of annual awards is to bring in transparency and accountability into projects initiated under the JNNURM.

Mr Chandrasekhar pointed out to the Minister about lack of clarity in the progress made by projects under JNNRUM and the increasing perception that the programme was becoming another tax payer programme with little or no focus on the outcomes or objectives.

Mr Kamal Nath accepted the suggestion by Mr Chandrasekhar to institute annual JNNURM ranking of the cities and instructed his Ministry to work out a mechanism to implement the annual ranking of cities.
Objectives

In his letter, Mr Chandrasekhar also pointed out that though the JNNURM was launched six years ago with laudable objectives of reforms driven and fast track development of cities across the country, there was no clarity if the objectives were successfully met. He urged Mr Nath to review of the projects under JNNURM so that there can be spotlight on the stated objectives and the real outcomes of the programme – an exercise that will help the Government to focus on coherent and integrated development of each of the 65 cities that JNNURM supports.

anil.u@thehindu.co.in
The Hindu

JnNURM: Annual ranking of cities planned

JNNURM projects suffer as panel yet to complete manual
Tiruchi: Hopes pinned on phase II of JNNURM scheme
JnNURM team inspects civic projects in Ahmedabad
Imphal: New Traffic rule, JnNURM buses and present roads
Imphal: JnNURM buses make debut in city
Kochi: Civic body to distribute waste bins
Vijayawada: Rs. 1,101-cr. budget for VMC
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Old February 26th, 2012, 03:52 PM   #393
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Bangalore: City’s water plans dashed

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With water crisis in Bengaluru getting worse by the year, there have been talks of getting water to the City from distant sources like Nethravathi river. What makes the situation scary for the City is the fact that it has also reached the limit of its allocation for drawing water from the Cauvery river. If water has to be drawn from Netravathi, the project has to bypass several townships along the way. But under the new policies of the union government, this may not be possible.

The central government, which has drawn up the new JnNURM-II, has been stressing on integrated regional planning, under which all urban and rural areas have to get equal importance in water supply. It leaves no option for isolated plans focusing on urban areas. Sudhir Krishna, Secretary, Union Ministry of Urban Development said: “We are going to launch JnNURM-II shortly, which talks about integrated planning rather than an isolated plan for an urban area. We are going to request the state governments to have integrated water supply management. In case a city is drawing water from a far-off place, the project cannot deprive the villages along the way of water. Such plans have to benefit the entire area.”

The new Draft National Water Policy 2012 also emphasises that “Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) taking river basin/ sub-basin as a unit, should be the main principle for planning, development and management of water resources. The departments / organisations at Centre/State Governments levels should be restructured and made multi-disciplinary accordingly.” Mr Sudhir Garg, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, New Delhi says, “There is a need to remove large disparities between urban and rural areas in water supply. The draft policy aims to have regional planning that includes rural and urban areas.”

There have been plans to procure water from distant rivers and to have a dedicated supply line to Bengaluru. Though these ideas have been criticised for the huge expenditure involved and the neglect of areas along the way, they were still being looked at as possible solution for Bengaluru’s burgeoning water crisis. But now with the centre’s new policies, the City might have to consider new solutions.
Deccan Chronicle

Bengaluru has enough rain water falling on it throughout the year. If it harvest atleast 50% of its rain water then problem will be solved.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #394
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India needs intelligent' cars

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V. SUMANTRAN



* Delhi is expected to grow more in the next three years than London in two decades.
* Automobiles need technologies to address mobility problems on Indian roads.

India is listed as the sixth largest auto market globally, based on the sales for the year 2010 and 2011, with a projected growth of 7 per cent for the next year. Extracts reveal that by 2016, the size of the Indian automobile industry is expected to grow by 13 per cent, approaching the target of US$ 120-159 billion.

Presently, India is the second-largest two-wheeler and fourth-largest commercial vehicle market. Strategic alliances in the economies of developed countries have leveraged its success factors by raising demand and financial support.

Indian companies have gained the trust of automotive majors to become a part of the automotive value chain. This is evident from global automotive players acknowledging Indian SMEs as major suppliers in the original equipment and after-market areas. Reports strongly suggest this, as a result of the standardisation efforts by Indian manufacturers, which has made production more profitable, given the low-cost labour advantage.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Given the growth scenario of the automotive sector, there exists a question: would customers have the space to benefit from a blooming industry? Modern vehicles are developed to run at speeds of 140 kmph and more, yet made to crawl in traffic.

Rough estimates of congestion and time on the road, accumulating to billions of work hours, strongly emphasise the associated productivity loss. It is often mentioned, and it is true, that traffic congestion, to a great extent, is responsible for the increased accident rates.

Surveys conducted by companies with key executives reveal that congestion makes driving unappealing, and restricts potential buyers from actually buying a car. It was learnt that congestion greatly influences certain buying decisions, like choice of segment of the car.

Customers, who are indeed capable of buying a larger car, choose a small car for matters of traffic conditions. This, definitely, is a negative to the growth of the automotive sector. Vehicle design, in future, is expected to be influenced by urban planning, to make vehicles suitable for varied applications. Poor road and traffic infrastructure even threaten to slow the rate of economic growth.

It is strongly believed that an efficient multi-modal transport system will possess the potential to reduce city traffic significantly. Researchers have confirmed that many vehicle owners would prefer a well-connected mass transit system to a personal vehicle. Convenience and cost-effectiveness become prime factors when choosing from the transport modes available. Making effective use of the modes of transport would reduce the problem to a considerable extent.

ROLE OF DESIGN

In the above scenario, design definitely plays a pivotal role, as effective as some other factors. Indian and global bus makers have succeeded in designing city buses that are comfortable and very appealing, making people prefer them to traditional buses. It is also said that a larger proportion of the public, who would otherwise have preferred personal vehicles, opted for modern buses. We attribute the reasons to comfort, safety, convenience, and connectivity that make public transport more attractive. There is no doubt that public transport is not only economical, compared with personal transport, it will also have a lower carbon footprint in our quest for sustainable mobility. Some other benefits of such efficient public transport are relief for users from traffic frustration, reduced search for parking area, savings in fuel and money, reduced pollution, etc.

It was acknowledged by Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, that Delhi will grow more in the next three years than London will in the next two decades. His address at the Urban Mobility India 2010 Conference highlighted similarities in traffic patterns in the two cities, and also expressed his views of how the growth of Delhi would be affected in the absence of active mobility. The case is similar to some other Indian metro cities as well, as Tier-II cities are expanding proportionate to economic development.

With India competing in the automotive sector, we must have systems and approaches to address the mobility issues and to accommodate the expected growth through developments in the sector. Automobiles are in need of being supplemented with electronics and communication devices to guarantee its sustainability in the future. It shows the extent to which the automotive industry has overlapped with some other industries. Therefore, an improvement in the automobile sector has to be suitably supported by some other nodal industries. From a technology standpoint, in India, most of the technologies under mobility systems are still in the nascent stages.

It is required, at this juncture, to create space for accommodating growth and develop and adapt systems and approaches with a view to identifying the key to Intelligent Mobility' for India.

TRAFFIC SYSTEMS

We must also be aware that technology is not the only solution for solving mobility problems, nor is it a substitute. It usually becomes an important arm in systems that would serve to solve mobility-related issues. For example, carpooling a concept identified for connecting people travelling to a particular location and sharing the vehicle ride has proved to reduce traffic. This system is already prevalent in Bangalore, and if made available in some other Indian cities, would work in reducing the traffic by a considerable percentage. Next, the Barclays Bike Sharing in TFL services (Transport for London) seems to have reasonably reduced traffic stress, as reflected in the newspapers. Similar systems exist in some other parts of the globe, like Ukraine. These systems promote mobility, and simultaneously reduce pressure on roads. The Oyster Card' system in TFL (Transport for London), which provides a single-cash-fare approach for all types of city public transport, has also guaranteed the multi-modal nature of transport.

More commendable is the website of TFL, which guides all categories of individuals, from personal to commercial, on making use of the most convenient mode of transport. Records from TFL reveal around 1 million hits on the website on snow days, to choose the best transport mode, and also to decide on the feasibility of travel. Such systems require inputs from the technology side, in addition to infrastructure and funding factors. In other words, these systems need a technological base to make them real and keep them alive. It is in this scenario that CII is organising the Conference on Automotive R&D Patterns 2015 Automotive Technology: Mobility as a System'. It aims to cover mobility-related issues prevalent in India, and to discuss and to work on a solution-based approach.

(The author is Vice-Chairman, Hinduja Automotive Limited.)
(This article was published on February 24, 2012)
Business Line
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Old March 1st, 2012, 09:01 AM   #395
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India will add more cars than China in 20 years

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HYDERABAD,12/09/2011:Traffic moving at a snail's space at Rasoolpura junction in Hyderabad on Monday following inordinate delay in the immersion of Ganesh idols in Hussainsagar. ---PHOTO:NAGARA GOPAL

New Delhi, Feb. 27:

High fuel costs notwithstanding, India is set to add more vehicles for every 1,000 people compared with China over the next two decades. This can be attributed to rapid economic development, industrialisation and ubranisation, according to BP Energy Outlook 2030.

Estimates from domestic auto industry body SIAM showed that in January domestic passenger car sales grew 7.2 per cent to 1,96,013 units from 1,82,852 units in the same month last year.

BP's Energy Outlook 2030 forecasts the vehicle density in India growing from 20 for every 1,000 people now to 65 by 2030, at an annualised growth of 6.7 per cent. But in China, the density will grow annually at 5.7 per cent, as the world's most populous country is projected to have 140 vehicles per 1,000 people, up from 50 now.

Though the transportation sector is expected to experience the slowest growth, in terms of fuel consumption at 26 per cent, according to BP, the global vehicle fleet is set to expand by 60 per cent to 1.6 billion units by 2030, with much of the growth happening in the developing countries.

The slower vehicle ownership growth in China reflects the impact of current and assumed future policies, designed to limit oil import dependency and congestion, including rising fuel taxation, widespread mass transportation options and relatively uneven income distribution.

The energy consumed by the transport sector will grow annually at 1.2 per cent till 2030, down from 1.9 per cent a year between 1999 and 2010. This decline is on account of improvements in fuel efficiency and the impact of high oil prices on driving behaviour, said Mr Christof Ruhl, Chief Group Economist, BP Plc.

vishwa@thehindu.co.in
Business Line
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Old March 1st, 2012, 09:08 AM   #396
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Rural poor in India better off than urban poor: Unicef

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Poor households of urban India are emerging hotspots for hunger and ill-health and children there live in worse conditions than in rural areas, says a new UN report released on Wednesday.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) report -- state of the world’s children 2012 say that like most parts of the world, children living in around 49,000 slums in India are "invisible". Half of these slums are in five states – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

"The notion that even poor in urban areas is better is not correct," said Kanchan Dyuti Maiti, social policy planning and evaluation specialist at Unicef’s India office.

In India, around 377 million live in urban areas of which around 97 million are poor as per Planning Commission’s poverty estimate. By 2026, estimated 535 million people will live in towns and cities; 40% of India's population, mainly because of migration.

Already children in urban India face inequity because of hunger, ill-health, poor access to water and sanitation, insufficient education and child labour. Around 47% children of urban poor are malnourished and 48% of the girls are married as child brides.

The report also quoted a 2005-06 survey of eight Indian cities to states that 54% of poorest children were found to be stunted as compared to 33% among the rest of the urban population.

Seven out of 10 children of less than five years and six out of 10 poor women in cities are enaemic. Almost half of pregnant women in poor urban families don’t have access to safe delivery of their children resulting in high infant mortality rate, the report said.

Although cities offer children schools, clinics and playgrounds, the report highlighted that some richest cities in the world such as Mumbai also have greatest disparity in children’s health, education and opportunities.

"Cities will continue to grow and more children will find themselves living in an urban world; a world that holds the promise for many of employment, development and economic growth", said Unicef India Representative, Karin Hulshof.

The report said half of the world’s children live in cities and urbanization leaves hundreds of millions of children in cities around the world excluded from vital services. The report urged the governments to remove barriers to inclusion and ensure they have access to basic facilities. In India, there is a health mission only for rural parts and a large population living in urban slums.
Hindustan Times
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #397
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Hurdles affect pace of JNNURM projects

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Even six years after the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), work on many projects is yet to be completed in Bangalore and Mysore.

So far, only 21 of the 46 projects taken up under the urban infrastructure and governance category of the seven-year JNNURM scheme, which will come to an end in March 2012, have been completed.

Of the 14 drainage/storm-water and sewerage projects sanctioned for the two cities, not even one has been completed. Work is in progress in all nine JNNURM projects sanctioned for Mysore.

Government officials told The Hindu that redesigning, local residents' opposition, encroachment, delay in land acquisition and contracting out works had prolonged the completion of many infrastructure projects in the two cities.

Meanwhile, the Union Government has informally extended the scheme for two more years.

Completed projects

Only projects sanctioned under the Urban Transport Sector have been completed. The government built Traffic and Transit Management Centres at Kengeri, Jayanagar, Bannerghatta, Shantinagar, Koramangala, Banashankari, ITPL Whitfield, and Vijayanagar in Bangalore utilising JNNURM funds.

According to a report from the Union Ministry of Urban Development, as on December 31, 2011, the Union Government sanctioned only 50 per cent (two instalments) of the project cost for drainage/storm-water and sewerage projects in Bangalore and Mysore.

There has been delay in taking up drainage and sewerage works of Vrushbhavathi valley, Challaghatta valley, Koramangala valley, Hebbal valley in Bangalore, and remodelling of storm-water drains in Mysore.

As there was encroachment of land adjacent to drains, contractors were finding it difficult to move machines in the narrow lanes to take up works, officials said. Labour shortage and the poor response to tenders for projects are the major reasons for delay in the commencement of works.
The Hindu
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:27 PM   #398
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No vending zones, traders occupy footpaths

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BHUBANESWAR: Footpaths in the city are shrinking by the day, thanks to encroachment by vendors. Crowded footpaths are a regular sight in many areas, including the busy Unit-I and Unit-II markets, Vani Vihar, Chandrasekharpur and Unit-IV. In the absence of adequate number of vending zones, a large number of vendors have been selling their wares on footpaths for several years despite regular raids by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). This not only creates inconvenience to pedestrians but also causes traffic problems.

�Against around 22,000 street vendors in the city, there are just about 55 authorised vending zones that accommodate 2,600 vendors. And with no alternative, the remaining depend on the city’s footpaths.

The vendors, however, blame the BMC for the scenario.

�Pratap Sahoo, the president of the All Orissa Roadside Vendors Association, said the vendors have for long been demanding vending zones for all vendors among other things, but in vain.

�“In a meeting in December last, we had submitted a list of total number of vendors in the city as sought by the BMC and they had assured us to provide vending zones to alls. But before any measure was initiated in this regard, the BMC recently identified 12 areas in the city to be declared as no vending zones,” said Sahoo, adding that this will only worsen the situation.

� He said that the association had also suggested to the civic body to set up at least three vending zones in each of the 60 wards. “If 300 vendors are provided shops in each ward, as many as 18,000 vendors can be accommodated, solving the problem to a large extent,” Sahoo said.

�On the other hand, Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said that no new vending zone can be set up in the city without the permission of the General Administration Department. “A joint task force comprising BMC, BDA, Traffic Police and GA Department officials has been formed to look into illegal vending in the city. But we cannot create new vending zones without permission and land allotment by the GA Department,” he said.
IBNLive

Neighbourhood markets on cards
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BHUBANESWAR: If the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has its way, citizens will have to go only ‘next door’ for shopping.

�In an initiative which will save time and fuel, the civic body has identified areas in each ward to set up neighbourhood market complexes. The idea is to provide uniform vending zones across the City.

�Each market complex will have around 30 to 40 shops, parking lots and other amenities. Lands in all 60 wards have been identified for market complexes and the proposal is awaiting the nod of the General Administration Department.

�‘’Once the GA Department gives its approval, the project can take off,’’ announced BMC Commissioner Vishal K Dev.� Illegal vendors encroaching on thoroughfares are creating traffic snarl-ups. The initiative will ease congestions for smooth flow of traffic too. Of late, the BMC has been at the receiving end for mushrooming of illegal vending zones.

�‘’We would provide additional vending zones at the cost of illegal ones,’’ reasoned Dev.

NO-VENDING ZONES: The BMC has also identified 12 no-vending zones in the City and will rid the areas of shops and commercial establishments soon. ‘’Places outside the railway station and the airport catch the attention of visitors first. The purpose of creating the no-vending zones is to keep these places clean so that they don’t become eyesores,’’ said Dev. The no-vending zones include stretches from Capital Hospital to Sishu Bhawan Square, Capital Hospital to Housing Board Square via AG Square, AG Square to Governor House Square, PMG Square to Bhubaneswar Railway Station via Master Canteen, Housing Board Square to Ram Mandir, Ram Mandir to Big Bazaar (Kharavela Nagar) and Biju Patnaik Airport Gate to Palaspalli.

�The encroachments by vendors are also creating gridlocks at important traffic junctions. A proper monitoring mechanism will be put in place to ensure that there are no encroachments in future, he said. The no-vending areas were decided jointly by the Public Works Department (PWD), Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Commissionerate Traffic apart from the BMC.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #399
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Corporation looks to relax area norms for housing

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CHENNAI: In a move aimed at curtailing the rising number of unauthorized constructions in the city, the Chennai Corporation on Friday met officials from the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) to request them to reduce the minimum area required to construct a residential building in the city.

Urban planning experts and builders though are a bit wary. They say the move may create practical difficulties in adhering to building regulations and would increase congestion.

The civic body wants the CMDA to reduce the minimum area required for construction of a residential house in a detached building area from 80 square metres or 861 square feet, to 50 square metres or 538 square feet. Civic body officials say a smaller area will make individual houses more affordable to middle class families.

"Land prices even in congested parts of the city are in the range of 1 crore per ground. An 861 square feet plot costs more than 35 lakh, but a 538 square feet plot will be around 22 lakh only," said a corporation official, seeking to justify the move would make housing affordable for many.

A detached building area is any residential locality in the city where a minimum set back area has to be maintained between buildings. Builders do not show any interest to redevelop small plots. "Small plots usually fail to get clearance beyond two storeys, so it can't house too many families," says a corporation official.

Corporation officials say this regulation leads to many residents resorting to unauthorized constructions. "They just go ahead and construct beyond the permitted floor space index, do not leave setbacks or construct extra floors illegally," says a corporation engineer. The civic body sealed 71 buildings after March 2011. If rules are relaxed, more people will adhere to the rules, they feel.

Urban planners say this move is just a temporary solution to address the acute shortage of land. "Now even a detached area will start looking like continuous building area," says M G Devasahayam, an urban planning expert. "It will surely lead to more congestion, the existing development control regulations will have to be reworked and it does not comply with the second master plan of the CMDA," he said.

Private builders too agree. "Even if the setback space on three sides is reduced from 1.5 metre to 1 metre, we are left with just 260 square feet. Though FSI will allow us to build 800 square feet, we cannot achieve it in two floors," says N Nandakumar, secretary of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (Credai), Chennai chapter.

He said the quality of housing will be another casualty. "This rule must apply mainly to the narrow lanes in old parts of Chennai, and if more then two dwelling units are allowed to reside, what is the kind of footprint we are likely to create?" asks Nandakumar.

Urban experts urge the government to study the land still left unused that could provide space for housing in the city for the economically weaker sections. CMDA and housing board officials remained non-committal because they feel the plan is currently in very initial stages.
TOI
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Old March 4th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #400
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Cisco selected by Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Co for smart city project

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By Telecom Lead Team: The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Company (DMICDC) has selected Cisco S+CC Advisory Services to develop the ICT master plan for two pilot cities in the $90 billion infrastructure project.

The entire scope of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) will consist of 24 cities in total, spanning six states in India. The DMIC's key focus is to create a global manufacturing and trading hub through smart and socially inclusive cities that take advantage of world-class digital infrastructure.

"The ability for cities to use technology to transform the way their citizens consume services is a powerful concept and one that appeals to visionary leaders around the world. We have developed a services catalogue of more than 100 services that can be used to generate new revenue streams for service providers and cities around the world," said Wim Elfrink, executive vice president, Emerging Solutions and chief globalisation officer of Cisco.

The city of Guayaquil in Ecuador has also adopted Cisco Emerging Solutions Advisory Services to develop a scalable ICT master plan for its Digital Guayaquil project.

With a metropolitan population of 2.5 million, Guayaquil is aiming to improve the quality of life for citizens by using the network to offer municipality services such as healthcare, education and e-government. As an important hub for tourists traveling to the Galapagos Island, the city also intends to address safety and security by implementing a unified command and control center.

Cisco's Emerging Solutions Advisory Services have already played a key role in the development of master-planning ICT blueprints for the following select developments around the globe. This service offering, which is increasingly being adopted as an industry best practice, provides guidance and consultation encompassing project management, market and service analysis, operating and financial model definition, and feasibility analysis.

Rampart's Avenir Communities in Edmonton, Canada, is using Cisco S+CC Advisory Services to help deliver a new, sustainable and high-tech C$1.8 billion development for 10,000 residents and commercial enterprises to transform the way they work and live through the use of technology-enabled Smart Services and Solutions.
Telecom Lead

Mysore’s vanishing heritage
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