Friday, September 10, 2010

NammaRailu 2010 Roundtable - Press Release

Press Release

Monday, Aug 30, 2010: CiSTUP, IISc, and organized a round table event, Namma Railu 2010 to discuss Commuter Rail System (CRS) as a mobility solution to enable growth of Bengaluru Metropolitan Region (BMR). The event was chaired by Dr A Ravindra, Advisor to the CM. Mr Krishna Byregowda, MLA, several senior officials from transportation and infrastructure departments of Government of Karnataka (GoK), and senior officials from Bangalore division of South Western Railway were present.

The group agreed that a CRS run on existing railway tracks can help connect Bengaluru to surrounding towns like Bangarapet, Chikballapur, Tumkur, Anekal or Ramanagara, etc. Fast and reliable connectivity to surrounding towns can help in de-congestion of the city as well as better planning of BMR.

Recognizing that CRS project proposals have been discussed for well over a decade now, the participants engaged in a discussion on what is required to make CRS a reality for Bengaluru and surrounding regions. Discussions began on the right note with Mr V Madhu, principal secretary, Infrastructure Development Department (IDD) stating that GoK is keen on the project and had earlier announced support to Railways. Some expressed the opinion that lack of enthusiastic participation from Railways is one reason why CRS has not seen serious implementation efforts so far.

South Western Railway officials pointed out that railway assets in the city are being used to meet the demand for long distance trains and there is not enough spare capacity to run additional services on them. Some participants observed that it may be possible to optimize the usage of railway assets in the city via investments like automated signaling.

The approach of looking at Commuter Rail inside the crowded city area, and inside Outer Ring Road, separately from the same in the BMRDA area, was also brought up. Some participants observed that it may be good enough to start with a plan to connect surrounding towns with emerging hubs like Byappanahalli, Yeshwantpur or Hebbal. BMTC and Namma Metro would be ready and can provide the onward mobility within the central area of the city.

The round table ended with the agreement that a smaller group of state government and South Western Railways officials come together and produce a Terms of Reference (TOR) to establish the common ground and framework for detailing CRS as a solution. Mr Ravindra requested Prof Sitharam, chairman, CiSTUP to anchor the group and submit the TOR to him within 6 weeks.


A partial list of those who attended the Round Table is included below for reference (in the order in which they spoke):
Dr A Ravindra, Advisor to the CM, Urban Affairs
Shri V Madhu, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Dept, Govt of Karnataka,
Shri Krishna Byregowda, MLA
Shri M K Shankar Linge Gowda, IAS, Secretary to Govt, Transport Dept.
Dr.Ashwin Mahesh, ABIDe, IIM, Bangalore
Shri N Sivasailam, IAS, Managing Director, BMRC
Shri B S Sudhir Chandra, Director (P&P), BMRC
Shri N P Sharma, CE, BMRC
Shri Haldar, Chief Passenger Traffic Member, Hubli
Shri Sudhanshu Mani, DRM, SWR, Bangalore Div.
Shri Babu, Sr.DOM, SWR, Bangalore Div.
Prof.M N Sreehari, Advisor to Government, Traffic, Transport & Infrastructure
Shri P E Vivek Menon, Managing Director, Invicus Engineering Co.
Shri Prakash Mundoth, FKCCI
Prof T G Sitaram, Chairman, CiSTUP, IISc.
Members of

For more details:
On the event including photos, please visit
On the Commuter Rail Initiative including the Call To Action report please visit

About CiSTUP

Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP) is a joint initiative of Government of Karnataka and India Institute of Science (IISc) to develop a center for unique expertise in the areas of infrastructure, sustainable transportation and urban planning. CiSTUP engages in several activities such as basic and applied research and development, academic activities, training programmes, workshops and consultancy projects in the areas of infrastructure, sustainable transportation and urban planning.

About ( is non-profit citizen networking platform that promotes constructive discourse and encourages engagement on local civic issues. It is a growing Internet based local community with 4000 registered members and over 35000 unique visitors every month

Bengaluru Commuter Rail - Call to Action - Reprint 2
NammaRailu 2010 Roundtable - Press ReleaseSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend submit to reddit

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BoP Opportunity?

Havent blogged in a while but couldnt resist blogging this Bottom of the Pyramid opportunity

From rags to computer games

Ragpickers, Street Children, Casual Labourers Spend 3 To 4 Hrs A Day Gaming

Bangalore: If you thought high-tech computer games are meant only for those staying in the cozy comforts of their air-conditioned homes, then here’s a reality check for you.
Ten-year-old Appu G is a ragpicker. But this urchin is hooked on to computer games and spends a handsome amount of his daily income in cyber cafes — on a weekly average of Rs 150. Appu, along with his friends, religiously spends an hour a day in the cafe. And his expense: Rs 10 an hour.
“I learnt playing these games on my own. I go to the cafe every afternoon,” he says.
Appu is not the only one of his kind. In fact, there are many ragpickers, street children and casual labourers who shell out quite an amount to satiate their little desires. A few of them even spend 3-4 hours a day gaming. While some indulge in the passtime without their parents’ knowledge, a few of these kids have no family to turn to.
The type of games that lure them are car and bike racing, shooting games, arcades and others. Most of these kids are from the City Market, Majestic and Shivajinagar areas.
Twelve-year-old Jeeva R indulges in a similar passion. A son of a ragpicker, Jeeva loves playing computer games. Of his daily pocket money of Rs 10, this class 8 kid spends Rs 5 on meals and the remaining on gaming.
“I learnt to play games from a cyber cafe owner. I spend nearly Rs 100 a week,” he says. Racing games are his favourite.
Selvi S, in-charge of Vicky Cyber World at Nagarthpet, has 20 games downloaded in her computers and finds frequent customers in these ragpicker kids. “Interestingly, these children learn on their own. We charge Rs 5 for halfan hour and Rs 10 for an hour. I have never taught them,” she adds.
Tapping on this trend, organizations working for street children and ragpickers are using these games as lures to retain them in their centres. For instance, BOSCO Mane, an organization working for streetchildren, has installed computers with various games for students.
BoP Opportunity?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend submit to reddit

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nandan Nilekani on how he gets things done

I have a huge capacity to postpone gratification. I think that is very critical if you want any substantive rewards. People are generally impatient for the rewards of what they are doing

You look at crisis in the context of the bigger goal. Suddenly, your setback does not look that big anymore.

I have very strong analytics. I can step back from the problem, detach and look at it from another person’s view. I constantly re-evaluate my priorities and focus
Through my network, I find that I am amplifying my capacity. I think the key thing for a leader is to amplify his capacity.

Full interview here
Nandan Nilekani on how he gets things doneSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend submit to reddit

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Or do the financial markets need change? Elizabeth Warren seems to think so
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis
Aall-eez-well?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend submit to reddit

Sunday, January 10, 2010

India Economic Summit 2009 - Transforming Urban Transportation

Quote of the Discussion - We are very good at putting standalone facilities but very weak at an integrated planning and building connected systems.
India Economic Summit 2009 - Transforming Urban TransportationSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend submit to reddit

Saturday, November 28, 2009