Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Topic for the day

Hey guys,

"Alternate solutions to solve the growing pressure on infrastructure in the big cities in India"

Starting from today, I shall post a GD topic once in a while (frequency of a day or two) and would like your comments on the same. To make it more organized and hence more useful to everyone interested, I suggest the following broad framework

1. Write down the way you wud start such a GD - Name the section as 'START' in capital letters. You can skip this if you think you will not be able to start.

2. Write down "Discussion points" you would make in the middle of the GD. Please be crisp, but articulate.

3. I will keep putting my comments in between and also summarise at the end.

4. I will also comment on specific comments and starts. Put your name in the comments so that I can reply with specific inputs. If you still want to stay anonymous, it is fine.

5. Do not spend more than 10 minutes on a GD topic. Though I feel only 5 minutes should be allowed, I have made some space for typing, disturbances etc

6. Please do not google search on the topic before you put in your points. If you think you want to know more on the topic, do the search after you write in.

7. Please participate regularly and do not skip the topics you think you have no knowledge on.

We will put in some more to this framework as it evolves. Suggestions are welcome too. So lets start the GD with the topic of the day, "Alternate solutions to solve the growing pressure on infrastructure in the big cities in India"

Happy GDing

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18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

START- The problem of infrastructure crunch is rampant in all the big cities in India.
The issue has arisen largely due to the inefficient forecast and unplanned growth.
With the present methods, its not possible to address the issue anymore. Alternate means have to be sought.
Means:-
1) A planning committee to forecast and foresee infrastructure requirements and solution proposal to be formed .The committee Must consist of relevant stakeholders from society , government and industry. Sufficient rights must be ensured with the committee so as to ensure it doesnt becomes toothless.

Example:- bangalore airport authority.

2) uniform budget allocation to different cities so as to develop infrastructure. This move will ensure that the crunch will never become critical in metros.

3) Private participation in infrastructure developement.

2:26 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START - As we have seen with metros across India and other cities, infrastructure problem is highly evident amongst them which often baffles the planners. I feel decentralising the city's prime occupation might help solving the problem partly. For eg, in case of Bangalore, distributing the software company across to Mysore might help Bangalore breathe some fresh air.

Middle:
A highly efficient planning before executing a big project as in case of Delhi Metro. It also involves the feasibility study. For eg, some cities might not be suited for Metro

2:39 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the second point, i can also chip in the example of monorail project in chennai which is more cost effective than metro.

3:10 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just being off the track here but I beg to differ from Atul's view (can I say this in the GD??) Monorail might b less expensive in its layout but the cost of per passenger per mile turns out much higher than metro since its capacity is quiet small thus in longer run, Metro will become a more cost effective option...
This was purely informational and nothing pertaining to GD

3:22 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Decent starts, but I want you guys to think broader.
Do not start with a solution like planning committee. Start by giving a direction and structure to the group, i.e., what things that the group can discuss under the umbrella.
Good point on the Monorail, Mr.Anonymous. You can certainly say that you dont agree with Atul, as long as you put it in a nice way.
Decentralising the city's prime occupation - Good point. It could also just be to the outskirts rather than different cities though

Pitch in more points. You should have atleast 4-5 different points that cannot be clubbed under one paragraph. Going good, hope to see it get better.

5:19 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Infrastructure..one of d key aspects which decides d level of development that is taking place in a country...but unfortunately a s is evident from d present scenario in big cities..we r facing a big time crunch.The key reasons attributed 2 this ra lack of foresightedness on d part of d prosective planners..so at this juncture its imperative 2resort 2 alternate means...
D best way is to divide d entire city into several smaller areas and form a planning commitee 4 each of them that would b responsible 4 dlaying down of infrastructural requirements,collecting funds 2 execute d plans laid....in this way d work will b dicided nd ina short span of time d problem can b dealt with in its entirety nd that 2 efficiently...i am open 2 feedback....

5:29 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Sub-dividing is a decent idea. good going. Let more points flow in.

Planning committee point taken. now lets more on and generate more points

5:54 AM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

And all those who are signing on as Anonymous, can you please sign off with your name in the comment itself (If you dont want to register).
If you dont want to give out your name, you can sign off with a pseudoname like bigB, kingKhan or anything that you can think of. But just keep it consistent.
It helps me in giving specific comments. Else I have to repeat your whole argument

5:56 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START:The solution to the congestion plaguing some cities is only one: CONTROL.
We have to control the illegal constructions in the cities, control the traffic on the main roads,encourage development of less crowded areas through incentives, and ramp up the existing facilities like airports & flyovers.

Some other points:
1) Building SEZs in less crowded areas & provoding good roads & communication there.
2)Enforcing certain green belts & parking areas to decrease the congestion.
3)Building bypasses & highways that take the load off the main roads.
4)Re-routing traffic during peak hours.
5)Curbing the construction of more high rise buildings in the main city.
6)Planning the relocation of slums outside the city.

Your comments are welcome.
Aparna

5:56 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START - Infrastructure problem in big cities in India is due to several reasons, some of which are :-
1) Bad planning
2) Limited resources (like no extra space to build or widen roads)
3) Lack of funds
4) Lack of commitment from the authorities
5) Overcrowding (similar to limited resources)
We will have to look at the solutions to some of these problems if we are to overcome the infrastructure problems.
Some possible solutions are :-
1) Solution to the lack of funds
1.1) Private participation in infrastructure building. Even the companies (for eg :- the software companies) will be willing to invest since they don't want their employers to spend much of their time in a traffic block.
1.2) Increased taxes (not an attractive solution as the taxpayers are already heavily burdened).
1.3) Wealthy Resident welfare associations can contribute to the efforts to improve the infrastructure in the locality.
2) Solutions to the problem of limited resources
2.1) Maintain and use the available resources effectively (tar roads with potholes. make sure of the smooth flow of the drainages so that they do not clog. make efficient use of traffic police. reroute the traffic to alternate routes if possible)
2.2) Look for newer locations. For example Government can encourage the development of other cities. Buidling of self sufficient SEZs is also a good idea.
3) Solution to bad planning
3.1) Form a planning committee consisting of Government officials, private participants, renowned city planners,citizens and people who can be trusted (like NRN). The committee should come out with detailed data about the projects undertaken, funds received and money spent every month. Presence of honest persons will help to check corruption to a great extent)
3.2) Form committees at the ward level which will propose development plans for the respective wards to the planning committee. Planning committee will take up the appropriate plans depending on the seriousness of the problem, significance of the plan and economic feasibility.
- Abhi

8:33 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the soln for decongesting traffic could be flexible road...We often see that during peak hours only 1 side of the road is jammed...So if we can provide flexible road so s to widen their length depending upon the time of the day, then we can provide the commuters more space to travel
- PS

7:06 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hi Aparna,

That was a very good approach. When every one was talking about how to boost the infrastructure, it is good to see you approaching the problem from other end and saying 'CONTROL'. And the points under that are also nice. I will add some more in my final comments at the end of the day.

One small note: Do not start the GD with a solution. The idea of a start is to give a broad structure. With your ideas, I wud have preferred you starting this way.
"The problems of infrastructure can be approached in two ways. One in enhancing the infrastructure and the other is to reduce the pressure by controlling the build up. With constant efforts being made by the authorities to enhance the infrastructure, the focus now should shift to 'CONTROL' for the measures to be more effective"

Here you have juxtaposed the two approaches and have picked yours. You have also left it open for the group to discuss further. As my point earlier, encouraging the discussion is also important in a GD.

10:42 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hi Abhi,

Very good start. Good points in the middle too. You could have gone a step further on some points though, which I shall try and add in my final analysis by noon. On the whole, good show.

I may not agree with a couple of points you made, but thats just difference of opinion, which in turn encourages a good discussion.

Some minor points:
1. I feel, we shud avoid bashing the authorities. It becomes a favourite topic and the discussion gets in a loop sometimes :))

2. You have noted the problem of overcrowding, but have left it out in the solution. I think it is a very important point you made, so i wud have been happy if you had gone a step ahead.

10:50 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hi PS,

A good out-of-the-box idea. I wud have liked you to elaborate a little more as I did not get exactly what you are saying.

Two queries-
1. Did you mean, increasing the width when you said length?

2. Did you mean shifting the divider, when you meant widening the road on one side?

10:55 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

End Game:

Hey guys, really appreciate the effort you are putting in your preparation. And good approaches and points too. So here is the conslidation of the topic "Alternate solutions to solve the growing pressure on infrastructure in the big cities in India".

Additional points that cud have added value are at the end of the topic

1. Start - As I noted in my previous comment, it shud give a structure to the whole subsequent discussion. One possible start - "The problems of infrastructure can be approached in two ways. One in enhancing the infrastructure and the other is to reduce the pressure by controlling the build up. With constant efforts being made by the authorities to enhance the infrastructure, the focus now should shift to 'CONTROL' for the measures to be more effective"

2. A planning committee/authority responsible to forecast and implement. Sub-dividing the committee to handle smaller areas would help.

3. Expand infrastructure to have better roads, subways, Metros to tackle. Private participation wud help in taking care of the fund situation.

4. Spread development to smaller cities (Decentralize industry growth) to dissipate the pressure.

5. Control the expansion of traffic. Means could be bypasses, curbing and destroying illegal construction, moving slums to outskirts, toll, increase taxes, green belts and parking areas

6. Maintain the existing infrastructure better and consistently

Note that most of the times one person can be asked to summarize the GD. Above points have done the job.

My Points:
1. Govt shud put efforts to understand "Migration to urban centers from rural places" and deal with it to tackle the pressures on the cities. Note that a recent UN study said that most of our population will be in urban centers in a few years. So creating more opportunities at the rural level can curb this trend

2. Decongestion ideas
2.a) Strict imposition of traffic rules
2.b) Using scientific methods for smooth traffic flow. Like signals based on amount of traffic, straight through signalling etc
2.c) High rise parking lots to avoid road side parking

3. Generate ideas with companies to encourage car-pooling etc. Many people drive cars and mostly they are the only passenger

Parting shot:
4. Encourage social conciousness among citizens to use autos/bus/trains once or twice in a week instead of personal transport (Especially cars)
--- I wud have liked somebody bringing in this point saying, "Apart from what we wish the Govt shud do, we shud also analyse what we can do individually to make things better. Such social consciousness at grass root levels goes a long way". Just one such point and you wud take the trophy home. I insist on various approaches rather than just various points; that is what adds Value.

Comments welcome guys

3:14 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous anamika said...

I hava a doubt: The gd has to be concentrated on the alternate solutions only kya?

Can I start the gd by saying:
Start:
"Under the given topic, we should discuss why infrastructure is of key importance and how it has become a bottleneck to economic growth in India.Then we shall move on to the alternate solutions to solve the growing pressure on infrastructure. The 11th plan of India focussses on following the growth plan of China. Inspite of a huge English speaking and skilled population, India loses out to China due its infrastructure when foreign outsourcings are concerned."

MIDDLE:
1. Big cities in India, due to their infrastructure, serve as business hubs, keeping in mind that the service sector contributes around 53% to our GDP.

2. A good infrastructure is a means of inviting foreign investments, which provides employment opportunities to many, leading to a growth in our economy and improvement in our standards of living.

3,4,5. Alternate solutions - my alt solns points have already been covered, so am not repeating them.

These are my points, are these not a relevant part of the discussion.

Please advice.

9:28 AM, January 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think what abhi has done, he has done it in a very structured way. He has listed the reasons and given solutions against each of them. I think that is the ideal way to carry the discussion.
Is there something wrong with that approach? or is there something wrong with the approach?

anamika

9:51 AM, January 12, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Anamika,

“Alternate solutions” mean “All alternative possibilities” since I have not mentioned the main solution.

The start has to get better. Understand that you have tried to give a structure, but have ended giving only an outline. Look at my final comments on the topic.
Also try not to start with ‘under the given topic’ etc because it is just a filler . And also you are straying a little bit in the last sentences of your start. You can put in those points in the middle.

And points 1 and 2 are good talking points in the middle. They complement your points when you are giving alt solns.

And I have already commented on Abhi's attempt. He has done a good job. Only that, with the effort he has made, a notch higher wud have made him clinch the GD

On the whole a very good attempt I would say from you Anamika, considering that the topic had been discussed threadbare and I had also given my comments on it.
Appreciate a lot the enthu you have shown and the effort you have put. Keep it alive and you will have a good time at GD/PI

4:21 AM, January 15, 2007  

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