Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thanks to The New Indian Express

'Augmenting Transport Infrastructure, Monorail for Thiruvananthapuram', a paper presented by Brigadier C.G. Varghese, VSM (retired). has got a warm response from Shashi Tharoor himselp.
Can Monorail solve city’s traffic woes?

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While Kochi is singing tunes for Metro Rail, why shouldn’t the capital city think of a Monorail as a starter? If not the State Government, a senior citizen of the city has not just thought about it, but worked out a project report on ‘Monorail for Thiruvananthapuram’, which has got a warm response from the city’s MP himself.Brigadier C.G. Verghese, VSM (retired) prepared the paper ‘Augmenting Transport Infrastructure, Monorail for Thiruvananthapuram’, which caught the attention of Trivandrum bloggers’ group last week. The group forwarded it to Shashi Tharoor MP and one of the bloggers tweeted to him about the post.Tharoor, the other day, tweeted in reply to say that it is an “excellent paper, well-researched and argued.’’ He added that it, however, requires State Government action.“MP can’t initiate. Am willing to support a proposal by State Govt to Centre on a monorail system for Tvm,’’ Tharoor’s tweet to a blogger says.Meanwhile, Brigadier Verghese, who is in Mumbai presently, is a happy man that his project has been receiving its due attention. He had a few months ago submitted the project to Law Minister M. Vijayakumar and former Road and PWD Minister Mons Joseph. But the idea did not move an inch.Verghese is a resident of the city for the last two decades and more, before he retired from the Army’s Intelligence Wing. He was heading the Army’s Intelligence School in Pune when he retired. And since then has been staying at Ulloor Prashanth Nagar in the city.His proposal is for construction of a Monorail system over the various rivers and canals, without hindering the existing roadways, railways and inland waterways and surrounding areas of Thiruvananthapuram city. “The basic concept of the project is construction of support structures of the system on Government land thereby obviating the need to evict landowners, which in turn, would reduce litigation, thereby reducing cost of the project,’’ he says.The project states: “Each river and ‘thodu’ in the city limits has 8 to 10 ft of Government land on either side. These strips of Government-owned land could be used for construction of concrete pillars and slabs and no one will have to be evicted and no compensation will have to be paid. These link roads constructed over the water sources would reduce the traffic congestion on existing main roads. On the Government land freely available astride the Karamana river, Killi river, Parvathi Puthanar and other canals in the North of Trivandrum city which are not utilized could be economically utilized for establishing a ‘Circular Monorail System’ around Greater Trivandrum.’’It goes on to say: “One set of Monorail cars could be run clockwise and another set of Monorail cars could be run anti-clockwise without disrupting our existing road, rail and inland water transport systems.’’Verghese has even created diagrams and maps to go with his proposal. “Our development projects related to road-widening end up nowhere because land acquisition poses a major hurdle. There are only seminars and discussions that happen,’’ he told Expresso from Mumbai.Interestingly, Verghese had written five ‘red books’ (which are confidential and restricted to use in Army and not for public reading) and also penned two other books which have been brought out by Vikas Publishers, New Delhi.Whatever its future, the Monorail proposal has currently become the topic of hot discussion among city bloggers.

Courtesy : Expressbuzz.com


keralafarmer said...

Thanks to The New Indian Express for publishing the proposal of Brig. C.G. Varghees on Monorail.

വേദ വ്യാസന്‍ said...

"Monorail for Thiruvananthapuram"

good proposal and hope will come true soon :)

Quest said...

I would like to pose a few questions on this-
1)Like on one hand when the flyover construction is going on at a snail's pace will this proposal if implemented see the light in its entirety?
2)When our capital city is not one of those busiest cities even at the peak hour what commercial, operational and public benefit would this have if this proposal is for mass transit system?
3) What happened to the waterway transportation project that was mooted some years back about interconnecting canals to provide a cheap and clean means of transportation?

keralafarmer said...

To answer your questions:

1. The slow pace of the TCRIP project is due to poor project management on the side of the Government. Mostly the fact that the previous Govt. started the project off with less than 10% of the land in hand. Land availability and the shifting of utilities are critical to any road project, especially that in a heavily urbanised area like Trivandrum.

One of the advantages of a monorail, if you read the presentation by TDF or Brig. Varghese is that it needs relatively little land compared to roads or metro rail projects, as it requires a narrow overhead beam supported on piers to support it. A monorail track could be laid on the road median or over the sidewalks on either side. There is minimal shifting of utilities as the only footprint is that of the piers every 15 meters or so.

2. Trivandrum is the biggest city in Kerala and with a population of over 1 million within just the Corporation area, is a metropolitan city by the standard definition. Its urban agglomeration (U/A) would include 1.5 - 1.8 million people. Today the U/A stretches from Thonnakkal to Neyyatinkara, a distance of almost 40 Km. Peak traffic at several key junctions and some arterial routes already exceed 8000 PCUs/hr. Cities with a population of over 1 million and traffic intensity of over 10,000 passengers per direction per hour, generally call for mass transportation solutions which can range from BRTS to heavy-rail MRTS. Tier II cities like Trivandrum or Cochin usually adopt BRTS or monorail while larger cities with populations of 3-4 million or more adopt more expensive heavy rail MRTS. Trivandrum is also one of the fastest growing cities in India with an annual growth rate of almost 3-4%. Projects like the IT Corridor/Technocity and Vizhinjam will propel it to a population of over 2 million by 2018-20.

Currently, BRTS is being studied in Trivandrum as in cities like Indore or Ahmedabad. However, it may not be very successful in the Indian scenario as the buses can get stuck in the general traffic if lane discipline is not followed. This has resulted in the dramatic failure of the first BRTS pilot in Delhi.

Monorail avoids this hassle by running at a separate grade from the road traffic, it moves above it. But it is not as expensive or complex as heavy-rail MRTS.

3. The water-based transportation system is an interesting idea but is infeasible in Trivandrum because the navigable waterways are relatively few and far in between to form an efficient mass transport system. Most of our water channels run West to East, following the slope of the terrain from the Ghats to the Sea, whereas most transport axes run North to South including the M.G. Road, NH-47 and M.C. Road. Additionally the city is expanding mostly towards the North and South than towards the East, so this means that waterways cannot cater to the main traffic flow routes.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have further queries, I will be happy to discuss them with you. Thanks. Take care.

This answer was posted in Group mail.

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Anonymous said...

Hey Ajay....Even if you beat me, I will have to say that Trivandrum is not the largest city in Kerala. Kochi is the largest city. You said city is from Thonnakkal to Neyyantinkkara.
What is there in Trivandrum after Uloor. Sreekaryam, Kazhakutam, Atingal etc...such a rural area. You call it metro...thooooooooo....Forget about Neyyatikara man....nothing is there after Thampannor and karaman/....hahahahaha..Methro Thrivendhram....heheheheh..onnu poda ma**ar Ch*D

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