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Meeting the God of Death at Basin Bridge

September 12, 2016 Poornima Chandran, Researcher

On August 7th 2016, I participated in a Traffic Awareness Campaign (TAC) organized by the Chennai-based volunteer group, Thozhan. My colleague, Prasanna Sugumaran had volunteered at a similar event some months ago and I decided to give it a shot, too. This time Thozhan had organised a much bigger event with the awareness campaign run at 100 junctions simultaneously.

Open Data and Subnational Governments: Lessons from Developing Countries

While the discussion on open government data, especially in developing countries, is at the national government level, it is the local is where data is collected and stored, and when published, can generate impact. In this recently-published synthesis paper, Michael Canares and Satyarupa Shekhar bring the focus of discussions of open government data from national to local contexts.

Save the Adyar River but with the same rules for all

It was on a Saturday Morning that I ventured on a walk, along with a group of volunteers, through the fishing communities of Foreshore Estate and Srinivasapuram. The aim was to learn about the way land was being taken away from these communities in the name of development and environmental protection, and the absence of detailed land records places them in a particularly precarious position.

Chennai’s water paradox: floods and droughts versus sustainability and ‘development’

The floods in Chennai has come as a serious warning from Mother Nature. The issue can be approached from various facets; its causes, consequences, the effect on people and how the city seems to have moved on. But is that it? Do problems come to us just so that we can rediscover our strength, capability and tolerance levels each time? My “tolerance” comes in quotes to highlight the significance of the word today as well as to how intolerance has become a bad term.

Does the Smart City SPV undermine the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act?

September 1, 2016 Magdalena Cooper, Intern

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be created by each city to implement the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) at the city level. The SPV will be in charge of planning, appraising, approving, releasing funds, implementing, managing, operating, monitoring and evaluating the projects in their city. The States will ensure that there is a dedicated revenue stream for the SPV and the SPV should evolve its own credit-worthiness for raising additional resources from the market.

How I helped regulate traffic and what I learnt from it

Search ‘Indian traffic’ or ‘India driving’ on the Internet and what you find is a load of articles, memes, and videos on the madness that is driving in India. While these are amusing to read or watch, they underscore how dangerous Indian roads. On average 17 people die every hour on India’s roads. Most of these deaths (not to mention serious injuries) are the drivers’ fault, says Government of India data (Road Accidents in India 2015). As road users in India, we tend to shrug off the bad driving, thinking that is just the way it is.

Reading between the lines: an analysis of media reports on road accidents - II

In the previous post on how the media (Tamil and English) covers road accidents, we looked at the kind of details provided, and sensationalism in the articles. This post, based on 104 of the 181 Tamil and English media reports that were published between January and April 2016, analyses reportage on the causes of accidents, geography (rural vs urban), and road user behaviour.

Causes of accidents

Quantifying Quality: The Pavement Condition Index

Assessing road quality may seem like a highly complex science, requiring not only prior technical knowledge and experience, but also specialised equipment and tools. For the most part, this is true - most municipal authorities around the world are tasked with surveying roads and pavements regularly to determine maintenance, repair or rehabilitation needs and require teams of highly qualified civil and mechanical engineers, amongst other professionals.

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