Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seminar on Urban Transport Infrastructure, incl Elevated Highway


If things go as per Government plans, Chennai will see a massive infusion of investment on a number of road building projects, broadly grouped under Circular Transport Corridor, and Elevated Expressway (Nochikuppam to Kottivakkam).

Many of us are familiar with the latter, but still do not understand where it fits within the rationale of the state Government or within the larger context of urban decongestion. Many of us also believe that the current situation with traffic snarls and bottlenecks are not desirable, and that something has to be done. But none of us are very clear about the details of these various projects, and how they come together as a larger transport/traffic plan for the city. We know urgent steps have to be taken!!

But what? Will the proposed projects address the problem at hand? Are these the best options? What are the other options? What about the long-term? Will even these roads become clogged up? What do progressive transport management principles say about the best way forward? What do the projects mean for public transport users, cyclists, car owners? Who stands to gain most? Who stands to lose?

To understand these issues, and add some real content to our basis for seeking out alternatives to schemes such as the Elevated Expressway, we're proposing to organise a half-day seminar addressing an audience of lay residents from the areas along the alignment of the Expressway. The seminar's contents will cover the transport/traffic management plans for all of Chennai, with a specific focus on the Elevated Highway. Details of the proposed seminar are below, and this is merely a proposal. The final design of the seminar will incorporate suggestions from you all.

SUGGESTED TITLE: "Chennai's Road Building Plans: A problem or a solution" or (if we want bureaucrats to participate) "Chennai's Urban Transport Projects: Understanding the costs and benefits"

SUGGESTED SCOPE OF SEMINAR CONTENT: Major transport infrastructure in all of Chennai Metropolitan Area

SUGGESTED FOCUS: Elevated Expressway; Adyar River Transport Corridor

AUDIENCE: South Chennai Residents (Nocchikuppam to Kottivakkam) -- BILINGUAL -- English with translation to Tamil

SUGGESTED DATE: 23 August, 2009 (SUNDAY)

1. Chennai's Transport Schemes: Understanding the various projects, and their compliance (or lack thereof) with National Urban Transport Policy and Masterplans --- SUGGESTED SPEAKER: Mr. MG Devasahayam
2. South Chennai Schemes -- Adyar River Corridor and Elevated Expressway. SUGGESTED SPEAKERS: Srivatsan
3. Impacts of South Chennai schemes on People. SUGGESTED SPEAKER: Louis Menezes
4. Impacts of South Chennai schemes on Environment and Space. SUGGESTED SPEAKER: Leela Samson
5. Alternatives: The way forward: SUGGESTED SPEAKER: Tara Murali
6. Discussion

Total time: 3 hours