Archive for the ‘Roads / Routes’ Category

SC asks govt to allow fit taxis on Kothi-Rohtang route

The Supreme Court (SC) today passed an interim order diluting the ban on four-year-old taxis to ply on the Kothi-Rohtang route. A Bench comprising Justices Gyan Sudha Misra and PC Ghose directed the Himachal Pradesh government to test the fitness of the banned vehicles and allow them to ply if they complied with pollution and other norms.

The apex court passed the order on a petition filed by the Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union, Manali, challenging the HP High Court’s ban on commercial vehicles of more than four years’ old plying between Kothi and Rohtang.

Appearing for the union, senior counsel KV Viswanathan pleaded that instead having the age of the vehicles as the norm, the state government should prescribe the level of pollutants emitted by the taxis as the criterion for allowing them to ply. In several cases, a four-year-old taxi would not have done even 50,000 km and as such it was not fair to ban it, he contended.

The Bench said it would hear the case again after two weeks and asked the parties to file additional documents. It also asked the government to explore other options keeping in mind the interests of the taxi operators, commuters’ safety and environment.

The SC had issued notice to the state government on July 30 on the union’s petition contending that more than 75 per cent of the taxies numbering about 1,400 would go off the roads under the HC order.

The taxi owners had taken bank loans to buy the vehicles which they were still repaying and as such the HC decision would put them in a deep trouble, it was contended.

The HC had issued the order on the recommendations of the National Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), pointing out the fragile ecology in the high-altitude Rohtang area.

Source: The Tribune


Cashless treatment of crash victims to start on Monday

Tuesday July 23rd, 2013 in India, News, Roads / Routes | Be the first to Comment »

NEW DELHI: The country’s first cashless treatment of road accident victims, which ensures free treatment in the first 48 hours, will be launched next Monday with the 200-km stretch from Gurgaon’s 32-lane toll plaza toJaipur bypass of NH-8 to be the pilot corridor.

Country’s first cashless treatment of road accident victims will be launched next Monday. (PTI file photo)

A trial run has been conducted on this stretch for the past three weeks involving over 70 volunteers trained by AIIMS as first responders. The programme, to be launched by the road transport and highways ministry, aims to shiftcrash victims within 20 minutes to a nearby hospital. Sources said more than 50 hospitals have been networked to admit injured people immediately and provide treatment.

According to various studies, it has been found that the survival chances of crash victims go up by 50% if they are provided treatment within one hour. Over 1.4 lakh people were killed in road accidents in India in 2012.

As part of the cashless scheme, medical expenses of the first two days will be borne by the government. This will ensure quick and hassle-free treatment of the injured. “Medical expenses of those who have insurance will automatically come from the insurance companies. Government will bear the entire expense of those who don’t have such insurance,” a ministry official said. However, there is a maximum cap of Rs 30,000 for free treatment of accident victims.

“We want to roll out the cashless treatment plan for the entire country. Insurance companies will be interested in this since their outgo on account of third party claims will reduce if we are able to check the total number of fatalities,” road transport minister Oscar Fernandes said.

The recent global report on road safety by World Health Organization (WHO) claimed that the number of seriously injured being rushed to hospital was as less as 11 in every hundred in India. Even in the most ideal situation, only 49 in every 100 injured get ambulances. It said several countries had reduced road fatalities by improving ambulance facilities and immediate medical care to crash victims.

Ten advance life-support ambulances have been deployed on the pilot stretch. “These would be stationed at an approximate distance of 20 km from each other, thus serving 10 km on either side. The average response time will not be more than 20 minutes,” said Birendra Mohanty, vice-president of Financial Inclusion Solution Group (FISG) at ICICI Lombard.

Officials said a toll free number (1033) to call an ambulance or report an accident had been activated and a call centre was engaged to take care of all such emergency calls. “We have already asked NHAI to activate this number for all accidents reported on national highways,” said a ministry official.

The plan for cashless treatment of injured in road accidents was first conceptualized in October 2009. In early 2012, the government told the Supreme Court that a pilot project would be launched on the Pathankot-Vaishno Devi stretch of NH-1A.

But late last year, the stretch was changed after the road transport ministry found that Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch had reported the highest number of accidents (over 2,500) and deaths (260) as well.

Source: The Times of India


Tactile Paving For Visually Impaired

If you have traveled in Delhi Metro, you must have noticed a yellow pavement with raised oblong lines (see the image below) at the Metro station. The last time when I was at the Metro Station, I heard an announcement asking people to stay away from the central yellow line. That made me wonder if there is more to it than meets the eye. I did some research on the net and what I found is quite interesting!

This yellow pavement is called Tactile Paving or Guiding Tiles and are used at stations, airports, sidewalks etc. to guide or warn the visually impaired pedestrians. The one that you see in the picture above serves as a pathway for the blind and disabled people. They are located midway on the platform, and lead directly to the lift, and then to the exit.

There are two types of patterns used in these blocks- the oblong raised pattern indicate places, and in what direction, it is safe to walk confidently. The “warning” blocks with the round raised dots indicate edges, corners or other places where greater care or caution is required. So, these tactile cues help everyone stay clear of train platform edges, crosswalk dropoffs, and other related hazzards.

The original tactile paving was developed by Seiichi Miyake in 1965. The paving was first introduced in a street in Okayama city, Japan, in 1967. Its use gradually spread in Japan and then around the world and has now become a standard. The color is chosen in a way that it contrasts visually with adjacent walking surfaces, either light-on-dark, or dark-on-light.

Here is an example from the internet which shows both the “safe” and the “warning” tactile paving together.

So, next time when you see a tactile paving, stay away from it so that visually impaired people can use it.

Source: Knowledge Hub


Rain brings Chardham Yatra, life to a halt in Uttarakhand

DEHRADUN: The ChardhamYatra to Uttarakhand’s Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri shrines in Garhwal division has come to a halt due to heavy landslides and landslips triggered by incessant rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Landslides were reported from over 12 places on the Rishikesh-Gangotri, the Dehradun-Yamnotri, the Rishikesh-Badrinath and the Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway. Yatra had begun on June 13.

Six hanging bridges built on Alaknada and Mandakini rivers in Chamoli and Rudrapryag districts were also reported to have collapsed on Sunday.

About 12,000 tourists and pilgrims on their way to Chardham Yatra are stranded on these routes.

Normal life was paralyzed by continuous rains in Dehradun and other places like Rishikesh, Haridwar, Haldwani and Udham Singh Nagar towns.

Uttarakhand government on Sunday sounded an alert in state after three members of a family identified as Khanya (30), Urmila (26) and Vivek (10) were buried alive after their single-storey house was flattened by a landslide in Dehradun. The disaster occurred at 4.50 am when these people were sleeping. Over 12 cases of house collapse were also reported from Garhwal and Kumaon divisions. No loss of life was reported from these cases.

A senior officer in the Uttarakhand disaster management department said while about 10,000 tourists on more 500 private buses and other four vehicles, are stranded on nine points on the Rishikesh-Gangotri and the Dehradun-Yamnotri National Highway, about 200 tourists and pilgrims are stranded on the Rishikesh-Badrinath and Rishikesh-Kedarnath National highway.

A senior Border Road Organization (BRO) officer in Rishikesh told TOI that 600 BRO personnel have been deployed on different Yatra routes to rescue these stranded people by shifting them to roadside intermediate colleges and primary schools in Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudrapryag districts.

He said seven bulldozers were also pressed into service to clear the landslides wreckage. BRO personnel on duty said the rescued people are being provided meals and tea to make them feel comfortable.

“We are moved by the way these residents of nearby villages are providing us whatever they can during our stay,” said 65-year Rajendra Singh from Ghaziabad. “We do not have words to express our gratitude to these villagers for to their warm hospitality,” said Leela Devi from Maharashtra.

Uttarkashi deputy magistrate R Rajesh Kumar said he asked officers concerned to ensure that stranded people on the Yatra routes are provide all possible facilities including medical care by doctors till the roads are cleared.

A senior officer in Dehradun Met office said the monsoons that was expected to arrive in Uttarakhand by June end, has come about two weeks early. He predicted incessant heavy rains for the next 48 hours in the state.

Source: The Times of India


RV Travel Fun In Portland, Oregon

It is usually a good thing to begin an RV trip into Oregon at Portland, Oregon’s largest city. From here, it is easy to connect to highways that reach east, central, southern and coastal Oregon. If you are planning to stay at any National or State Parks or Monuments, you will have to make reservations in advance, sometimes a year in advance.

Portland Car Rental Travel To Portland

RV’s are not easy to drive into Portland itself. The highways have lots of curves and multiple bridges, some of which don’t allow RV’s on them. A good place to stay in this are is the Jantzen Beach RV Park. From this park it is an easy drive to the MAX train station which you can take into Portland.

From Portland which is a the northern part of the state, you can easily drive down by the coast until you reach Eureka in California. The northern area around Astoria does not have any RV parks with ocean views. If your rig is not too tall you can stay in the Cannon Beach RV park which is a short walk to the beach. Cities as you go down the coast that have RV parks by the beach include Lincoln City, Newport and Waldport.

Six miles south of Yachats is a great RV park, but this will run you about $60 a night. If you can afford it, this RV park is worth a stay. Going on down the coast, there are RV parks by the beach in Winchester Bay, Coos Bay, Gold Beach and Brookings. As you enter California, there is a beach front part in Cresent City for you to begin your stay in a new state. From Crescent City, you can easily take in Redwood State Park. These redwoods are not to be missed. The RV sites listed here are all a short drive from Highway 101.

From Crescent City you can easily head off to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only National Park. This park is definitely worth a trip. You can also stay at an RV in Bend, which is not that far away from the park. Staying two days in Bend will allow you to see the sites of the Bend area and the National Park as well. From there, you can continue north and cross the Columbia River gorge area which is breathtaking. It is a short drive from here to visit Mount St. Helen. This is in Washington, but this area has much more to do for a family than Mount Rainier, which offers only hiking.

From here, it is easy to return to Portland. You can end your trip here, or visit other places in Oregon. It is a short trip into the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s agricultural area. This area is simply beautiful to drive through with its wooden bridges and green valleys. The area has many vineyards and wineries as well. This trip can be done in a day.

Some other places to fit into your agenda are the Mount Hood area which has spectacular views, skiing in season, and spectacular waterfalls. The high desert area of Oregon features numerous golf courses and rivers to fish. If you want to see the painted desert in Eastern Oregon, there are several places you should plan to visit. One is the Baker City area where you can still see the wagon ruts left by the pioneers. The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center should not be missed. In Kimberly, you can visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This is a large park with several areas and mueseums to visit. These areas offer RV campsites along the route.

If you plan to head home from Portland, along Highway 5 to California, you can also plan to visit Salem, the state capital and Ashland where Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival runs all spring and summer. There is simply so much to see in Oregon, it is hard to decide how to see it all.

Source: Article Base