Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fazilka Dial-a-rickshaw project on MIT radar

Expand Messages
  • eric britton
    _____________________________________________________ World Streets Make them yours This is a terrific, excellent world-level project Navdeep. I have been
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2011


      World Streets

                    Make them yours



      This is a terrific, excellent world-level project Navdeep.


      I have been following some of the rumblings on it with my ear to the ground on this end of the planet, but your note of this morning clarifies and makes my mouth water. The mere fact of putting at the base of the project the one and only cardinal rule of real sustainable transport, i.e., you work with what you have.  Brilliant!!


      All involved, including Chris and Albert, you and Sandeep and surely many others, are to be congratulated on their clear original thinking. Now let's see how it plays out.


      I would love to have an article(s) for World Streets on this, and then to follow up as things progress.  What can I say? Wow!


      Thank you again,




            Eric Britton, Editor / Managing Director

         World Streets / New Mobility Partnerships  / Sustainability Seminar Series

         8, rue Jospeh Bara   75006 Paris France

         Tel. +331 7550 3788   |  editor@...   |  Skype: newmobility


      P Avant d'imprimer, pensez à l'environnement




      -----Original Message-----
      From: sustran-discuss-bounces+editor=worldstreets.org@... [mailto:sustran-discuss-bounces+editor=worldstreets.org@...] On Behalf Of Asija, Navdeep
      Sent: Saturday, 30 July, 2011 06:05
      To: undisclosed-recipients:
      Subject: [sustran] Fazilka Dial-a-rickshaw project on MIT radar


      Chandigarh Fazilka, ::

      the newly-created district of Punjab, is making news on the international

      front. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in US is studying its eco

      cab project, where a rickshaw arrives at your doorstep soon after you call

      up a call centre. Their objective: To see how the new experiment can help

      civic bodies offset the traditional car-centric development patterns that

      have handicapped many cities — from Beijing to Bangalore.


      The project, titled “Future of Urban Mobility”, has been given to MIT by the

      Singapore government to study solutions in regard to sustainable urban

      transport. What has excited MIT about the dial-a-rickshaw project in Fazilka

      is how intelligence systems (cellphone network) can be used with existing

      transportation modes to benefit townships.


      To study the project in detail, Albert Ching — a research assistant in the

      Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT — recently visited Fazilka.

      His specific mandate was to study the eco cab project in the township.


      Speaking to The Indian Express, Ching said preliminary study has revealed

      that intelligence infrastructure (mobile telephony) in India has developed

      much ahead of transport infrastructure. “India has more than 700 million

      cellphones versus about 13 million cars. After visiting Fazilka, I learnt

      fully how their project works. They have five call centres — one for each

      sub-zone. You dial the call centre in your area and within five to ten

      minutes, the rickshaw puller reaches you,” said Ching.


      The aspiring urban innovator said this is almost a revolution in terms of

      urban transport. “It takes care of multiple issues like traffic congestion,

      air pollution, parking, road safety, etc,” he said. With the efforts of

      Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka (GWAF) — a local NGO — and the local

      administration, Fazilka now has car-free zones and pedestrian areas.


      Ching was told to study the Fazilka project by P Christopher Zegras,

      associate professor in Transportation and Urban Planning at MIT. “The

      Fazilka experiment seems to offer an important demonstration of merging

      advanced mobile communications technology with sustainable mobility

      services. Such advances will be crucial to improving the quality of life in

      urban areas across the world in the 21st century — offering affordable,

      reliable, convenient, job-creating, low-carbon mobility solutions,” Zegras

      told The Indian Express.


      The researchers studying the “Future of Urban Mobility” project at MIT have

      found that a major problem being faced by developed countries like Singapore

      is their car-centric infrastructure. This has caused a high auto-dependence,

      with too many people choosing to use cars. “Countries like Singapore can’t

      turn back the clock. But many other cities which have rickshaws in public

      transport can replicate the eco cab concept. Fazilka will be a case study

      for our project, to spread the word about how it can be done. If something

      good happens in Fazilka but nobody comes to know about it, it will be a big

      waste,” said Ching.


      GWAF Secretary Navdeep Asija said the township has five call centres for the

      eco cab project. The project will get a further boost with a new scheme

      introduced by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).


      Sandeep Diwan, BSNL’s General Manager (Enterprise Business) said that for

      the first time in the country, the Nigam has given 900 pre-paid mobile

      connections under a closed user group. Within the group, users have free

      unlimited calling. With a dedicated series, the project will soon have nine

      call centres and greater access to rickshaw pullers.


      “The eco cab project works best within a zone of 3 km. Bigger cities can

      create sub-zones to ensure success of the project,” said Asija.





      HC flak for Haryana for not launching eco cabs


      Irked over non-filing of a response with regard to the steps taken for the

      launch of eco cabs, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday directed the

      director of Haryana urban bodies department to be present before the court

      on the next date of hearing.


      A division bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari observed

      that the state’s response was not too serious towards the issue. The

      directions were passed during the resumed hearing of a PIL arising out of a

      suo motu notice taken by the high court on a news item published in The

      Indian Express.


      The court held that on March 25, the bench had asked the government to get

      in touch with Navdeep Asija — running a Graduates Welfare Association in

      Fazilka — to take his views into consideration on the issue of introducing

      eco rickshaws.




    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.