Smarter traffic management
Apropos of the report titled “Smart road transport” (May 13), I think none of the options like reducing road traffic or raising road capacity are going to succeed for Indian cities in the present circumstances. India is not yet prepared to adopt any of these. In the first case, of reducing road traffic, the density of road traffic in Indian metros is many times larger any time of the day compared with cities like Frankfurt. Any attempt to regulate the traffic using latest technology may fail miserably and incur huge implementation losses. Raising road capacity is feasible only vertically and will require long-term planning, keeping future traffic growth factor in mind as it may overtake the capacity expansion. The only option that can be safely tried is by staggering the traffic flow. Employers can adjust the office timings in a way that the traffic flow gets divided into a number of time zones like 8 to 4, 9 to 5, 10 to 6, 11 to 7, etc. Similarly, educational and other institutes can adjust their timings. Compared to Western countries, Indian cities are better suited for this type of traffic management due to wide gap between sunrise and sunset making people to easily adapt to a new lifestyle. In order to make such a system to work, the government will have to intervene and pass laws for everyone to follow.
Work on desi search engine
This refers to the front page report, “Hyderabad to be home to giant Google campus” (May 13). It is high time that India should have its own search engine. If China has its own search engine Baidu, then why should India lag behind? India being a information technology superpower, both the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the IT industry can join hands and collaborate to start an Indian search engine. It is strange that a troika of Indian origin—a search engine like Google’s or Microsoft Bing, social networking site on the lines of Facebook, Twitter, etc, and a desi e-mail id for the public on a scale that of Yahoo and Google—are still a dream. On and off, the government issues directives that the government officials should not use e-mail ids of Google and Yahoo for official correspondence, given some information could be classified. But such directives are not heeded. Even our defence ministry uses Gmail for some of its use like exhibition held annually at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Our Prime Minister and other ministers use Facebook and Twitter. Recently, our PM has made debut on Chinese social networking site—Weibo. Some desi e-mail id services offered by service providers like Sify and In.com, have been discontinued. We can send an orbiter to Mars, but for an internet search engine and social networking, we have to depend on foreign ones. Yet, we call ourself an information technology superpower. What an irony!
Deendayal M Lulla
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