Citizens' Issues
BRTS for Mumbai: Clearing some doubts raised by certain groups and authorities

Questions have been raised about some aspects of the Bus Rapid Transit System for Mumbai. While it is necessary to address these issues, it is more important not to delay the implementation of such a crucial project that can transform transportation, which is now straining the city and its citizens

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has been on the agenda for Mumbai from as far back as 2003, when Mumbai urban infrastructure projects were being conceived for the city. It was thought that it would eclipse all other transportation projects and that by 2011 we would be comfortably placed. That has not happened. Still, we look forward with optimism, like at the end of each day we look forward to the sunrise the next morning. Perhaps, addressing some of the concerns of the authorities may help in moving the BRTS programme forward.

During my conversation with some of the stakeholders, such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the Bombay Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, and the transport department of the Maharashtra government, I learned of some of their apprehensions. They include queries that the common man may have-whether it is those who use public transport, or even the small minority who own personalised, motorised transport. So, let's consider some of these fears and concerns, systematically.
> BRTS has not been tried, and if it fails, there would be plenty of public criticism
> Taking away one lane for buses, from the already congested vehicular traffic will create strong negative reaction from the public.
> 3-metre wide road lane is sub-standard and should not be followed.
> Need pedestrian crossings at the same level as footpaths.
> Provision of foot-overbridges to cross the road and to reach the BRT bus stops.
> Mumbai is different-it has no space for all this.
Let us take address these issues step by step.

Let's try a Dedicated Bus Lane (DBL) to start off, and if this succeeds, then let's take up the BRTS.
Money cannot be spent wastefully. If BRTS fails, there will be criticism of the money wasted. On the other hand, DBL is inexpensive in comparison to the funds that would be required for BRTS. If DBL fails, it will be easier to defend the money spent on it. And if DBL succeeds, it would pave the way for the acceptance of BRTS. This may be true.

However, what needs to be understood is that while DBL will not improve the performance, it demands greater supervision during operation. It is beset with numerous unsolvable issues. DBL is bound to fail in Mumbai-small experiments to run buses in dedicated bus lanes over a short distance, say between Chhatrapati Shivaji (railway) Terminus and Mantralaya (the state headquarters), should be sufficient reason to realise the futility. Yet, there has to be an open mind to use the DBL if BRTS has to function efficiently.

BRTS is a well-designed system that requires plenty of detailed planning, just like the Metro Rail or the Monorail, or even the much taken-for-granted, suburban railway system which have well-designed system. If the cost, operational flexibility and performance of BRTS are to be compared with a system, it should be with the Metro Rail and Monorail and not with DBL.

BRTS is untried and if it fails, there will be plenty of criticism from the public.
Barely 3% of Mumbai's population use personal cars and 8.5% use motorized two-wheelers and they will not be affected by the introduction of BRTS in Mumbai. They currently drive on congested roads and will continue to drive on congested roads even after the BRTS project is implemented, unless of course a large number of them move over to using the BRTS and other modes of public transport. While traffic police have been callous and mismanage traffic, road congestion is blamed on bad roads by the BMC and the increasing number of cars. It is likely that the BRTS 'taking away' one full road lane will be the main criticism for the 11% of the population who have personal motorised vehicles.

So this is a good enough reason for the government-both the bureaucrats and their political bosses-not to care for the plight of the silent suffering 89% of the population of Mumbai who travel by suburban trains and BEST buses.

It is argued that BRTS is untried! They pretend to ignore the fact that BRTS is already in operation in different parts of the world, at different capacities, and especially in cities which decided to go in for a quickly implementable, low-cost option like BRTS, for urban rapid transit. Flexibility of design and operation of BRTS lends itself to operation as in the much-appreciated low-capacity Ahmedabad BRTS (1,500 pphpd-passengers per hour per direction), much criticised, but getting expanded immensely; the reasonably good capacity Delhi BRTS (8,000 pphpd), and Pune BRTS, and in the BRTS under implementation in Jaipur, Vishakhapattanam, Surat, Bengaluru and Rajkot, not to mention scores of them in China, or in Seoul, Brisbane, Istanbul, Lagos. Bogota (in Colombia) has achieved 45,000 pphpd capacity and Curitiba (in Brazil) provides 13,000 pphpd. Sao Paulo (also in Brazil) and Santiago (in Chile) have about 22,000 pphpd.

Mumbai needs four routes of 45,000, or six routes of 30,000, or five of 36,000, or two of 45,000 plus three of 30,000 pphpd-any combination that gives a total capacity of 1,80,000 pph if we want the suburban railway to run at its design capacity. The point that all stakeholders must note is that super-overcrowding of the suburban railway system leads to about 4,000 fatalities annually.

So, is the fear of facing criticism for possible failure preventing government from taking the right decisions? Does not the loss of 4,000 lives annually affect their sensibilities? Cost apart, will the Metro Rail and the Monorail meet the much-needed requirement? And when?

Because the public transport is in such a bad state and the pedestrian ways unfriendly that the Persons with Disability (PwD), Elderly, Expectant Women, Children, the infirm and the many with medical problems such as cardio vascular and arthritic ailments are rendered virtually immobile.

'Taking away' one lane for buses, in already congested vehicular traffic, will spark off a strong negative reaction from the public
Considering that buses occupy less than 5% of road space compared to equivalent cars and additional cars, taking away one lane for buses would mean 95% of vehicles will have the remaining lanes to move on. For a three-lane carriageway, this would amount to 95% of vehicles would get 67% of road space! The arithmetic does not resolve the apprehension fully as it is evident that reduced road space will lead to high road congestion, especially when the rest of the traffic will continue to also include non-motorised vehicles (NMVs) as well as heavy motor vehicles (HMVs).

However, the reality is different. Currently, buses and heavy motor vehicles rarely follow lane discipline, just as most other vehicles flout the norm. By driving on the lane demarcation line, a vehicle occupies two lanes. Stage buses also change lanes often to halt at (or near) bus stops and they still do not stop close to the kerb, adding to the road congestion. By putting buses in a dedicated bus lane, one of the reasons for road congestion is eliminated.

Although the remainder HMVs may occupy two spaces on the road simultaneously, their numbers are too small and unlike stage buses they do not make halts and so should not cause disruption to traffic flow. It is the non-motorised vehicles (NMVs) with much lower speeds that render one lane a slow-moving lane. This leads to conflicts on the road with motorised vehicles (MVs), visible in the honking and disrespectful behavior towards NMV users. To assist MVs to travel at good speed and improved throughput, it is best to segregate NMVs from MVs, just as in the case of buses, to improve transport performance.

In an open system, pedestrians and NMV users are the most vulnerable group. Segregating them to safer grounds is as important as allowing MVs to move with good speed and public transport to function more effectively through DBL.

The strong negative reaction from the public is from the group that occupies nearly 90% of road space, but contributes to just 15% to 20% of commuter throughput. Since segregation of NMVs, commuter buses and MVs will enable each of these groups to perform optimally at their respective steady good speeds, the apprehension of the MV users can be convincingly argued out with them; that their mobility is expected to improve rather than deteriorate by such reallocation of road space.

Promoting safe transit to NMVs, also means promoting larger segments of the commuting public to adopt the carbon neutral mode of transit for their respective travel distances. Recognising this aspect is everyone's responsibility and the government's duty to adopt and implement policies that proactively contribute to lessen global warming.

A 3-metre width traffic lane is sub-standard; the Indian Road Congress (IRC) set width of 3.5 metres should be followed to ensure good speed and 'less' accidents.
In urban areas, speeds must be kept in check through design features and minimum enforcement needs. Speed breakers and rumblers should be used sparingly as they are uncomfortable and injurious to health, even at slow speeds.

When the road lane width is as wide as 3.5 metres, the driver is quite comfortable to increase speed and he pays less attention to driving. Along narrower lanes, the driver usually pays more attention to driving, and hence keeps his speed in check, and avoids overtaking as the opportunity for squeezing in and overtaking diminishes considerably, thus preventing road accidents. Road accidents involving a pedestrian or bicyclist at high speed, commonly results in fatality, whereas at lower speeds and with greater attention on driving, fatal or serious accidents become rarer. Therefore, in order to lessen the probability of fatal or serious injury-causing road accidents, sub-standard road width should be beneficial, even if it does not follow IRC recommendations. Any way, IRC norms are mostly for highways and not urban roads.

Since squeezing-in is reduced, bottle-necking, one of the causes of road congestion in a flowing stream of vehicles also gets reduced. Therefore, providing substandard road width of 3 metres should be considered a progressive step.

Pedestrian crossings at the same level as of footpaths
The raised level of pedestrian crossing has twin functions. It is a facility that is friendly to PwD, the elderly, and also acts as a speed breaker. However, speed breakers are not friendly to people traveling in MVs. Motorised vehicles invariably move at higher speeds and have to take corrective measure to slow down suddenly, and not being able to achieve slow enough speeds to negotiate the speed breaker without jerks.

Too many speed breakers can be harmful. It speed breakers are combined with pedestrian crossings, the details must be modified to avoid the need to slow down suddenly. If speeds are not slow enough to enable the driver to brake to a halt in the event that a pedestrian moves on to the pedestrian crossing, the result could be serious, even fatal.

As raised pedestrian crossings are often part of BRTS details, it is suggested that the pedestrian crossing should be at least 3 metres wide and 15 centimetres to 20 centimetres above the road carriageway. The approach slope should be 1:50 while the leeward slope 1:15, with rumblers at about 15 metres before the beginning of the approach slope, sufficient distance for the MVs to slow down and roll over the pedestrian crossing-cum-speed breaker. This will avert suddenness and also keep speed in check.

The height of footpaths must be 15 centimetres to 20 centimetres from the road level at the kerb as a standard, and not the eight inches to ten inches that is being provided. This is to enable cars to stop closer to the kerb and allow the doors to open on to the footpath; else the cars get parked about a meter away from the kerb. Also, it must be ensured that there is no railing at the edge of the footpaths, only the posts of the railing 1.5 metres to 2 metres apart are adequate to streamline the pedestrian on to the footpaths. This would mean that autos, taxis, cars and non-BRT buses can stop closer to the kerb, while passengers are alighting or boarding the vehicles.

On congested roads, two-wheelers tend to drive on the footpath, which means there has to be greater deterrent and better enforcement rather than increased footpath height and putting up railings. Increased footpath height is very unfriendly to the whole class of people with disabilities.

Provide foot overbridge (FOB) for crossing as well as reaching BRT bus stops
Where it is necessary and space is available, providing an FOB is quite in order. However, there should be no compromise on making provisions stipulated under the Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995, which have to be made in any case for all public facilities. This would mean providing elevators or properly designed ramps.

It is to be understood that there are national and United Nations standard details available for making barrier-free environment, which makes the person with disability (PwD) independently mobile. Considering that there are significant numbers of PwD, the elderly, expectant ladies, the infirm and the many who are restrained from climbing stairs due to medical conditions, who need to use public transport, providing such facilities is non-negotiable. Even the law requires providing such facilities.

Mumbai is different - it has no space for all this 
Is achieving mobility for 88% of the population more necessary; providing safety to the vulnerable sections of road users and implementing the Persons with Disability Act 1995 at all binding on us; and saving 4,000 lives annually more important; or will the issues of the 11% motorised vehicle users keep us from doing something worthwhile. It is for citizens to decide and demand from their political representatives, and a matter that bureaucrats must ponder over seriously.

[Sudhir Badami is a civil engineer and transportation analyst. He is on the Government of Maharashtra's Steering Committee on Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) for Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's (MMRDA) technical advisory committee on BRTS for Mumbai. He is also member of the Research & MIS Committee of Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMMTA). He was a member of the Bombay High Court-appointed erstwhile Road Monitoring Committee (2006-07). He has been an active campaigner against noise pollution for over a decade and he is a strong believer in a functioning democracy. He can be contacted on email at [email protected]]



nagesh kini

3 years ago

I share the strong views supporting this two years back.
The earlier it is brought in the greater will all Mumbaikars will benefit.


3 years ago

I read the Article re: BRTS now i.e. after about 2 years, since it was written. It is very interesting. I also read the comments. All these comments have one voice & that is in favour of BRTS. Today, BEST which is the only public transport co.managing these services has drastically curtailed its services as they all run into losses.Public have suffered as they have to wait and wait long for buses. If BRTS was to be implemented, it will definitely help BEST (to have faster and economic services) and thus will also help the public.Unfortunately, all roads are heavily congested by two wheelers, private cars etc., which transport very few people and occupy most of the roads.


5 years ago

its good to try these systems, even if its a failure the road can be allocated general, but employ the goog volvo buses anly, not the violet chinese bus.

Ganesh Krishnan

5 years ago

The new flyovers which have come up all over Mumbai will mainly benefit people with vehicles (about 11.5%) since BEST buses do not ply over most of these flyovers. Today one can use flyovers to travel all the way from Thane to VT. Why not use these flyovers for BRTS services. The money spend on these flyovers will then benefit the ordinary commuter who is having a harrowing time travelling today.

ameya phadke

5 years ago

if metro track can be bult on on Ghatkoper and Adheri via Asalfa-Saki naka which is congested and narrow then why not BRTS? Mumbai is no more limited till Mulund and Dahiar.Mira-bhaindar,Thane,Dombivali are intergral part of Mumbai metropolitan region.Since last june BEST launched its Corridore Bus project to provide alternative packed Locals of Mumbai.Now it turning out to be a major hit with mumbaikars.Especially routes started on highway like one between Mahim-Miraroad(C-71) is running packed.and responce is increasing.thus BRTS- dadicated bus lane will be major hit with Mumbai if implemented.BRTS can also act as saviour for loss making BEST. for that We need political weel which always missing in india.


5 years ago

the people who feel we do not have enough lanes to be spared for buses forget that BRTS is really meant for the cities with few lanes. London has no more lanes than Mumbai .
and since we cannot knock out many buildings there is no way to have wider roads .
hence the solution is to allocate at least one lane in each direction for buses . this will prevent conflict between buses and cars . further, it will encourage at least some people to get out of cars ( and get into other cars and thus car pooling or into buses ) If just 10 to 20% people shift from cars to buses because buses become frequent, faster, reliable and comfortable ( and even profitable as the fixed cost element which is about 75% now gets spread over more miles and more users thus improving financials of the buses . In the last year, on a turnover of Rs. 926 cr , the loss BEST incurred is Rs. 505 cr. About Rs 100 cr is on account of taxes which should not be levied ( they are not there on the cars!)
Frankly, there is no alternative for BRTS in Mumbai , it can be different forms for different roads but bus priority is the only sustainable way for traffic in Mumbai which can start a virtuous cycle. Today, we want more cars and subsidy on petrol and we end up with more congesion and more pollution. Why we are not willing to pay the price for use of the scarce road space when we are willing to pay for flats, shops and offices ?

ashok datar

5 years ago

them arguments that are used in not trying out BRTS in Mumbai are precisely those that really strongly support it. If there are only three lanes on each side on JVLR which is a critical east west link and has no rail line in the offing but with high no of buses aleady plying - especially commuter buses from seepz etc , which increase the density during morning and evening hours, we must give a fair chance to the buses. the figures indicate that at this stage, with overtaking between buses and cars eliminated, it will be actually quite ok for cars too. in fact, if only 10% of cars and autos shift to buses, it will totally eliminate the traffic jams and improve the calming. the civil cost of 10 km long link is barely half of one sky walk.


5 years ago

Great write up! Would be very interested to ready more in detail about how BRTS would work in Bombay viz a viz the routes, capacity, flexibility and above all: air pollution, given that BRTS would run on CNG or LPG and then make the comparison to the monorail, metro, etc.


5 years ago

A BRTS may provide an alternate to the metro and train, but will never be able to cater to the aspirational and affluent who want-
1. Flexi timing, flexi routes
2. any time, any where to any where travel
3. no diversions or least diversions, shortest routes, single journey from origin to destination.
4. no fixed stoppages

Where as BRTS may be useful as stated above, for clearing the roads of traffic, commuters have to be offered a journey akin to a personal car journey. Pl remember cars are within reach of a very large numbers now. As soon as BRTS starts catering to a section of present car users, immediately arbitrage will bring in many more cars on the roads.

The solution therefore lies in use of technology and fiscal measures along with BRTS, metro and train......


Sudhir Badami

In Reply to dps 5 years ago

Aspirations of majority of people is to own and travel in the car, but why is that so? (a) to perhaps show to the rest of the community that 'you have made it'. (b) great marketing pressures through attractive pictures and performances of 'new & different' technologies used in cars, (c) desire to travel in safety and comfort.

We are in 2011 and not in 1970s and know for sure that we have a responsibility towards reducing carbon footprint from all human activities. On transportation front, we must minimise firstly trave itself and then use of personal motorised vehicles and it is for the government to take the responsibility to educate people on this and formulate policies and enforce them strictly. Affluence is no reason for taking a path of destruction. Therefore (i) stop advertisements of motorised cars and motorcycles like you have for smoking and alcohol. Information about cars should be available with its minimum performance criteria published for comparisons. This will aid in reducing aspirational levels among the potential car buyers. (ii) Make people aware of environmental repurcussions due to use of personal motorised vehicle.

BRTS is a well designed, high frequency bus service which automatically provides flexibility in service to a user. Design also includes the routes design. It can provide service almost any time and from anywhere to anywhere travel. For the reaining, by all means have personal cars or use taxis.

You have not read the article in entirety. It is clearly mentions that traffic congestion will not vanish. Please understand that less than 3% of Mumbai population uses cars. Our policies have to be to ensure that not only does the proportion not increase but also the actual numbers do not increase whatever be the aspiration. 89% need not suffer because a very small minority wants the 'luxury' of travel comfort. In Mumbai, criteria of bringing in BRTS is not just to get car users on to the Bus System but essentially to draw out rail commuters and save 4000 lives annually.

Please read "Setting Right Priority for Mumbai Transportation" at


In Reply to Sudhir Badami 5 years ago

Mr Badami

i believe the import of my comment has been missed. I have no where said that BRTS is not needed for Mumbai. What I am saying is that unless the problem of traffic on the roads is simultaneously addressed and an alternate to car travel is also brought, BRTS may not succeed.

What Mumbai needs is a comprehensive solution, which will include BRTS also. If introduced as a separate measure, it may not succeed.

Time has changed and technology has made a lot of progress..........


In Reply to dps 5 years ago

There are several measures that need to be considered. One would see that the roads and the public transport burst at their seams at the peak hours. At the same time trains run empty in the non-peak hours. Why can't we do something to disperse the traffic. Suppose it is mandated that 50% of offices wil compulsorily have to close by 0430 pm and the other 50% can not open before 1130 am??????? Would it not by a very simple measure give a lot of relief?? Or we want to do the complicated things first??

Sudhir Badami

In Reply to dps 5 years ago

If you look at the plans for Mumbai's infrastructure development, I do not see BRTS. There is very good reason why that is so and I will elaborate on it as others join in in the discussions. I believe in comprehensive solution and in that prioritize those which, while meeting the mobility requirements also save 4000 lives which are taking place annually due to supremely overcrowded suburban railway system.

To tell you fact, I would not care to cater to the demands of car users and penalise them severely for traffic and parking violations. You want democracy to work at ground level, you cannot continue to make 90% of road user suffer all the time by the so called 'comprehensive' solutions.

Sudhir Badami

5 years ago

Two Youtube are worth watching. The first is a 8 minute piece on Beijing - similar 'chaotic' road road use.

Pay attention to details (i) Mixed Traffic, (ii) pedestrians and cyclists, tri-cyclists included, (iii) mother crossing the BRT track with a baby in arm (iv) the non intrusive 'sky-walk or FOB .. you will find it very similar to our conditions. Let us apply our heads and design a system rather than say that there is no room for Bus Lanes. See, the articulated buses and the doors on driver's side also.

If there is a desire to save 4000 lives lost annually, those responsible for putting an adequate public transport system in place will go for BRT - it can be done in short time."

The second You Tube:


5 years ago

In addition to brt and dbl, as well as expansion of local train capacity whether by way of metro or "python" trains (longer 15 or 18 coach) fact remains - Mumbai needs better public transport. But what seems likens big private car lobby as well as fuel lobby seems to prevent this.

The water transport system, neglected for decades, is another option that needs to be taken up and put into operation. But here even existing options are not supported - see the state of affairs at ferry wharf jetty for example.

People in Mumbai do not realise it, but public transport in the rest of India is moving ahead rapidly, even in so called backward states. Do something, but do it fast. Before you choke.


Sanjaya Varma

In Reply to Malq 5 years ago

Do you really believe that there is a "negative" car lobby regarding this ? I feel that the car industry will continue to grow. It is just that people would use their cars more for recreational purpose (on less congested roads) rather than getting stuck in traffic. people in India are begining to realise the VALUE of TIME ! This make them want to get to their destinations quicker. I think the problem lies elsewhere.... with our Planners and "Implementers" !!

Sudhir Badami

In Reply to Malq 5 years ago

Depth of water is available to reach Mumbai Metropolitan Region, all south of Nhave. West Coast is full of rocks at shallow depths and even the Hovercrafts find it not feasible to 'fly' over them. Even going a bit deep into the sea, the number it can handle is barely 50 thousand for a full day while the additional capacity needed is about 30 lakhs per day. Having Water Transport in Mumbai is useful only as being prepared for action during disaster situations as of 26 July 2005.

Sudhir Badami

In Reply to Malq 5 years ago

Introducing Python Trains have their own problems. The lengthening of not only the trains take time (9 to 12 is expected to be completed in 2015 - it should have happened in 2007!) we will have to increase the length of the platforms. Easier said than done considering the shifting of signals and points & crossings etc and putting up extra FOBs. Approach road congestions will continue and grow with time. Dispersed corridors will ease these problems and that is achieved by BRTS. Metro Rail will take 25 years to complete the 146.5 km of Master Plan. BRTS would include promoting walking and cycling in reallocation of road space.


In Reply to Sudhir Badami 5 years ago

1) "python" concepts are working well within Delhi Metro (4 to 6 to 8 soon) as well as on long distance goods trains (ConRaj are now python with power in the middle to break train if necessary). Cl Durontos from Delhi and Patna non-stops from Delhi are also being considered for "python". No reason why it cant be done on local, cost for going from 9 to 18 will be almost the same as cost for going from 9 to 12. Start with fast lines only, if it comes to that, and restricted stops - Virar - Vasai Road - Borivili - Andheri - Bandra - Dadar - Bombay Central - Churchgate, for example, double the load at the same "path".

2) BRTS can not be a stand alone, there has to be multiple choice, also to handle the longer legs the importance of rail can not be ignored. Overhead on rail is an excellent option for Mumbai, most of the Harbour Line is overhead and does very well, likewise the Delhi Metro.

3) On water borne, point noted on shallow/rocky West - but non-monsoon, enough fishing activity there puts that to rest. Besides, with Mumbai now extending to beyond Virar, that is what one is talking about - and even up to, say, Surat/Hazira. Nowhere in the world is it rockier on the coast than Japan - and they manage. All it needs is bouyage - and rocky also means, no shifting sandbars.


Is there a car manufacturer lobby? You should attend SIAM conventions to see this.

Sudhir Badami

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

In response to
1) Delhi Metro is designed for 6 coaches, not 8 just as Mumbai Metro. There are no Points & Crossings on Metro Rail. Capacity can be increased from present 4 min frequency at peak time to 3 min or even the design frequency of 2'30". This is suburban railway system and not long distance passenger or goods train where python trains anyway do run. Length of a 12 coach train is 264 M and 18 coach train will be 396 m. It take significantly extra time to move in, move out of stations and also cross out of one signal block to another. These would affect the frequencies of trains, directly related to hourly capacity.
2) The entire 200 km of BRTS can be put in operation in 3 to 5 years, at a cost one twentieth of Metro Cost and will be dispersed such that people need not go to a railway station if a BRT provides the connection to the destination at costs they are anyway expending going to the station - monetarily and time-wise. These are the choices a Mumbai Commuter gets within a short time through BRTS. All other systems cost a lot, have constructional problems , hence delays and thereby additional misery for 25 years - yes 25 years.
3) We are discussing about transport in the most populous, dense urban setting of Greater Mumbai - not the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. If we want to discus the MMR requirement, water transport is also included in the planning. But the grand shortage of public transport capacity in Greater Mumbai is solely responsible for the current fatality rate of nearly 4000 per annum. Planners can do grand plans but it should not be while lives of 1,00,000 people are adversely affected - we can discuss the arithmetic of this number another time.

As regard Car Manufacturer's lobby, I will not discount that, but more than that it is the notion in among the Economics Advisors that we must increase GDP at all costs and manufacturing does that, but causes lopsided picture of well being of the economy.

nagesh kini

5 years ago

The vested interest opposing is essentially the minority of rich vehicle owners an netas and babus who want to blare their red topi cars
It needs to be implemented right away,we started talking since 2003.It has been successful all over the world and five cities in India with conditions similar to Mumbai. We build costly sky walks
Our choking traffic traffic doesn't give priority to ambulances, fire engines,police cars. The dedicated lanes can bring in in-built traffic order.

Sanjaya Varma

5 years ago

An excellent and well researched article. Increased use of Public Transport IS definitely the main remedy to combat road congestion. Increased use of public transport is achievable if the service provided is safe, affordable and convenient. BRT can provide this and there is sufficient detail in the article both in India and abroad. India MUST make a qualitative leap into sustainable, scalable public transport systems such as the BRT and PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) recently implemented at Heathrow airport T5 terminal in London.

Taurus Mutual to launch balanced fund

Balanced funds are a misnomer. They are disguised equity diversified funds, because as much as 65% of the investment is put in equities

Balanced funds are designed for those who want to invest in a low-risk fund with modest capital appreciation. Balanced funds often have a pre-determined allocation of holdings. The risk is contingent on the amount of equity in ratio to other conservative holdings. Funds with a higher fixed income percentage are designed for conservative investors. In India, they are a misnomer. For, to take advantage of the tax-free benefit on long-term capital gains, they invest 65% of the money in equities.

The Taurus scheme too proposes to allocate 65%-75% of assets in equities and equity-related instruments. It would further invest 25%-35% of assets in debt and money market instruments with a low risk profile. The portfolio performance will almost totally depend on how well the equity part has performed.
On the other hand, these funds are usually found to be expensive. In reality, balanced funds aren't nearly as cheap as they should be. Internationally, investors in these funds are a different class; they are mostly those who have graduated from debt or monthly income plans for better returns, but their primary concern still continues to be safety of principal.

If you have to invest, there are better funds available in the market. The best is HDFC Prudence Fund.


Rangarajan favours separate Debt Management Office

The RBI had opposed setting up a DMO under the Union government to manage sovereign debt, saying only the central bank has the requisite expertise to manage market volatility. However, C Rangarajan, a former RBI governor, said times have changed and the government could take up the job if it is "adequately prepared to undertake that function"

New Delhi: Joining the debate over hiving off the debt management activities of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman C Rangarajan has favoured setting up a separate Debt Management Office (DMO) under the aegis of the central government, reports PTI.

"There are many countries in the world where the public debt office is managed only by the government. Therefore, even here, the RBI can continue to play its role as a monetary authority, without having the DMO under it," the PMEAC chief told PTI.

The RBI has opposed setting up a DMO under the Union government to manage sovereign debt, saying only the central bank has the requisite expertise to manage market volatility.

"Only central banks have the requisite market pulse and instruments to aid in making contextual judgements which an independent debt agency, driven by narrow objectives, will not be able to do," RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao said at a meeting of the Central Bank Governance Group in Basel.

However, Mr Rangarajan, a former RBI governor, said times have changed and the government could take up the job if it is "adequately prepared to undertake that function".

He said that earlier the government required the helping hand of the RBI to enable it to raise the required amount, because prior to 1991, the borrowing rate of the government was well below the market rate.

"But things have changed since then... According to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, the RBI is not supposed to be in the primary market," he said.

The government has proposed to set up an independent Debt Management Office, aimed at separating the RBI's roles as the decider of the interest rate in the market and being the banker to the government.

At present, both the government's debt and fresh borrowings are managed by the central bank.

In his 2011-12 Budget speech, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had mooted the proposal to introduce the Public Debt Management Agency of India Bill.


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Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)