Deutsche MF launches DWS Hybrid Fixed Term Fund-Series 2

Deutsche Mutual Fund’s new issue opens on 27th January and closes on 10th February. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000

Deutsche Mutual Fund has launched DWS Hybrid Fixed Term Fund-Series 2, a close-ended income scheme.

The objective of the fund is to generate income by investing in high quality fixed income securities maturing on or before the date of the maturity of the scheme and to generate capital appreciation by investing in equity and equity related instruments. The tenor of the fund is three years.

The new issue opens on 27th January and closes on 10th February. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

CRISIL MIP Blended Fund Index is the benchmark index. Aniket Inamdar and Nitish Gupta are the fund managers.

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Mobility please, not congestion on our roads

Here’s a path that can help ease the gridlock on our urban arterial roads

Urban infrastructure needs to be seen in the proper perspective-the perspective of each urban area under development. Practically every Indian city has its own characteristics and its development needs vary.

However, certain common features are that predominantly, the mode of transport is either a motorised two-wheeler or a bicycle. Public transport is a small percentage of commuting and six-seater autorickshaws and vans carry people on a shared-fare system.

However, pedestrians are everywhere, however short the distances that they may cover. This largest group of road users is very vulnerable and we will see, time to time, through this column, what sort of infrastructure is needed, its utility and financial viability.

Through this column, we will look into other infrastructure proposals and their implications to quality of life and financials. To begin with, we will focus on Mumbai.
In this metropolis, two types of statistics need to be considered when a planning exercise is undertaken. The first one gives the breakup of the modes of travel Mumbai commuters use. Around 43.8% do it exclusively on foot; 3.1% on bicycles; 2.8% by personal motorcars; 8.5% by motorised two-wheelers; 16.7% by BEST buses; 22.7% use the suburban railway network and 2.4% travel by taxis and autorickshaws.

The second gives the percentage of population residing within a certain distance from their place of work. There are 57% who reside within 3km from their place of work; 69% within 5km; 81% within 10km; 89% within 15km and 11% beyond 15km.
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Road congestion can be viewed from two perspectives; one from the flow of motorised vehicles and the other from the mobility angle, mobility of people.
Although we can see that motorised personal vehicles cater to only 11.3% of the population, all resources seem to be put to this group's benefit. Since resources generated and deployed are not able to keep up with the pace of growth of personal vehicles, road congestion is a major problem.

This leads to further deterioration of the public transport system and more people join in to use personal motorised transport. Thus we feel the unending vicious cycle leading to perpetual road congestion. Add to this the aspect of aspiration of owning a personal four-wheeler.

Taking over footpath space to squeeze in additional motorable lanes is perceived as a solution. This solution has proved to be not only failing in every way but is downright undemocratic-in fact, it borders on being autocratic.

This is very well seen in the number of fatal accidents which take place, their perpetrators and the victims. The perpetrator is almost invariably the driver of a motorised vehicle-both personal and public-and the victim is almost always a pedestrian or a cyclist. There is this avoidable contempt among many users of motorised vehicles against pedestrians, bicyclists and even tri-cyclists and other non-motorised vehicle users.

The contempt is seen in the disrespectful honking we witness all the time, halting on pedestrian zebra crossings with the traffic police's active promotion to do so and parking on footpaths and entrances to properties.

Is this not a reflection of undemocratic attitudes and public facilities provided inequitably by governments in a democratic polity we claim to have adopted for ourselves?

It is an observed fact that by providing additional facilities to carry more motorised vehicles to address congestion problems, more motorised personal vehicles begin to ply on roads, thus not reducing road congestion at all, but leading to a wider CO2 footprint.

The growing number of motorised personal vehicles in use is not in the right direction either from the global warming or the climate change point of view.
What is the way out? How do we achieve mobility of people rather than vehicles? How do we lower the CO2 footprint from the transportation sector? How do we usher in an atmosphere of ground-level democracy?

For this, the second perspective has to be looked at with an open mind. This perspective says that to remove road congestion, remove the cause in itself; i.e. the use of personal motorcars and make our cities car free.

Hypothetically, if we consider this to be possible, will mobility be achieved in the real sense? Will an atmosphere of democracy be prevalent under this car-free environment?

It is a point to ponder over for the New Year and debate and arrive at definite conclusions and then move to implement the policy thus evolved. If I were to give my opinion in one sentence, I would say that in Mumbai, first provide footpaths appropriately designed and constructed, including details that meet the accessibility requirements of the Disability Act 1995, provide cycle-ways that are wide enough to accommodate two passing cycle-rickshaws or tri-cycle goods carriers, provide dedicated bus lanes, develop a Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) where necessary, and then allocate the remaining space for all other modes of road transport.

BRTS is necessary in Mumbai primarily because it can provide the high capacity of public transport because of which we can prevent the 4,000 annual fatalities that occur in our suburban railway system due to exceedingly overcrowding.

Walking and cycling are anyway predominant; however, infrastructure for these activities is dismal. The BRTS is a must for Mumbai so that longer distances are covered in the least time with greater safety and comfort. Unless people demand it, this will never happen.

Sudhir Badami is a civil engineer and a Transportation Analyst. He is on the Government of Maharashtra's Steering Committee on BRTS for Mumbai and on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's Technical Advisory Committee on BRTS for Mumbai. He is also a member of the Research & MIS Committee of the Unified Mumbai Metropolitan Transport Authority. He was a member of the Bombay High Court appointed erstwhile Road Monitoring Committee (2006-07). He can be reached at [email protected]

 

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COMMENTS

Vinod Malhotra

6 years ago

The streets of each city in India are inadequate for the traffic - be it pedestrians or other traffic. We cannot de-congest the streets but we do need to widen the streets. With more vehicles adding each day, this has become a necessity. We also need to pull down old buildings and construct modern and proper buildings.

The rent control act was passed during the world war and we need to see if it is relevant today. The change will be somewhat painful but will do lot of good for the country. Visit any country and one feels the changes that have taken place and is taking place - be it Malaysia, China, Middle East or even Thailand. Countries like Taiwan and South Korea have left India far behind.

Widen the roads in the cities and pull down old buildings and build blocks which are planned for the future.

Narendra Doshi

6 years ago

I agree with Mary's comments to a great extent.
The LANE discipline that existed by cars & taxis is TOTALLY lost today. So is the BEST checkers ensuring bus stopping properly to the left, leaving enough space for the following traffic to continue moving until the bus restarted. Bus commuters are seen running after the bus rather than the bus assisting the passengers to alight & depart.
Padestrians, even in high pedestrian density office ares like Fort & Nariman Point have to walk as if on a hill, time & again, every third or fifth step they take. This is my personal experience as well as an observation of many years.

Java

6 years ago

Excellent thoughts, but nobody's going to be bothered. India's contempt for its poor is reflected in lack of adequate footpaths; and even the limited ones are badly maintained or encroached upon everywhere. Traffic signals are a hazard for the pedestrians, who are treated like a nuisance even by the Traffic police. The timing of the green light for pedestrians has been set for world record holders in sprint and not for the normal persons, let alone the aged and infirm.
There is a cussedness about India's rulers which is inexplicable. There was a suggestion for introducing a few AC rakes with premium pricing, on the Bombay metro, over 30 years ago, which would reduce the pressure on the roads and save energy. No one was bothered.
Poor planning is endemic. For instance, expensive sky-walks have been introduced in many places where a subway was called for. These are avoided by pedestrians, who continue to jaywalk dangerously, but provide for the vagrants.

mary

6 years ago

sir,

you have composed an excellent, analytical article bringing out ALL but one aspect.
your piece couldn't have been written better!
the critical point omitted (?) by you is absence of total law and order! i say 'omitted' because it is impossible to believe that it escaped your analytical mind!!!!

i would stretch my point to declare that the bombay roads will remain congested even if they were made mile wide because people's reluctance to abide the law.

in fact, i view public behaviour on road as a manifestation of indian psyche'!
it is 'contemptutous'... to say the least.

i am convinced that if the law and order were to be followed as it is in the west and/or in our our eastern neighbours, at least 50% problems would be eased. the rest 50% also.....by following your advise.

not only on roads but also in our daily lives, sir.

We are listening!

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