Sunday , 21 September 2014
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No Monorail For Technopark!

TechnoparkToday.com >> The idea of Trivandrum monorail project began as a mass transit system between Balaramapuram and Kazhakkoottam. It was proposed as a solution to the two problems spiraling out of control – the perennial traffic blocks between Balaramapuram and city centre, and the transit from city of over 30,000 personnel working in Technopark. Monorail would be cheaper than the metro, and ideally suited for “medium” cities like Trivandrum. Imagine – Statue to Technopark in 20 minutes flat, one service every 5 mins, and no traffic jams!

Now, the project is extended to Technocity, and unfortunately, Technopark is out of the network!

According to the last NATPAC report, the rail would go from Karyavattom straight to Kazhakkottam, without touching Technopark. This is bizarre, since without the last-mile connectivity, not many would be using it. The proposal is to use low-floor A/C buses as a feeder service . But consider this: one train would have a capacity of around 560 persons. If one arrives, how many buses would be needed to clear this? 8-10. And if the next one comes within 5 mins, and like this all through the morning peak hour? The roads around Technopark would be jammed with buses, themselves jammed with people. A feeder service cannot usurp the main line. That is why it is called a feeder service.

And regarding Technocity, there is only one project committed to Technocity (Infosys) which might need monorail service. The other commitment is from TCS, which would develop a global training centre, a self-contained township – so there is no need of a daily mass rapid system. This is not to say monorail service should not be extended to Technocity. Extending even to Attingal is a good idea, since this would allow the city to grow north. But this should not be at the cost of bypassing Technopark.

Why are the planners more concerned with the few thousand people who MAY work at Technocity sometime in the future, rather than the over 30,000 people in Technopark RIGHT NOW, commuting daily?

The usual problems of land acquisition, and local resistance are not applicable for a monorail network through  Technopark, since all land is available either with the University or Technopark. No single family has to be evicted, no businesses shifted. Just two extra kilometers, and 30,000 users PER DAY may find it useful. The only “sufferers” – auto drivers – may be shifted, so that they act as feeder services, along with “Tech Express” services as now, from the Technopark monorail station to Phase3 of Technopark. Note that HCL, Accenture and many others have committed to the Phase 3, and L&T is building up one of the finest IT parks there. More companies are likely to come up here than in the real-estate-lobby-inflated Technocity.

The monorail project is now in the hands of DMRC. Be sure to raise your voice for the inclusion of Technopark in the project. Take this up with your HR representatives, with Technopark, with the local media, and with your elected representatives. A united action now, can make the difference of a lifetime! Act!

       
  • Sandeep

    Great article. a real eye opener. techies are always ignored by the politicians and sidelined by the developments. the facts which the article revealing is a very thought provoking one. The really needed place for monorail is 45000 and still expanding technopark.

  • Jinesh

    Let us hope E Sreedharan would find that its is Technopark which requires attention

  • sagar

    if this is going to happen, this will be the output “without the last-mile connectivity, not many would be using it”

  • Andrew

    Monorail project must include Technopark

  • manu

    Monorail project must include the technopark. majority of its travellers would be techies. if they can include the technocity, they cant ignore TECHNOPARK

  • shaji

    Why technopark is being ignored by big projects like monorail? basic infrastructure around the biggest IT park in kerala is still in the starting stage.

  • anish

    The proposed plan according to this article wud be a huge mistake. Majority of the rush from city is towards the technopark area. Now with the new phase 3 coming up and the infosys nd ust buildings fully functional in time to cum, any development shud be planned so as to provide better connectivity for the same.
    the point is nt in jus having a monorail service, instead it MUST CONNECT IDENTIFIED BUSY HUBS.

  • http://www.ajithraj.com Ajith

    Its a fact that around 80% of the passengers of KSRTC volvo is from Technopark. Same will be case for mono rail. It will be a huge flop in case of revenue if this not include technopark.

  • samji

    Monorail can be easily extended upto technopark with out much effort. but extending it in to third phase would be difficult. technopark is situated very near to the kazhakoottam where the proposed monorail passing by.

    Even we can start a connection service to the technopark III phase or infosys / UST campuses.

  • Ratheesh

    We can have TechExpress type service to connect phase 3

  • Veena

    If the main line alignment does not allow connecting to techno park let there be a monorail feeder line to technopark from kazhakuttam which can connect to all areas of techno park which perhaps main line wont be able to do . The feeder line timing can be adjusted according to technopark timings and need not be the same as the main line. Though the best alignment would be through technopark this idea can be given a thought.

  • http://www.tribiz.in Chandru Rajan

    On behalf of Trivandrum Development Front (TDF), an NGO working for the betterment of Trivandrum we have been in touch and submitted a draft proposal on Trivandrum monorail to NATPAC, the agency which was entrusted to do the feasibility study. NATPAC raised a few concerns of which the important one was the additional cost of about Rs 800 Crores in the initial phase to be incurred for the additional lane till Technopark Phase III and other hindrances like NHAI restriction on mass transport system in stretches to be developed on BOT basis. [Kaz-TN Border by-pass development]. Instead what they have suggested is to have a spur from the Kariyavattom station hub to the back gate of Technopark and plan some internal mode of transport like POD car or run Volvo buses to take Techies to the different parts of Technopark even to Technopark Phase III.

  • Vinod

    I am not sure why TP was not included in the mono rail. Most of the techies can make use of the mono rail if TP is included

  • Robin Panicker

    The terrain of TP is not suitable for Monorail. If it need to be included the cost escalation will be huge. So a POD car like transportation system is more suitable for TP as it can be extended through out the campus [TP I, TP II, TP III] at much less expense. The author assumes he knows every thing about Mass Transport System. Just try to understand its not that easy as doing programming [I am a software engineer too... but had the chance to speak to some key people involved with Mono rail project.]

  • Naveen

    Haha…as usual bureaucrats raising objections. imagine saying that terrain of technopark not suitable. the pmg-plamood drop is even steeper. if ppl like this were there, E Sreedharan would never build KOnkan railway…bring in NARENDRA MODI. he will show you

  • Hariz

    The feeder services by the low floor buses will be an attractive solution with a technopark bus terminal @ karyavattom campus with a circular option of plying karyavattom –> technopark-> Phase III-> Phase II-> Kazhakuttom.

  • julekh

    Please don’t blame on the terrain of the Technopark. as someone mentioned, there are more worse places on the proposed monorail project. here the point is if they can extend the monorail reach to at least to Technopark Phase -1, where more than 40 thousand people are working right now, and still growing. that would be the act which can justice the implementation of monorail.

    Don’t blame the author, since at least he came forward and tell the truth, and being a software engineer, and met with some key personalities, you are still against the idea, which would be helpful for thousands of people, who really wanted to commute on a daily basis, and that can avoid the usage of hundreds of cars in trivandrum city.

  • Robin Panicker

    Yes there are places like plamood where slop is high. But they are unavoidable stretches, right? is there any alternative? NATPAC didn’t say its technologically unfeasible to build through the TP campus. It was the cost factor of additional 800 crores that influenced the plan. They are proposing a spur to TP back gate. Isn’t that good enough or you really want a Bhavani station, Nila station, like that?

  • Robin Panicker

    Also, the author is assuming that entire technocity is going to have mono rail connectivity. Its not so. There will be station on the high way close to Highway. From there Technocity should have its own internal mode of transportation to connect to the 450 odd acres.

  • Robin Panicker

    I personally prefer Volvo services though PRT can be considered as well. Buses can give you the real last mile connectivity to all the buildings inside the campus.

  • Robin Panicker

    But if entire TP stand together may be GoK will give in and allocate extra 800 crores. But guys think, is it a worthy expense of public money. Can’t we find better alternatives like PRT or BRT system within TP. My $0.02

  • John K

    Seeing how efficient Technopark Express service currently is (try moving out of Technopark after 7:30pm without own vehicle or company bus), only God knows how it will be. If this last mile connectivity was good, many people would indeed have come by KSRTC Fast etc. Outside the peak hours Technopark Express is a joke. Maybe the pressure of auto drivers or so, but one need to pay Rs.30 instead od Rs.5…Very inconvenient and costly.

  • Techie

    this is very sad indeed. technopark is the major employer in tvm and if a system like this ignores technopark, what is the point?

  • bobby varghese

    They could have include the technopark in the monorail path. because being the biggest employers in Kerala.

  • jayaraj

    Calling themselves its largest potential users, techies are questioning the non-inclusion of Technopark in the stations allotted for monorail. The feasibility study submitted by National Transport Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) had suggested a station at Kazhakkoottam, nearly 2 km from the Technopark campus. The study had recommended feeder service for the users, but techies are apprehensive of its effectiveness.

    Technopark-related discussion forums are active with opinions against the NATPAC report, which has not considered Technopark campus. “Including two extra kilometres in the route will be beneficial for 30,000 daily commuters in Technopark. The suggestion of feeder service does not seem to be a practical solution. To include the volume of passengers from monorail, more feeder services have to be roped in. This might bring more traffic congestion to the area,” says Anoop Ramanujam, employee of a multinational company in Technopark.

    Anoop feels land acquisition might not be an issue as land is available at Kariavattom and on Technopark campus. Anoop, who daily travels from Pattom to Technopark, usually has to catch two buses to reach the campus. “Considering the number of women working at odd hours, feeder services do not seem a good choice,” he says.

    In the discussions, most of the techies termed non-inclusion of Technopark as a big mistake.

    However, Tomy Cyriac, senior scientist at NATPAC, who was also the team leader in preparing the feasibility report, says inclusion of Technopark would cost an extra ` 140 crore. “Currently, feeder services are mooted in such areas. The same company which will run monorail will operate the feeder service too. The commuters can use single ticket for monorail and the feeder service,” he says.

    According to him, the NATPAC study had assessed the traffic during office hours in Technopark. “Including more feeder services during peak hours is expected to solve the problem. This can be considered once it gets functional,” Tomy says.

    He says no land is available with the University of Kerala, which has already lent acres of land for the construction of the greenfield stadium for National Games. He adds that feasibility study and detailed project reports are not final. “These are not final. Necessary changes can be included,” he says.

    URL: http://newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/article542511.ece

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