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View Poll Results: Do you support development of roads by cutting down trees?
Yes 9 13.24%
No 12 17.65%
Yes, but the new roads must be planted with trees once more 47 69.12%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23rd March 2011, 16:02   #16
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

Additionally, I have seen the NHs traffic-less. There is some activity before and after hitting major towns - I mean not many use this, a few state buses. Using private vehicles to travel long distances over 200 km is still not in vogue amongst individuals. I am saying this from my experience traveling to Trivandrum, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Mysore, Mumbai from Chennai. One suddenly starts wondering "what a waste?". It was good for me. No doubt and I enjoyed those drives, but at what cost? Definitely not at the cost of flora and fauna! Some of the other users (hvk for sure) can chime in here with their NH experiences.
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Old 24th March 2011, 08:49   #17
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

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Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
The need of the hour is a hybrid solution. Segregating empty vast-expanse landscape (type 1) and those which are thickly populated (type 2), when I say populated (it includes vegetation/hills/flora/fauna/water-bodies) 4L for the former and high speed elevated rail for the latter.
You have mentioned very valid points above. And agree on the points mentioned on some of the beautiful stretch of roads in Kerala. But for me, highway expansion need not be 4 lanes always. There are good / well-maintained roads around the world with similar population / landscape as mentioned in your post. Highway expansion can be done without really killing the population you mentioned.

Highways are the Nervous System of a country, and it is not always about driving pleasure. It is to commute safe and fast from one city / state to another in an uninterrupted and convenient manner. Good highways enable faster movement of public transport and essential goods supply. Going by the example you mentioned – In Kerala, we have a good amount of food supplies getting stuck on the highways, and just look at the line of trucks in each check post to gauge this (not commenting on the situation in other states as I have not personally experienced it).A couple of changes with some road awareness can improve highways in a big way:
  1. 2-lane or 4-lane highways with smooth surface, proper dividers and fencing.
  2. If there is really a threat to vegetation, build elevated highways in those area (instead of making that place a barren land devoid of any vegetation). Elevated roads are a good alternative to elevated railways.
  3. Regulate speed of public transport, and ensure lane discipline.
On point 3, the question normally I hear (especially in Kerala) is ‘why public should suffer for the well being of a few private cars’. The answer is, safe public transport is one of the biggest plus of having a good highway. Air and rail systems are regulated by time, and the same should be followed for road transport as well. That helps in better travel planning as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Additionally, I have seen the NHs traffic-less. There is some activity before and after hitting major towns - I mean not many use this, a few state buses. Using private vehicles to travel long distances over 200 km is still not in vogue amongst individuals. I am saying this from my experience traveling to Trivandrum, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Calicut, Mysore, Mumbai from Chennai. One suddenly starts wondering "what a waste?". It was good for me. No doubt and I enjoyed those drives, but at what cost? Definitely not at the cost of flora and fauna! Some of the other users (hvk for sure) can chime in here with their NH experiences.
Good roads are never a waste. In a better world, roads are build to last for generations, and not for 1-2 years. What you feel as a waste now, will be a boon 10 years down the lane. All well planned cities have good roads to start with. There may be only 10 cars plying on a road (per hour) this year, but the planning should be to accommodate atleast 1000 cars 10 years down the lane.

Just an after-thought from a fellow m'lee: Going by the logic of treating Kerala as a city, why does a city need 3 airports (and I hear 4th one is in the making). Are we using flights for inter-city transport? If we have good motorable highways, all we need is two good airports with a maximum of 2 hours travel time from/to the airports.
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Old 26th March 2011, 11:45   #18
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

The blunt truth is : there is NO space for road widening unless tress are cut down.

No one really wants to cut tress merrily but that is the need of the hour - we just can't help it.

The way population and consequently traffic is going, the roads are just not sufficient - and this is all over the country. So, what do you do? You can't cut traffic -it is quite impractical.

So unfortunately, trees have to be cut down.

We can just make it marginally better by planting and maintaining an exponentially more no. of trees than are cut.
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Old 13th April 2011, 08:17   #19
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

A few years ago, when tram lines were first laid on Vivekananda Road-CIT Road-Ultadanga section in Calcutta, right through the middle of the road, the trees were not cut down completely. They were shifted from the middle towards the side of the road. Most of them were big trees and the majority among them still survive.
May not this practice be employed elsewhere?
Regards,
Rahul Biswas
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Old 13th April 2011, 11:14   #20
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
A few years ago, when tram lines were first laid on Vivekananda Road-CIT Road-Ultadanga section in Calcutta, right through the middle of the road, the trees were not cut down completely. They were shifted from the middle towards the side of the road. Most of them were big trees and the majority among them still survive.
May not this practice be employed elsewhere?
Regards,
Rahul Biswas
It is indeed a good option. But the negative is that, if big rooted trees are not planted properly it can be a hazard in rains and heavy wind.
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Old 13th April 2011, 11:30   #21
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

Now guess how many trees get cut to build the houses we stay in. Much much more then the one's cut for road widening for sure.

So the hypocritical parallel to this thread would be another one - My House - At what cost?

Poll:

Do you support building of my house by cutting down trees?
Yes, trees have no voice so why bother.
Yes, everyone does it, so you should too.
Yes, I need a roof on my head.
No, you should find a cave.
No, Build it in the desert.
No, Build in between a lake/river/sea.
No, Stay with your relatives.

Some things are required some are not. Being a hypocrite does not take us far.

Last edited by Spitfire : 13th April 2011 at 11:35.
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:09   #22
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

1. Each tree that is cut down, needs to be replaced in identified zones, not too far from the highways being developed.

2. The replacement of a tree has to happen in an identified spot, BEFORE the original tree is cut down.

3. Replaced trees should be at least 20 meters (preferably 50 meters) away from the edge of the road. This is very important to ensure that road visibility is not impacted. With highway speeds on the rise in India, it is very important for drivers to have the visibility to match the capabilities of the vehicles they drive.

4. Replaced trees should not be the usual Eucalyptus, but good Shade Trees. Although Eucalyptus plantations are highly favored, they totally soak up the under-ground water and eventually make the land barren. If at all Eucalyptus are to be plated for commercial reasons, then they should be mixed in a fixed ratio with other Shade Trees.
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Old 16th April 2011, 13:04   #23
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Now guess how many trees get cut to build the houses we stay in. Much much more then the one's cut for road widening for sure.

So the hypocritical parallel to this thread would be another one - My House - At what cost?
I would differ a bit on this. The trees which are usually used in houses are something like "cash crops" in the sense they are grown for the sole purpose of construction and other similar objectives. The people running such a business usually have huge farms just for trees. In simple words, they make it a point that the trees which are cut down are being replaced with saplings or else they will be out of a job within a few years.

This is not the case when it comes to highway and city road development. The trees which are cut for this purpose are almost lost forever!!

Last edited by ajman28 : 16th April 2011 at 13:06.
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Old 18th April 2011, 11:39   #24
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

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I would differ a bit on this.
No I wasn't talking about the wood used as raw materials for the houses. But now that you bring it up that is a valid point too.
The house you stay in? About 500 years back there were trees in its place. Today you stay on that same piece of land that had trees earlier. Did you plant the same number of trees before you started staying in the house which equaled to the amount that were around 500 years back? The thread already has discussed what it had to. The trees are a safety hazard on highways so they need to go. That more need to be planted is obvious and not because of highways alone but a million other reasons too. Trees are cut for a lot of other things. At least for highways there are valid reasons - economy, industrialization, etc. There was this other guy I was talking to. He has 2 cars and opposes mining because it is killing our forests. You see the iron(y) of it.

Last edited by Spitfire : 18th April 2011 at 11:40.
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Old 18th April 2011, 12:52   #25
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

^^ Point well noted. I guess the matter does come to rest here.

To sum up: highway expansions are definitely the need of the hour and to sacrifice the trees for this is an unavoidable sad part; after all, it's safety first.

All we can do is hope that the trees being cut down for development are being replaced somewhere else!
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Old 18th April 2011, 13:51   #26
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Default Re: Highway expansion - At what cost?

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Originally Posted by ajman28 View Post
All we can do is hope that the trees being cut down for development are being replaced somewhere else!
Hope we plant trees wherever we can. To probably give this an end note. There is this HAL employee who plants small trees (big enough to take care of themselves) along the HAL road in Bangalore. You will see him watering the plants - quite regularly in the summer in a 5 litre mineral water can (its normal water). Few days back I stopped and talked to him him. And thanked him for what he is doing. His face was lightened up by a million watts. He said he does it as part of deriving some joy from it.
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