Pressing Problems of Chennai

Anyone who lived in India’s bigger cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata would consider Chennai  as a city with comparatively better infrastructure. But then, why should Chennai be compared and measured against other cities in India, when Chennai is the biggest producer of automobiles in India and only the second biggest city exporting IT services in India?

But these facts hide more than what they reveal. Some of the biggest infrastructure issues in Chennai were not even known to local residents. They just continue to suffer and wonder what is wrong.

 Dumping Garbage in own Garden:

Chennai has one of the most beautiful, few of the last remaining natural wet lands of south India. It’s called Pallikaranai Marsh, an ecologically sensitive, scenic area visited by 100’s of migratory birds from Europe and Asia. The area, Pallikaranai, itself could have received this name from one of its visitors, Pallid Harrier, a bird from Eastern Europe! (Pallid Harrier= Pallikaranai, though this is my guess, there is information available that Englishmen had sighted Pallid Harrier south of Guindy, which is where Pallikaranai is).

The original expanse of the marshland was 1200 acres, which acted as one of the biggest catchment reservoir areas for about 250 square kilometers (Which is proved by its soil type, alluvium, and granite gneiss). Thanks to the government’s innovative ‘idea’ of dumping Garbage right on the wetlands, the area of the marsh was being encroached day by day by indiscriminate garbage dumping and other activities by the corporation. What is left now is just about 100 acres of the wetland! Laying the outer ring road (Thorapakkam-Pallavaram road) right across the marshland became the master lethal stroke, enabling the corporation to dump garbage on both sides of the water body.

Impacts? Almost all of the southern suburbs are flooded during every monsoon, with no reservoir to drain the rain water! In low lying areas like Velachery, Pallikaranai, Adyar, Tiruvanmiyur, Thuraipakkam and Perungudi Industrial estate, it’s a common sight every year to see residents getting trapped in their own flooded homes frequently visited by snakes and other floating animals.

To add fuel to the fire, the corporation started burning the garbage to create more space for more ‘garbage’, thus making the marsh one of the most polluted area in India! In 2006, air quality analysis, done by a U.S.-based Global Community Monitor, rated this dumping yard the most poisonous area in India. With the intervention of local residents and the court, the burning has stopped, but the garbage dumping goes on!
The Expert committee formed by the High court has categorically stated that

“The current dumping site on Pallikaranai marsh does not meet 13 out of 17 criteria set out for selection of a dumping site as per MSW regulation. So, Dumping should not only be immediately stopped but whatever has been dumped so far should also be removed”

But then, who cares?

Chennai generates about 3300 Tons/day of waste. With no proper planning for waste disposal in place, there is no surprise that precious-but-easy resources are over exploited and garbage mounts are being increasingly seen everywhere and the residents are slow-poisoned by the emissions of the burning.

Road Accidents: 

In Chennai, more than 1,000 people die in road accidents every year! This is the highest in the country. Going by this number, we’re witnessing the equivalent of Mumbai 26/11 massacre on Chennai roads, once EVERY 2 MONTHS.

Delhi has more than double the number of vehicles as in Chennai, but still number of accidents and number of casualties is the highest in Chennai. Bangalore had the highest number of accident causalities in 2005, but since then Chennai’s roads have taken over the title of the deadliest roads. (Bangalore suffers from bumper to bumper travel condition for most part of the day, thus eliminating one of the accident-causing factors ‘speed’).

For Indian metro standards, the roads are not too narrow in Chennai, but the lack of enforcement of traffic regulations is taking it’s toll on people’s life and happiness.

 Lack of social infrastructure in Peripheral District Areas:

With beautiful coast on the eastern side, old Industrial activities on Northern side, Chennai is left with only two directions to grow. South and West. And it has. With the government declaring ‘Old Mahabalipuram Road’ (now Rajiv Gandhi Salai) as the ‘IT Corridor’ encouraging Information Technology majors setting up their shops in the area, supplemented by a 6 lane express way, south Chennai has seen a growth unprecedented in Chennai’s history.

With the Bangalore highway declared as ‘Industrial Corridor’ with automobile and electronic companies setting up their shops, West Chennai is fast catching up.

The IT Corridor employs about 130,000 employees with all of India’s top#5 IT Companies running their shops in multiple locations along with many more companies. With the crazy number of hours IT employees spend in their offices, there is no surprise why many hate to waste their precious time in commute. Most of the IT people I had spoken to, expressed their helplessness in having to spend many hours for commute to office. Fixing the traffic bottle neck, though, is important, this is not a solution.

The answer lies in creating better social infrastructure in Peripheral Business Districts. An hour lost in the evenings is a precious hour lost spending with family! The time lost in commute is directly taken from the time people used to spend with their families or friends. This ‘recharging’ time, if missed, will have negative consequences in the long term, on employee’s productivity, morale and so happiness.

There is not even one movie theatre along the IT Corridor or GST Road or Bangalore Highway!
There is not even one shopping mall in any of those 3 important corridors! Though all these three arterial roads and nearby areas are catching up, there is more to be done to ensure that employees start ‘living’ in nearby areas with lesser time spent on commuting.

  Water problem:

With many short-sighted attempts to resolve the water crisis, there has not been even a single holistic permanent solution attempted, implemented or even proposed for Chennai. The humongous proportion of the issue could best be understood by this one example: In April 2010, few of India’s biggest software companies in Chennai had to shut their shops down for a day due to water unavailability. Imagine the loss of productivity for a day of tens of thousands of employees!

The private tanker Lorries, who normally supply water to majority of the companies and residents wanted to show their strength to protest against Government’s insistence on following regulations related to public lakes. The water supply regulated and rationed by Chennai Metro Water is infrequent and insufficient and does not even cover 35% of Chennai Metro area.

Chennai Metro’s current water requirement is about 2000 MLD (Million Liters per Day). Water supplied by Chennai Metro Water is about 700 MLD. Remaining 1300 MLD is met by tanker Lorries and other means. That’s a whopping 65% deficit! The total reservoir capacity of all major lakes, Chembarambakkam, Poondi, Puzhal and Cholavaram, is only 11 TMCFT; which is just 3 month supply to the metro area!

Corporation is building Desalination plants to purify and supply water from the sea. But even with the newly proposed desalination capacity, it’s only 10% of the demand (200 MLD). The total deficit is 55% (1100 MLD)! On the other hand the economics of desalination leaves much to be desired. Singapore has one of the most cost efficient desalination plants which costs about Rs.25 for 1000 Liters. This is about 8 times costlier than other conventional water purification methods.
Chennai Corporation has hired a consulting company to explore and identify new water resources so that the demand can be met. Let’s hope that they come up with some credible and innovative solution.

The Inconvenient truth of public transportation:

I used to wonder how the public transportation is still very popular in Chennai, despite being one of the toughest experiences, both physically and mentally (A one way trip on 5E will tell you why). Thousands of people are moving into Chennai on a daily basis from many parts of India. Many of those, who need to ‘survive’, are left only with the inconvenient public transportation and one can see the desperation in the crowd.
When the National Urban Transport Policy aims at 70% usage on Public transportation, the state of public transportation in Chennai is anything but inviting.
Most of the buses and trains are overcrowded all the time. When the patronage is there, why not plan and ply more buses and trains?

Source(s): SoviBlog
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Future City Plan by Afzal Nadeem Siddiqui

How will our Future Cities Look?

            Imagine a city of the future. Do you see clean streets, flying cars and Robots doing all the works?

            No one really knows what the future holds, but the reality now is that our urban spaces are overcrowded and polluted.

            With the half world’s population currently living in urban areas cities are key to the future of sustainable development.

Background :

            With over half the World’s population living in cities, the 21st century has been described as the urban century. It is estimated that 75% of the global population will be living in cities by 2050.

            The time is ripe, says experts to start designing smarter urban environments both new cities needed to sustain an ever-growing population, and retrofits on the ones that we have lived in centuries.

            So here is the plan for our future sustainable cities.

Infrastructure :

  1. Remote Monitoring and Proper Management for Building: Wireless building energy monitoring systems allow all existing building to be remotely monitorable and controlled to minimize energy use and identify a hot spot for action.
  2. Sky Scrapers: This type of building will help in a great way to maximize land usage. It will help with urban planning and can be utilized to control population density.
  3. Airy Rooms: Our future buildings rooms must be built in such a way that each rooms receives proper sunlight. Proper passage for inlet of fresh air.
  4. Better Security System : Inplantment of hi-tech cameras and modern equipment to prevent theft issues and provide proper security to citizens and for their assets.
  5. Water Harvesting Systems: As we are facing the problem of availability of fresh water. As we know that our cities water table has reached its minimum level. In future, our building should have proper Rain Water harvesting system that will reduce the problem of deficient of water.
  6. Terrace Parts: We can utilize over massive building terrace into the park. It is a great way to maximize the land usage and the people will not need to travel kilometers to visit the park.
  7. Terrace Farming: We can create a small soil field on our building terrace and used that building terrace for sowing vegetables. So the people will have access to fresh vegetable.
  8. Climate Resilience: It should go without saying these days that planning requirement for the built environment includes protection from weather extremes: overheating flooding and storms.

Transportation :

  1. Water cities : In future we can plant accelerators lane, which be connected to the main streams of city and spread all over the city, this initiative will make travelling easy in the city and people will less dependent on vehicle.
  2. Air Taxies: In future, air cars can be launch to reduce traffic burden. The most important advantage will be that it will reduce time taken in travelling. Passenger can travel a long distance in a short period of time.
  3. Sustainable Charging Station: This will encourage people to buy electric cars and bikes. People will use an electric vehicle instead of using fuel vehicle.


Pollution :

  1. Verticle Gardens: For controlling pollution we can plant ventricle garden in our cities on flavor, building, terrace.

* It will reduce urban heat island effect and smog.

* Cleans outside air of pollutant and dust and offset the carbon footprint of people and fuel emission.

* Acts as a soundproofing barrier.

* Increase biodiversity by creating habitat for bird and insects.

* Can be used to grow food such as small fruit, vegetable and herbs in urban setting, creating sustainable and local control of food sources.

  1. Less dependency on fuel: Modern vehicle should be made which runs on electricity, or solar energy et5c. which will leads to decrease used of fuel. Ultimately which will decrease pollutions.

Amusement :

  1. Air Restaurant: For fantastic amusement, air Restaurant can be opened so that the public can enjoy and have a different experience.
  2. Modern Multiplex: Modern types of multiplex can be opened in the future where the movie is shown in 7-D progress the public can delight a unique experience.
  3. The robot as a Maid: In future, the technology would be so advance that will make every work very easy. In future lame work of people. People will buy Robot and keep them on the place of Maid.

Energy :

  1. Local Energy : Community energy and district heating schemes combined heat and power, heat pumps (whether ground or water source) should all be encouraged.
  2. Anaerobic digestion : More power can generate from anaerobic digestion of organic and green waste to produce natural gas that may be injected into the mains used in local network combined heat and power plant or to power transport.
  3. Solar Energy : More dependency on solar energy which will help in following ways:

It will reduce electricity bills

Low maintenance cost

It can be used for diverse purposes

It is a Renewable Energy.

Health Facilities :

  1. Better Health Facilities: In future cities, the health facilities would be par different now. We will have modern machinery which will help to cure dangerous disease.
  2. Air Ambulance on lost fare: In our future city, facilities of air ambulance would be available on important point of cities at very low fare.
  3. Maternal Mortality rate in India’s was 167 (which is quite high) in 2016.

Infant Mortality rate of India’s was 37 per 1000 live birth in 2015 which is too high.

In future we can decrease these data by using Virtual Communication on like Hologram technique.

            By this we can provide better doctor management to pregnant women for delivery.

Communication :

  1. Devices that can translate languages in real time are allowing people from different countries and culture to communicate without the need for an Interpreter.
  2. In the distant future, we may be able to communicate by sending our thought through a network directly into someone else’s brain.
  3. 8-D communication. In the future, the communication pattern will fully change, people will carry a modern phone, which would have a Hologram technique. And communication would as realistic as face to face.
Posted in Class Assignments M.Sc. Geography 2017-19 AMU, Aligarh, earth, urban morphology, Urban Studies | Leave a comment

Lurking Continents Beneath Antarctica

A new map reveals the remnants of ancient continents lurking beneath Antarctica’s ice.

The map shows that East Antarctica is made up of multiple cratons, which are the cores of continents that came before, according to study leader Jörg Ebbing, a geoscientist at Kiel University in Germany.

Read Here

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Losch Theory of Profit Maximisation

August Losch, a German economist, published his theory of ‘Profit Maximisation’ in the year 1954. The least cost location theory of Weber was wholly discarded by Losch. In fact, he suggested that, ‘profit maximization’ is the only objective of the entrepreneur, whether it is state or an individual. The major objective of the industry is, therefore, to find out the place where maximum profits occur.

Unlike Weber, who postulated his entire theory in an economic state of perfect competi­tion, Losch, on the other hand, explained his theory within the environment of monopolistic competition. According to Losch, industry will not necessarily be located within the least cost (transport cost and labour cost) location; rather it would locate in areas where maximum profit will occur. So, ignoring transport cost, labour cost and agglomeration cost, he emphasized more on the total production cost.

To get the maximum profit, as stated by Losch, total consumption is important. Higher the consumption rate, greater will be the profit. In this case, he emphasized most on the price reduction of the commodity. Any decrease in price would automatically stimulate the volume of consumption. This can be illustrated by the following diagram.

In this simple model, it is evident that when the price of the commodity drops from R to P, the consumption increases from M to N. The theory of August Losch considered demand as a most important variable. The funda­mental objective behind the theory was to find out the most profitable location for the industrial establishment.

To determine the location of maximum profit, Losch said, “The complexity stems from the fact that, there is more than one geographical point where the total demand of a surrounding district is at a maximum,………. We are thus reduced to determine separately for every one of a number of virtual factory location the total attainable demand, and for similar reasons the best volume of production as a function of factory price (Market and Cost analysis). The greatest profit attainable at each of these points can be determined from the cost and demand curves, and from this place of greatest money profits, the optimum location can be found”.

Losch argued that most of the existing theories are all simplified and generalizations of the complex problem of industrial location. Like Weber, he also considered certain assump­tions for the success of his theory.

Essay # Assumptions of the Profit Maximisation Theory:

Like Weber’s theory, ‘profit maximization’ theory of Losch is not universally applicable.

In the presence of certain optimum conditions the maximum profit location may occur:

1. The area under consideration should be an extensive homogenous plane where raw materials are distributed evenly.

2. The ‘transport cost’ is uniform and directly proportional in all the directions.

3. The people inhabiting the region have a general homogeneity either in taste, knowl­edge and technical skill.

4. There is no economic discriminations among the people. The economic and ca­reer building opportunities are open and uniform to all individuals.

5. The population distribution is very even and the area is self-sufficient in agricul­tural production.

In the case of excess production of agriculture, the status quo of the economy will be distorted. To achieve homogeneity of the economy within the region, the theory required some more condi­tions.

These are as follows:

1. The entire area should be equally served by the factories. No area should be ex­empted from the supply; therefore, no new firm would dare to venture in the area.

2. There must be conformity in the range and quantum of profit. In case of abnormal profit, new firms may try to establish their own plant.

3. The location must satisfy both producer and consumer. The profit of the firm and satisfaction of the consumer must be optimum through the location.

4. There must be provisions for consumers to get the products from other adjacent areas.

5. The number of consumers, producers and areas should be well defined and not very extensive. Only a limited number of producers within a small area will be able to overcome the complexities and satisfy completely the handful of consum­ers.

According to Losch, to get the desired result from the location and sustained growth of the industry, these conditions are pre-requisites.

Essay # Explanation to the Profit Maximisation Theory:

The major objective of the location theory is to attain equilibrium in the producing area and the product and the ability of the producer. If a single entrepreneur enters in the produc­tion process, within a vast area, the distribution cost will be very high.

But when several small producers are engaged in the production process in separate regions, the distribution cost will come down and due to increasing competition, efficiency of the product and cost of produc­tion will be lower.

The profit will increase substantially. Due to increasing competition, the area served by individual manufacturing units will be reduced. In the reduced area, several producing units will remain adjacent with each other, without leaving any area un-served. So, in this particular situation, a hexagonal area would serve the purpose. To establish his theoretical model of the theory, August Losch proposed three distinct phase of development.

The phases are as follows:

I. In this first phase Losch observed that if sufficient and symmetrical demand of a prod­uct prevails in the market, the market conditions may be explained by a demand cone. The following diagram illustrates that the effective demand of the particular product will be exactly same to the volume of the cone.

In Fig. 5, P is a producer, and demand curve is lying on QF. P or price line, controlled jointly by transport cost and distance. The price increased from P to F. Along the Y axis or PQ, demand of quantity is measured between PF and QF.

When PF is taken as a measure of distance and is rotated about P, the circular market area is formed, bounded by the locus of points F, where the price becomes too high. Total sales are given by the volume of the cone produced by the rotation of PQF.

In Fig. 5, it is clear that, away from centre, with increasing distance, demand of the quan­tity drops drastically.

II.In the second phase, within the vast rounded area, several factories will concentrate. The virgin, extensive market area will automatically give a lucrative operational area.. But despite the growing competition among the firms to capture larger share of consumer and larger market areas, there should be some void in the boundary zones.

Like intra-molecular space, a certain amount of region will remain un-served or poorly served. Though the mal­-distribution of firms may result in shrinkage of areas in some instances, some other regions will be devoid of any industry. The circular pattern of industrial hinterland in phase two will ultimately decide the future of the industry in that region.

In Fig. 6, the space situated outside the circular areas are still lying vacant. It is quite natural for the other industries to capture this potential market areas, hitherto unexploited. The influx of new industries in the region will result in shrinkage of the market areas (denoted in Fig. 6 by circle) of different production centres.

The intrusion of one market area to other will distort the circular market areas and the market areas of different production units will further reduce. This situation will lead to the initiation of the third phase.

Second Stage of Profit Maximization Theory

III.In the third phase of industrial location witness the narrowing of the intermediate space between two market areas. The areas fall vacant between the different market areas become the target of new enterprises.

As new firms set up within the vacuum, the hinterlands of earlier industries become reduced. The reduction of the market area results in rapid disrup­tion of the early circular pattern. Gradually the market area of the industries attain a hexago­nal shape.

According to Losch, when any area possesses several hexagons, lying upon each other and surrounding a particular centre, a metropolitan city will grow. In other words, it may be said that around the nucleus of a city, numerous hexagons or market areas of different com­modity will grow.

So, in this fashion, industries would concentrate within a region, each having different products. So, almost all types of materials including raw materials should be available on that point. Hence, any new industry would get its required raw material within near distance. Obviously, the total transport cost in that place will be minimum. In this way, ‘equilibrium conditions’ as stated by Losch may be attained (Fig. 6).

Losch, however, himself hinted about the deviation of his theory in some special condi­tions. According to his conception, when price of the commodity of a particular firm increases,demand of the product decreases considerably.

Naturally, due to higher price, the company loses some of its market area. Automatically, that area is encroached by the adjacent firm. In this fashion, market area of a unit changes continuously. This incident was explained by the figure given by Losch in Fig. 7.

Fig. 6 shows the development of hexagonal market area in the third stage. The dotted lines represent market boundaries of respective production centres. The crossed area is the production centre.

In Fig. 7, as stated by Losch, A and B are two producing centres, with total production cost of P and Q. Their respective market boundaries are CPD1 and EQD1. At the product cost of M, their production touches the optimum level and equilibrium is attained. But when production cost at A increase from P1 to P2, the equilibrium condition is dis­rupted. The product of A becomes less attractive than before, so market boundaries also re­duces from CP1D to C1P2D2.

Following the reduction of market of A, automatically market area of B advances in that void region. The previous area of EQD1 increases to EQD2. This D1D2 areal increase is well reflected in the circular diagram of Losch. The BD1 radius increases to BD2 and former AC radius reduces to AC1.

Essay # Merits of the Profit Maximisation Theory:

1. August Losch tried to restore a order in the former chaotic classifications of industrial location.

2. He was the first person to consider the influence of the magnitude of demand on indus­trial location.

3. August Losch rightly emphasizes upon the role of competition as an important determinant of location analysis.

4. The calculations adopted by Losch were simple and easily applicable to any place.

5. The theory has also a philosophical contribution on the motive of entrepreneurs’ role.

6. His equilibrium concept is perhaps the greatest contribution among the location theories developed later on.

7. The least cost concept of Weber was nullified by Losch and instead more precise ‘profit maximization’ concept was adopted.

Essay # Demerits of the Profit Maximisation Theory:

Of course, the theory of Losch was not entirely flawless. Numerous criticism from differ­ent quarters were put forward against the theory on various grounds.

The major points against the theory are as follows:

1. This theory is essentially a simplified model or theorizing of an ideal condition. In reality, only in a rare occasion, these events may occur.

2. The assumed conditions of homogeneous plain region, equal distribution of raw mate­rials and uniform transport rates never occur in the real world. Therefore, Losch’s theory, as said by some critics, is nothing but only intellectual exercise.

3. Losch even assumed the cultural homogeneity and uniform taste of the people within the region. This is nothing but absurdity.

4. He ignored the variation of technological development of different regions. The differ­ence of technical know-how may offset the theoretical model.

5. Political decisions play an important role in the industrial location. Losch ignored it.

6. The variation of the cost of raw materials and labour wage rates were not given proper weightage in the theory.

7. Losch categorically separated the role and effect of agriculture and industry. But this difference is somehow arbitrary in nature.

8. The abstract and optimum situation demanded by the theory may be available in agri­culture but not in the complex production process of modern manufacturing industries. Thus, Losch theory is more practical in agriculture, rather than in industry.


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