Ramesh Kumar

 

Ramesh Kumar, an Economics graduate from the University of Madras, spent his entire career spanning 35 years in the world of publishing: print, TV and web focused on business/economics. He has worked in India and the Persian Gulf (2005-9), helping launch print publications, TV (news & current affairs) stations and websites.

 

He began his career with Macmillan India and traversed through various publications such as Gentleman, GFQ, Technocrat, Business Computers, The Indian Post, The Independent, Free Press Journal, Mid-Day (Bombay), Observer of Business & Politics, Business India TV (TVI), Jain TV, Doordarshan etc. Between 2005 and 2009, he was associated with United Media Services, Muscat, Oman as Group Editor of Oman Economic Review, Alam Aliktisaad Walamaal, Signature, Al Mara, OER Dossier; and moved as Strategic Editorial Advisor to OmanTribune, Muscat, Oman. He also advised INSURE magazine, published from Dubai Media City, UAE.

Until recently, he was one of three key founding-editors of Logistics Times. Now he is associated with the SAARC Centre for Transport Studies, a research outfit.

Besides, he regularly contributes to Automotive Logistics Magazine and Finished Vehicle Logistics Magazine of London, UK; and Logistics Insight Asia of Singapore. 

He has written a book, 10,000 Km on Indian Highways, based on his personal experience of travelling in trucks and trailers.

Over the past few days, I have been poring over the “Report of Working Group on Road Transport for the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17)” released recently. It is an interesting document and felt I will not be able to do justice to this precious tome in one single long piece. Moreover, to retain the attention span of potential readers, the offerings have to be in small doses. Like it is said that even the tastiest pizza has to be cut into small pieces to be cherished. Small indeed is beautiful and meaningful. Here goes my maiden dispatch.

It all started with Toll on bridges, that too on those whose construction cost was beyond a cut-off figure. It began in Gujarat on river Narmada. It was declared that the Toll shall be co-terminus with recovery of the investment cost. This assurance, taken in good faith, had mellowed resentment which truckers had raised initially.

World Bank has funded construction of Lucknow-Muzaffarpur project, the Grand Trunk Road Improvement project and packages of National Highway Development Project. As a responsible and respectable organisation the Bank just does not dole out funds and then sleep over it. Rather prudently it closely monitors how the Bank’s Funds are put to use.

It  is  official  that  over  80%  of  the  accidents  occur  on  highways  due  to  driver’s  fault.  It  is  a  moot  point  how  the  driver  was  not  responsible  for  the  remaining  18%  or  20%  cases ?  Further  if  the  driver  could  be  absolved  of  his  role  in  the  case  of  these  18%  or 20%  cases  how  could  he  be  held  responsible  (solely)  for  the  said  over  80%  of  accidents.  The  reason  for  this  doubt  is  that  hardly  any  driver,  while  steering  his  vehicle,  normally  would  crash  into  any  object  or  person  whether  on  the  Road  or  outside  the  road,  simply  for  the  hack  of  it.

From the era when Motor Vehicles Act was effected initially in 1939 or even when it was substantially modified post-independence in 1988, the dynamics of commercial goods and passenger road services has undergone a sea-change. The latest innovation is the All India Permit Scheme for goods vehicles.

Superintendant of Police of Bilaspur in Jharkhand, Rahul Sharma, reportedly sacrificed his life a few weeks ago for the sake of upholding  honesty and a clean conscience. In common  parlance, he committed suicide.  A day later IG G.P. Singh read out “selected portions” from an alleged suicide note in which Sharma purportedly complained about “such an interfering boss”. It is of no consequence that G.P. Singh, who was Sharma’s boss, was since moved to police headquarters in Raipur. Notably Assembly elections are due in Chattisgarh towards end of 2013.

Transport, admittedly, is most important component of development. Modes of transport, however, vary from water, air, road to rail. The last named is a class by itself, not only in India but world over. While all modes of transport have a ministry at the Centre to supposedly plan and promote their interests, it is the Railways alone which prepares and presents it’s own budget for approval of the Parliament. All other modes are taken care of by the Finance Minister of India through the General Budget.

By ARUP CHANDA, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,  East India Logistix.

Situation is not as bad as it used to be in Tripura, one of the seven sisters nestled in the north east. 

 

The four Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) insurance companies, National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance are reported to have set up in Kolkata on 10th March, a “common mechanism” for settlement of Motor Third Party claims. The “common mechanism” will seek a faster redress of third party motor claims on a mutual basis between the insurance companies and accident victims and their kins.

 

During the 13th Meeting of the National Road Safety Council prescribing Tenth Class pass was re-emphasized as the pre-requisite for granting commercial vehicle driving license. What, however, was found amiss was a discussion/conclusion which was worthwhile. Notably so, when we all know that the earlier minimum academic qualification of Eighth Standard pass was not achieved at all.