Date: 3rd May 2021, Monday, 6:00 PM India on Zoom
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Everyone pays a very high price for mobility in Bengaluru. Incredible traffic snarls cost precious time, money, infrastructure and public health, and substantially erode the ‘salubrious’ quality of the metropolis. With an astonishing 0.8 to 1 vehicle to population ratio, Bengaluru metropolitan area is amongst the most fossil fuel dependent urban spaces globally. Air quality is significantly deteriorating, resulting in severe health impacts, especially for the poor and marginalised. The pandemic has worsened the situation by increasing dependence on private vehicular use, as Bengaluru Metro witnesses substantial slide in ridership and Bengaluru’s Bus receives no additional investment. Walking and cycling, major modes of travel in the city till the 1990s, are now seeing a revival, though inadequate infrastructure and safety pushes public interest off the road to make space for even more cars and motorbikes.
This is causing road widening and expansion of road networks, displacing and disrupting inner-city and peri-urban populations, destroying tens of villages in the hinterland.So what does it take to make it possible for anyone to walk, cycle or take public transport from anywhere to anywhere else? How does Bengaluru get off its high dependency on private vehicular use, make way for non motorised transport and minimise vehicular pollution? Is a transition to electric vehicles the answer?
Dr. Ashish Verma, Convenor, IISc Sustainable Transportation Lab
Mr. Ashish is the Convenor of “IISc Sustainable Transportation Lab. He has a Ph.D. from IIT Bombay and is currently serving as Associate Professor of Transportation Systems Engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering, Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation, and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He has authored more than 195 research publications in the area of sustainable transportation and road safety. He has also authored a book on “Public Transport Planning and Management in Developing Countries” along with Prof. T.V. Ramanayya.
Mr. Mahesh Kashyap, Air and Noise Pollution Expert
Mr. Mahesh is a consultant and has worked with a number of government and private organizations in Bengaluru. He worked as a visiting scientist in IISc and a consultant with MoEF. His expertise is in air and noise pollution issues, climate change, teaching and training, health risk assessment, and outreach activities. He was formerly a senior engineer with the Department of Environment, Government of Canada. Prior to that, he was associated with various levels of consulting services in the USA, advising clients on environmental issues.
Mr. Vinay Sreenivasa, Bengaluru Bus Prayanakaea Vedike
Mr. Vinay is a member of the Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike – a coalition of groups and unions which are working to ensure that bus travel in the city is affordable, inclusive, and easily accessible to all sections of society. Vinay’s areas of interest include urban transport, urban poverty, the informal sector, and urban governance. He has also been part of initiatives promoting free and open-source software in the government. Vinay is also a member of the Alternative Law Forum.
Mr. Sheshadari Ramaswamy, Naturalist and Conservationist
Mr. Sheshadri has been practicing forestry, silviculture, and biodiversity enhancement over the last two decades in drylands, rainforests. His work is focused on practical forestry, applied research, and experimentation in forestry techniques. He has deep expertise in the ecology of forest trees of south India. He was trained under Sri SG Neginhal IFS, in forestry, ecological study and practice, and is sought after as a field advisor to graduate and doctoral students of biodiversity.