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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

P-108L: Young LCA pilot goes on a solo with novel emergency traffic plan

By Tejas Test Pilot
I am overwhelmed by the response the trailer piece on P-108L generated in the last couple of days. Here’s the first part of my dream project.
Emergency Services: Emergency services in India comprise of any service that is required to be provided to an individual or a group of individuals in distress. In distress, the emergency services are required to reach a specific location immediately. The word ‘immediately’ implies that the service should be made available As Soon As Possible (ASAP). In any nature of Distress, the specific care required by the human-beings is Rescue, Medical and Security as elaborated below:-
1.1.       Rescue Services:  Rescue Services comprise of those services required to be provided in Natural and Man-made Disasters, as elaborated under the mechanism of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). These services are provided by Disaster Response Force (DRF), Fire Services and any other force that is tasked to undertake the Rescue Work.
1.2.       Medical Services:          Medical Services provide essential first aid and mobile hospital care at the location of the Disaster. These are provided by Ambulances, both from Government and Private Hospitals in the country.
1.3.       Security    Security Services are provided by mainly the Police, and where tasked, by other Security Forces as well.
2.            Means of Providing Emergency Services: In India, the Emergency Services are currently being provided through:
2.1.       Individual requests to nearest Police Station / Security Establishment / Fire Station and Hospital.
2.2.       Call on Telephone Number (Tel No) 108 provided by GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) in partnership with State Governments of some states. viz. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Chennai, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Assam Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh. This service is slowly being extended to other states as well.
3.            Hurdle in Accessing Emergency Services: The Emergency Services are available even on a phone call, but they still have to cross a major hurdle (traffic) before they can reach the disaster location. Enough instances and examples are available when a human life could not be saved due to delay in availability of required service caused by road traffic.
4.   AIM: The aim of this Document is to create a possibility for the Emergency Services to ply on roads irrespective of traffic. This Project is aimed to create an opportunity to bring prosperity, well-being and development for our countrymen.
5.   The Project (P-108L)
5.1.       In India, the general public opinion is “Human Life is very Cheap.” It can be sacrificed for anything. Anything means anything, be it for corruption, power, personal gains etc. etc. If we are to look at our country not at the level of community, but at an individual level, we realize that every individual wants his life to be filled with Happiness, Satisfaction and Fulfillment, be it a beggar on the street or the richest person on earth. That is why, at individual level, we show care for only those people who love us. Hence, the starting point for this Project is to shower love and care for those near and dear ones in our families. Taking this concept to the level of Communities, Society and Country, the Project is named “We Care for Your Life”.
5.2.       As mentioned in para 2, the Tel No.108 is being identified as a Common Number for providing emergency services in various states across the country. This service is being slowly extended to other states as well. Hence, the name tag – “108 Lane”.
6.   Purpose of the Project: The purpose of the Project is to enable the Emergency Services to move swiftly from one place to another inspite of the prevailing traffic on roads. Specifically, it is envisaged to implement the concept on all the main roads within a city with at least two lanes in one direction. It is not intended for implementation on the inner roads, bylanes and streets.
7.            Concept:     The starting point to implement this Project is implementation of road discipline, as laid down by the Traffic Authorities. This will create the access for Emergency Services to move swiftly to any location.
8.            Large Number of Vehicles: A large number of vehicles ply on the roads. This increases the traffic to a big extent, leaving no extra space for Emergency Services.
9.            Limited Space on Roads: Most of the main roads have two-lanes in one direction, leaving no extra space for Emergency Services.
10.         Traffic Jam: With the kind of Traffic Jams prevailing in the country, creation of space for Emergency Services looks to be impossible.
11.         Indifferent Attitude of People: People are insensitive to the requirement of Emergency Service to pass through quickly and do not provide appropriate space. Even if they want to, the traffic situation prevents them from doing so.
12.         Different Varieties of Vehicles: There are different varieties of vehicles plying on roads:-
12.1.    Non-Powered Vehicles
12.1.1.               Bicycles
12.1.2.               Tricycles
12.2.    Powered Vehicles
12.2.1.               Two-Wheelers: Motorcycle, Scooter, Mopeds etc.
12.2.2.               Three-Wheelers:  Autorickshaw, Scooter with side car.
12.2.3.               Four-Wheelers: Car, Bus, Truck.
12.3.    With the available number of vehicles and limited space on roads, the different varieties of vehicles get heavily congested on roads, leaving no extra space for Emergency Services to ply on roads.
Solutions to Existing Constraints
13.         The solution to all the existing roads is only one – Road Discipline. Implementation of Traffic Rules as designed is the access to provide space for Emergency Services, irrespective of traffic.
 14.         Lane Discipline: The Traffic Rules explicitly state the requirement to maintain lane discipline. If lane discipline is followed, 108 Lane can be provided as mentioned below.
14.1.    Organized Lanes: All the main roads are clearly marked to differentiate lanes. However, these are not followed as per the markings. Infect, two lanes are most of the times converted into three or four lanes by utilizing the space available in between two lanes as shown in Fig 1. This practice is required to be stopped. The number of columns of vehicles would have to be equal to the number of lanes on the road as shown in Fig 2.
Fig 1: Unorganized utilization of marked lanes

Fig 2: Organized utilization of marked lanes
Apprehension:  The number of vehicles on the roads is large. Organized utilization of Marked Lanes would result in these vehicles occupying a greater length of road.
Window of Opportunity: The apprehension is correct. And this is the access to allow smooth, fast and swift movement of traffic. The space available due to Organized Utilization of Marked Lanes enables following possibilities:-
(a)          While the vehicles would occupy a greater length of road, it would result in them stopping at a particular place for a greater duration. However, organized lanes would ensure faster movement of traffic, resulting in lesser fuel consumption and less polluted environment. This would provide confidence to the drivers that as the traffic eases out, they would get space to drive with an adequate speed that would neither tire them, nor be harsh on the vehicle machinery.
(b)         Creation of space for Emergency Services to move over the lane marking.
14.2.    Adequate Separation between Vehicles:  The vehicles maintaining lane discipline are required to maintain safe separation from the adjacent vehicle. However, this is not followed in India. Safe separation distance would allow the vehicles to get repositioned which would create space for Emergency Service Vehicle to pass through as shown in Figs 3 and 4.
Fig 3: Safe separation distance between adjacent vehicles
Fig 4: Emergency service vehicle passing in between two lanes
(a)          The number of vehicles on the roads is large. Safe separation distance between adjacent vehicles in organized lanes would result in these vehicles occupying a greater length of road.
(b)         Traffic Jam: There are two kinds of traffic jams prevailing in the country. (i) in which the vehicles move at a very slow speed for a long duration and (ii) in which vehicles remain at a static position for a long duration. In traffic jam scenario, this concept cannot be implemented.
Window of Opportunity
(a)          The apprehension is valid. And this is the access to allow smooth, fast and swift movement of traffic as mentioned under para 14.1.
(b)         Traffic Jam: In both the kinds of traffic jams, vehicles move on road bumper to bumper, resulting in slow speed driving, growing impatience, frustration, anger etc. over the situation of traffic jam. With the implementation of 108 Lane Concept, the vehicles would remain halted at a given position for a longer time, but whenever they move, they would move at a fast speed of approximately 50 kmph. Thus, the overall time spent in travelling would be either same as the present situation, or even lesser. It would also reduce fuel consumption, give better road mileage for our vehicles and reduce pollution in our environment.
15.         Result of Project Implementation: Today, we live in a better world because of our ancestors and previous generations. Similarly, this Project would enable our children and generations ahead to live in a stress-free and hazard-free environment.
(To be concluded with next part. The
piece is posted with minimum editing.)

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