Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

It is not that simple !

Times of India ( 30 Jan ) carries following news :

HC wants to know how many people have more than one car

 ‘ Do Buyers Have Parking Space For New Cars ? ’

The Bombay high court on Monday directed the Maharashtra transport department to furnish data on how many persons in Mumbai had more than one car registered under their names.

The bench asked the authorities to submit details of vehicles registered in Mumbai in a day. The judges sought to know from the state government and the BMC about steps taken to verify if new buyers of four-wheelers in the city had sufficient parking space for their vehicles.

“ There is tremendous pressure on local infrastructure. You are depriving an ordinary person who cannot afford a car from even using the road as there is no space for pedestrians to walk,” said Justice Patil.

 “ Already, there are over 32 lakh vehicles in the city. You cannot allow the situation to worsen."

The court suggested once again that it was necessary to put restrictions on persons who buy new vehicles.

“ Individuals are buying more than one car. You should place restrictions and permit registration of a new car only if the owner proves he has place to park it.” The bench, headed by Justice Patil, had made the suggestion in 2015.

Advocate Sharan Jagtiani, appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist the proceedings, pointed to an affidavit where a deputy town planning officer had mentioned that legislation is pending before Parliament to make it mandatory to show availability of parking as a pre-condition for registration of vehicles.

The bench said the city needs more parking spaces. “Mumbai needs more multilevel parking lots ? There is no reason why restrictions in place in other cities on the entry of vehicles cannot be placed in Mumbai. Think about vehicular pollution and the impact it has on the health of children,” the judge said.

The court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on February 2016. Raiyani cited press reports to point out that while the vehicle count in Mumbai had increased, the city’s length of roads had remained constant at 2,000 km for many years.


There can be no argument about the need to reduce traffic congestion and vehicular pollution in Mumbai / Maharashtra / India

It is also very clear that the “ Long Term “ solution lies in “ Efficient Public Transport

There may even be some case for various “ Short Term “ measures such as :

·         Restricting entry of outside vehicles

·         Restricting only ONE CAR per family ( - or , was that “ one car per person “ ? )

I urge all the stake-holders to examine PROS and CONS of each solution , in light of the following views / arguments :

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, said on Monday it plans to make live traffic predictions and recommendations to increase traffic efficiency in Kuala Lumpur by crunching data gathered from video footage, traffic bureaus, public transportation systems and mapping apps

POLLUTION SOLUTION , aka " PollSolv " [  30  Dec  2015  ]


One Car per Family ?  [  27  Sept  2016  ]

A Knee Jerk Approach ?  [ 22  Dec  2016  ]

Un-Implementable Laws : Unstoppable Corruption [ 20 Feb 2017 ]

Internet of Vehicles ( IoV ) ?  [  04  Mar  2017  ]

Urban Transport Policy  [  09  June  2017  ]

Why don’t they park in their flats ?  [  01  Sept  2017  ]

A Trail-Blazing Urban Transport ?  [  22  Sept  2017  ]

Parking Mess ? It will get worse !  [  01  Jan  2018  ]

31  Jan  2018

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

PM says : Look East

When Shri Modiji says , “ Look  East “ ,  it is for a good reason

Following news reports prove his point :



Around 6.7 million children below five years of age in Maharashtra are inhaling particulate matter (PM10) that is above the permissible limits set by the law, revealed the second edition of air quality report in India by Greenpeace India on Monday.

The report also said 1.4 million of these children are exposed to twice the pollution standards.

Additionally, 2.6 million children live in districts where there are no air-quality monitoring stations.

Exposure to high levels of PM10 — they are fine harmful solid and liquid particles floating in the air with a diameter of 10 microns — leads to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and premature death.

 “It’s time we understand the sources of pollution. While India does have guidelines for outdoor pollution, we need to study indoor air pollution, which is a much-neglected issue right now that has no prescribed emission limits,” said Avick Sil, regional director, Environment Policy and Research India, who was not part of the Greenpeace study.

“Similar to measuring ground-level ozone, there is a need to also study particulate matter at the ground level. A comprehensive air pollution mitigation policy can be thought of only if we look at both forms of pollution,” he said.

Across India, about 47 million children below 5 years live in areas where PM10 levels exceeded annual air pollution limits, including 17 million children under the same age in areas where pollution levels are more than twice the prescribed limits.

The latest version of the Airpocalypse II report, which analysed PM10 annual average of 280 cities across India with a population of 630 million, found that in 2016, none of the 24 cities and towns across Maharashtra with air quality monitoring facilities complied with the annual PM10 air quality standards set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Six of the 24 locations recorded annual PM10 levels twice the permissible limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) by CPCB, and almost seven times above the standard of 20ug/m3 by the World Health Organisation.

Nanded recorded the highest annual PM 10 levels at 151ug/m3, followed by Dombivali (140ug/m3), Mumbai (130ug/m3), Akola (123ug/m3), Badlapur (122ug/m3), and Ambernath (121ug/m3)

In addition to Mumbai, the annual PM10 levels for other major cities of Maharashtra stood at 117ug/3 at Thane followed by Pune (99ug/m3), Nashik (86ug/m3), Nagpur (82ug/m3), Navi Mumbai (93%), and Panvel (118ug/m3).

“This report, which is second in the series after last year, once again raises an alarm for regions like Maharashtra where the air pollution situation is already at hazardous levels and increasing day by day,” said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Dahiya added, “Cities like Mumbai should lead by examples of not being on list of most polluted and unhealthy cities to live in, but in being the cities where clean air, environment and health is prioritized to provide better quality of life for public.”

In 2017, the MPCB, based on the National Clean Air Programme, started the process of formulating an action plans to mitigate air pollution for multiple cities in the state. “We have had consultation meetings with various stakeholders and agencies such as municipal corporation, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay. We are in the process of drafting an action plan,” said VM Mothghare, joint director, MPCB.

The Greenpeace India report used monthly PM10 data for 2016 from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and 65 manual and continuous air quality monitoring stations. The report found that 23 states had no real-time air quality monitoring data available to citizens – highest real-time coverage was found in Delhi followed by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.


Beijing, which suffered heavy pollution for years, plans to spend over 19 billion yuan (about $3 billion) to reduce air pollution in the Chinese capital this year.

It marks a yearly increase of 590 million yuan, according to statistics released at the on going annual session of the 15th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress.

The money will be used to control pollution sources such as coal, vehicles and dust, and to support projects to replace coal with clean energy in rural areas, according to a draft of the 2018 Beijing budget report.

The smog-prone Chinese capital has intensified measures in recent years to improve its air quality. So far this year Beijing has more clear sunny days than compared to the previous years though smog reappears when there was no heavy wind.

In 2017, Beijing switched 901 villages from reliance on coal to clean energy and phased out nearly half a million out-dated vehicles.

Almost no coal consumption takes place in Beijing’s six districts and its southern plain areas, state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

The average density of PM 2.5 in Beijing was 58 micrograms per cubic meter last year, meeting the target set by the State Council, and 20.5 per cent less than in 2016.

According to the municipal congress, Beijing plans to invest more than 67 billion yuan for environmental protection this year in sectors such as air pollution, water and soil improvement, as well as integrated garbage treatment.


Dear Shri Devendra Fadnavisji ,

I have no doubt you too could bring about even better improvements if you make up your mind to save millions of young lives

And funds cannot be a constraint, considering that Mumbai Municipal Corporation is sitting on a pile of cash – Rs 74,000 Cr ( approx. $ 12 billion ) – as fixed deposits in various banks ( - earning Rs 7,000 cr by way of interest , annually )

There can be no better way to put this to use !

31  Jan  2018

Aadhar : Supreme Asks : What if ?

Today’s DNA carries following news :

Justice Chandrachud remarked and asked advocate Shyam Divan :

·         This programme is not just the envy of North Korea but also the World Bank

·         The positive aspect of Aadhar is that for the first time there is a citizen-centric delivery of services . This is exactly the part of Aadhar that has been appreciated by economists

·         Let’s not stretch it too far. Ultimately we are all part of a highly networked World

·         The involvement of the Indian Government in developmental programmes is higher

·         The NHS ( in the UK ) may be an exception, but there is nothing like an MGNREGA there

·         The profiling of people and their private affairs cannot be allowed

·         What is the scope for misuse in the future ? That is important. But we cannot discount that the government can’t use it to ensure the identities of beneficiaries. If the aggregation is only for purpose of social welfare benefits, will that not pass muster ?

Dear Justice Shri Chandrachudji ,

There is no doubt you are bored listening to the same stale arguments re “ Privacy of Personal Affairs

But you are obliged to give a patient hearing to the advocates of the petitioners

That does not stop you from asking them to view the following video of the famous theoretical physicist , Dr. Michio Kaku , before the next date for hearing :


And , in case the advocates are wearing any FITNESS devices on their wrists, they may also want to find out what the ENTIRE WORLD knows about their private lives , by reading :

Strava’s fitness tracker heat map reveals the location of military bases 





I think it is time to admit that :

Privacy will be an alien concept by 2020

Committee on proposed “ Data Protection Law “ ( headed by Shri B N Shrikrishna ) would also benefit by going through these links


31  Jan  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs


Monday, 29 January 2018

A Welcome Nightmare ?

While addressing the cadets of NCC last Sunday , Shri Modiji said :

“ People used to believe that the rich and powerful are never touched…… it is no longer so

   They are being brought to book . People who served as Chief Ministers are rotting in jail for corruption

No one guilty of corruption will be spared

Youths of India refuse to accept corruption. 

The fight against corruption and black money will not stop

This is a fight for the future of India’s youths  “

Dear Shri Modiji ,

For people who have lost all capacity – and desire – to dream , even a nightmare is welcome !

And if you manage to bring about the kind of nightmare that my following email ( sent to you earlier ) describes, then people of India will reward you with 400 + seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections :

In his book “ 1984 “ ,George Orwell imagined the nightmare of the State surveillance of private lives of the citizens of the World

I envisage year 2019 as a nightmare year for the politicians of India

Look at following news appearing in today’s Times of India :

“ Govt to set up 12 spl courts to try 1,581 MPs and MLAs 

Highlights :

·         228………. Members of Parliament to be tried in two special courts

·         13,500 … Approx number of total pending cases

·         1,125 ….. Number of cases that each special court will have to decide in a year

·         242……..  Number of days trial courts normally function in a year

·         4.6………  Ave number of cases per day, each special court will have to dispose off


I assume that ,

·         it will be May 2018 , by the time these Special Courts start working – more than 4 YEARS after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to set up these courts

·         these “ Super Efficient “ courts will refuse to grant any “ Postponement Dates “ to the accused and not only conclude within ONE HOUR ( whether the accused was guilty or not ) but also announce the VERDICT , on the spot ( remember , 4.6 cases / day ? )

·         there cannot be any “ Appeal “ against the judgements of these special courts

·         some 365 MPs / MLAs ( out of those 1581 accused ) will be found GUILTY

·         the Speakers of the Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha , will get court order copies within 7 days

·         the Speakers will disqualify , within 7 days , those MPs / MLAs who are declared guilty and who have been handed out sentences of 5 years or more

·         the Election Commission will receive these “ Disqualification Notifications “ in 7 days

·         the Election Commission will announce re-election dates within 30 days for seats falling vacant

·         these Elections will start from Dec 2018  and stretch throughout 365 days of 2019

·         to ensure proper / timely availability of Election officers / police / EVMs / polling booths / presiding officers / school-teachers / transport etc , spread over 28 States , no more than ONE ELECTION will be conducted PER DAY ( - for each of 365 days of 2019 ! )

I had envisaged this scenario , as far back as MAY  2014 , in :

2019 will be a nightmare year , not only for the politicians but also for the voters !

But it will be a bonanza year for :

·         Newspapers ( Advt earnings )

·         Outdoor Publicity Companies ( Hoardings )

·         Helicopter Companies ( to ferry candidates / campaigners )

·         Truck Rental Companies ( to ferry voters )

·         Event Management Companies ( organizing Sabhas / Rallies )

·         Printing Presses ( printing of pamphlets / brochures / posters )….etc

Karl Marx may have said , " Religion is the opium of Masses "

In India , it seems , " Elections are the opium of the Masses " !

In 2019 , expect  DEMOCRACY  to  be working  24*365 !

Only cause for worry :

In all of these cases against the “ Rich and Powerful “ , will CBI do a better job than what it managed in 2G cases against Raja / Kanimozi  ?

30  Jan  2018