Arrived into the impressive Indira Gandhi International Terminal to temperatures in the high 20s – somewhat of a culture shock! Less surprising was the massive BMW advert which greets you at all major low carbon hubs nowadays.
This evening I had the chance to meet with alumnus Arnab Roy (2007-08) who has worked for Atkins in the UK and then back in India looking at Personal Rapid Transit opportunities. Most recently he has been working for Embarq on a BRT implementation project in Indore (http://embarqindia.org/node/96). The complex institutional structures have made delivery a real challenge (a judge recently ruled that any four wheeled vehicle can use the ‘dedicated’ lanes). Early patronage figures are promising however!
I was then hosted for a dinner by Dr Sanjay Gupta and his lovely family. As well as being treated to a range of spectacular local dishes, I was able to exchange with Sanjay on urban transport priorities in India, the 29 year history of urban metropolitan transport agencies (with still relatively limited implementation). I also got a great insight into the festivals that go on around this time of year (having narrowly missed the Diwali celebrations) and the importance of family even in mega city life.
Tomorrow sees the all day seminar where I have two slots and a panel role – so earning my keep I hope. I’m interested to see whether what I think is interesting to share on institutions is what the local experts also think is important.