About Nikhil BugaliaNikhil Bugalia is a capacity building and training associate at ADBI.
In India, the project to build the country’s first 500-kilometer high-speed railway (HSR) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is underway. For comparison, all top 10 economies in the world except the United States have constructed several HSR lines in the past 30 years. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) alone has built nearly 28,000 kilometers of HSR in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, opinion makers in India are expressing contradicting views, questioning whether it is suitable for the country to develop expensive infrastructure such as HSR.
As we are increasingly relying on technical innovations to solve some of society’s most complex problems, technological advancements such as artificial intelligence are contributing to new, modern modes of transportation, especially to enhancing safety. However, technology is only one of many critical factors for safety, and there is a need to understand the other factors.
Since its inception in Japan in 1964, high-speed rail (HSR), and its impact on the economy, has received attention from policymakers worldwide. Early HSR development was more of a race to go faster, and the early success led policymakers around the world to believe in the power of HSR for catalyzing growth.
The “out of sight, out of mind” attitude is proving to be critical for the slow progress toward target 6.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on global, safely managed sanitation. There is a general lack of awareness among users on the whereabouts of their poop, and the discussion on wastewater management is scarce and still a taboo topic in many parts of the world, leading to a lack of safely managed sanitation services. Besides the lack of demand hampering progress, the supply side of wastewater management is equally grim.
By Nikhil Bugalia. Posted October 25, 2018
The most exciting part of my journey here at the Asian Development Bank Institute is that I get to meet inspiring leaders who have contributed immensely to helping solve the pressing challenges related to sustainable development. This time it was an interaction opportunity with the world-renowned “Mr. Toilet”, i.e., Mr. Jack Sim. If it were not for the efforts of Mr. Toilet and the World Toilet Organization (WTO), the United Nations would not have recognized 19 November as World Toilet Day, an effort by the global agency to mainstream the discussion on wastewater.
By Nikhil Bugalia. Posted August 27, 2018
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and, more importantly, the citizens of India have acknowledged that the country is undergoing the “worst water crisis” in its history—and they are making commendable efforts to address it. They have proposed a comprehensive index to create awareness and to enable effective water management for the Indian states. In June 2018, NITI Aayog, the premier think tank for the Government of India, proposed the Composite Water Management Index, a tool to assess and improve the efficiency of water resource management.
By Nikhil Bugalia. Posted August 17, 2018
Leh, a high-altitude cold desert in India, is a popular tourist destination hosting around 250,000 visitors annually. At present, the poorly designed septic tanks and soak pits installed by households, hotels, and guesthouses to contain fecal sludge are posing a serious threat to groundwater contamination. To cater to the demand for fecal sludge management (FSM), the Municipal Committee of Leh (MCL) partnered with a private company called Blue Water Company (BWC) and a technical nongovernment organization named BORDA in 2017 to provide an end-to-end FSM service, including pit emptying and operation of a sludge treatment plant.
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