Monday, August 17, 2009

Driving in Bombay

India has the highest number of road accidents in the world-13 an hour. And the figure is only going to go up.
A motorist in Bombay truly suffers- from traffic jams, naka bandis, dug up roads, construction of flyovers or monorail, pot-holed roads, flooded roads,lack of parking places, towing away of your car, obstruction by tourist buses, BEST buses, taxis, rickshaws, hand carts, bullock carts, dogs, cows, garbage bins, garbage trucks, jaywalkers and even policemen who stand in the middle of the road or stop a passing truck.
Our pavements are either dug up or have debris lying on them for months, hutments, toilets for the hutment dwellers, STD booths, milk booths, Jhunka-bhakar stalls which sell everything but, extensions of shops or hotels, fencing off for growing plants, hawkers, cows, Municipal contractor's offices, police chowkies, dust bins, cars parked, basket makers, ganapati pandals, temples, offices of political parties and many more obstructions to their real use which is for pedestrians to walk on. 
The people of Bombay are forced to walk on the causeway exposing them to accidents by vehicles.
If rickshaws are not allowed on main roads, how come hand carts and bullock carts are allowed  completely blocking the flow of traffic? Is this a village?Isn't there a law against it? If so, why is it not being enforced? Rickshaw drivers and two wheelers have the worst manners and will go at snail pace in the fast lanes, cut lanes, stop in the middle of the road, disrespect signals, overtake from the left and generally make life hell for motorists
Taxis park any and everywhere, not at designated parking areas. even double park. thereby completely blocking roads.
The police carry out naka bandis without a thought for the huge snarls they might cause-not taking into account dug up roads, nor making an effort to allow smooth movement of traffic.
It is an open secret that politicians make huge amounts of money from any construction. Hence before an election, all major roads undergo some work leading to an impossible traffic situation-this could easily be done in a phased manner helping smooth flow of traffic.
Can't the BEST narrower buses that don't occupy half the road? and get rid of some that run empty? Further the BEST drivers are the worst road-hogs, cutting lanes, never stopping close to a pavement but right in the middle of the road, pushing other cars out-severe penalties should be laid on them and they should be taught some etiquette. garbage trucks are even worse-and dangerous too as is evident from the number of deaths caused by them.
Our pavements need to be freed of all the encroachments if people are to get some place to walk on. so that cars get some place to drive on. so that there is less road rage. and fewer accidents.

1 comment:

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