Monday, July 9, 2007
1. Some of the roads are one-way in morning and two-ways in afternoon.
2. Some of them are closed for contractions for months, which create massive chaos.
3. There are hardly any provisions of street lights in National highways; however huge toll fees are collected in many places. Highway should be of three lanes either way, but max it is of two lanes.
4. After the rain the pits and holes are often created in the big roads.
5. Sometime the drives in normal roads are compared to some fun rides, car damage and punctures are very usual things.
6. In the streets of city, there is hardly any lane concept; cars are choosing the virtual lanes randomly at their wishes.
7. Sometime traffic lights are not functioning; in most of the cases traffic signals are not present in major crossings.
8. Directions and information are almost not maintained; even the exits from city, the directions to airport/stations are not there which is absolutely solicited.
9. Very few flyovers compare to the demands.
10. The road conditions in the countryside are even worse, narrow and peach less.
And some facts.
1. Five out of seven recent deaths of IBM India employees caused due to road accidents.
2. On the way from Khragpur to Kolkata(130 km) on 03.07.2007, I have seen four massive accidents, where the vehicle lost control either because of rainy weather, or drove mistakenly.
3. It was a horrible experience for me as the visibility was very poor in night and the massive downpour or rain made it rather difficult to see what next after 5 meters. I was scared by the tempestuous wind above a semicircular bridge, where I almost couldn’t see the edges of the bridge. Fortunately I survived but the absences of street light always foster the probability of accidents.
4. However I reached Kolkata safely, I found it not safe for driving, not because of the reckless drivers, but for water bogged poor state of the roads after the rain, which looked like virtual canals.
5. Everyday in road accident at least few people dies in Kolkata, one of the recent victims is grand father of my friend, passed away couple of months back after being shoved by an small vehement auto riksa. Sahib Singh Verma, ex Delhi CM died in accident recently. Hundreds of accidents take place everyday across India, and thousands more survives luckily or by intuitions of the drivers.
The situations are really horrible. But is it really because of the deplorable road conditions? No. Here go some more observations.
1. Even though some roads have lane concepts (by white markers) people used to drive in the middle of it, to take the advantages of both lanes.
2. Every one is in rush in the city and not ready to leave space for anyone. “Blow Horn” if you want to pass someone in India, in contrary developed countries are minimizing the use of horn.
3. Traffic rules are not that strong in case of accidents and defaulters. Manipulations are encouraged by traffic police to violate rules. Poor qualities of materials are used for the road constructions, again the tenders/contracts system are under the vicious circle of corruption.
4. Process and rules are made to be broken, that’s the mentality of maximum public taxi/auto/truck drivers. They are not educated enough to follow the traffic rules. Even the common people cross the road anywhere they want.
5. Foremost there is lack of projection from state govts, which is clearly proved by the statistics that only 8% of the whole are roads in kolkata which is much much less than the standards.
So basically the problem is in out characters, attitudes. The infrastructure and facilities can not change the country unless the people change. The same person drives his car differently in Europe/US and in India. In fact I do the same sometime, because I am an Indian, a typical Indian!!