Monday, July 20, 2009

The Painful Truth

Some of us wonder why India is not developing fast enough. With the recent opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Mumbaikars have been going into a tizzy calling it one of the city’s greatest achievements and an urban national landmark. Whatever it may be, this is just a drop in the ocean when one considers how fast China was able to build an airport for the Olympics not to mention the rest of the infrastructure. At the end of the day it is attitude and discipline that makes the difference.

Can technology be the much needed catalyst for change? Perhaps. Apparently electronic tolling akin to that found in cities like Singapore where toll is automatically deducted from a pre-paid card for vehicles that use the bridge is going to be put in place. This should reduce traffic snarls at the toll gate.

Another innovative invention came to mind the other day while I was walking home, that might teach Mumbaikars a thing or too. Traffic in Mumbai pay little heed to pedestrians crossing the road. This can be quite annoying as even though the light is green for you to cross, you find cars tearing down on you at break neck speeds. Solution? Some form of punishment seems to be the only way, yet the Mumbai police force is too overstretched (or too lazy?) to implement a fine for everyone who jumps a light at EVERY traffic signal there is in the city. So the ingenious idea yours truly had was to lay spike strips on every intersection which lowered whenever the lights turned green. Try to jump the light and yes you are likely to shred your tires.

This will need to be supplemented by a system of barriers which actually prevent a speeding vehicle from crossing into the intersection with shredded tires which would cause more harm. Still if such a system was in place then maybe people would respect the rules of the road more. It would also take care of those pesky cyclists who think the traffic light isn’t for them and who flaunt every traffic rule ever written and go scot-free every time. Truth of the matter with the amount of corruption in the city this is never likely to happen and there are always going to be ‘light jumpers’. Still we can dream.

1 comment:

  1. Rubik - two points:

    1. It is a technological landmark, and leads on that front. Lets not dispute that. While it was being built - I too had my apprehensions about its efficacy and hence the number of users. But I am pleasantly surprised, and would now advocate for the BWSL. It can save about 90 minutes of your travel time at a cost of Rs.75/-. Its valuable my friend, and when you add the cost of fuel and the pollution saved. WELL it is a WINNER.

    2. Discipline and Democracy do not travel together, and thats why there were innumerable delays resulting in the cost of the project escalating to 1600 Crores+ more than four times of its original projected cost. And yes Discipline and Democracy allows you to jay walk - its FREEDOM OF THOUGHT THAT CONVERGES INTO ACTION. lETS CONTINUE CELEBRATING, Cheers!!