Friday, May 05, 2006

The new sign on the highways

I have written more than once on Indias national highways, the Golden Quadrilateral and similar upgradation programmes. Recently, I drove on the Bangalore Mysore highway, which really is nothing more than a 4 lane road with dividers. Why this is big is because just a few months back it was a two lane road without dividers. There is no access control, which means, technically, you can find yourself behind two bullock carts or tractors trying to overtake each other (like I did) blocking the two available lanes. Trucks or buses can hog the fast lane at a sedate 30 kmph. You can also find a bullock cart, tractor hurtling at you in the opposite direction. People can sleepwalk across the road in a manner that will put absent minded professors to shame. Pity the state of Indias highways. Also, the road is not entirely 4 laned yet. The towns and villages are still to be covered and it doesnt look like that will happen in the near future. My take on this, why not lift the road above these towns and villages? It will be cheaper than land acquisition and more beneficial. Why not fence the rest of the parts of the road between towns? Thats a rant for the future and while I can blog about this for the rest of my life, there really is a lot to be done.

But, look out for a new sign on Indias highways. 24 hour petrol pumps from Reliance. It is almost like a new sign for trust. In a place like Coorg, the petrol pump was open at 6 am on May day, quick service, toilets with water, instant billing, automated filling - all the stuff which is otherwise difficult to find.


AkaRound Peg said...

Good point. In India we desperately need freeways where highways are separated from casual traffic and reserved for vehicles that can move at speeds of upwards of 100 kms.

Shops and commercial establishments should be strictly banned on highways and arterial roads.

Look at New BEL Road. Its an arterial road clogged with traffic cause in large part due to the various retail outlets on the road.

Jatin said...

I saw quite a few of these between Delhi and Dehradun a year ago. Though not quite the same service as u mentioned since it was a rural area. However, the journey was not fun, it was like you mentioned about the previous highway, just a two lane road with a bunch of bullock carts blocking the way every 15kms.

Scott Fish said...

This is a really cool site!

Ive been trying to find several india related blogs before I travel to Mumbia this summer.


- India Fashion Week

Anonymous said...

Why do you guys think India needs more freeways? The majority of the people don't have money to buy cars, forget two-wheelers. Build freeways for the rich?

Why not talk about the more people oriented, less polluting and less gas consuming options like mass transit? At least for the big cities.