Monday, January 21, 2008

Cabs strike in Bangalore

Actually most yellow board vehicles like maxicabs and trucks are on strike. Why? The govern(or)ment wants to control the speed of these vehicles using speed governors - which to me is a stupid thing to do especially since it is being done for a particular class of vehicles and applies only to Karnataka vehicles. As it is bad roads and mad traffic keep speeds low. (Curiously, AP also wants to do something similar.)

Actually speed is not the issue here. The issue is bad implementation of rules. In Karnataka you can do anything on the road and pretty much nothing will happen. People argue with traffic policemen while they break rules, and often, get away with it. Most rules are barely implemented. Signals, one way rules, parking rules almost everything is broken with impunity. Maxi cabs carry a thousand people (like this) and they are basically old chariots fitted with diesel irrigation engines on a rickety cabin framework employing kids to shout the name of the destination. (how many rules broken, go figure)

Simple solution: Get a 100 cops from Mumbai on an onsite assignment of a month or two, IT style and they will make more money than Bangalore police ever did in a year.

In a city where public transport was good or half decent, this would hardly make news. But here, the city pretty much comes to a standstill. Schools declare off, offices (employees, really) are managing somehow and the only persons who are laughing all the way to the bank are the rickshaw drivers.

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