On The Roads Of PuneBy Neeraj Shinde
"There is absolutely no traffic sense on the road and I really wonder that there are so few accidents!" exclaimed Dennis when I asked him about his experiences in India. Our discussion gradually turned towards the informal side after a 30 minutes long presentation. He hailed from France and it was his first trip to India. Dennis seemed to be amazed with what all he had came accross during his visit here. He had loads of questions but, it was the Pune traffic that kept us far off from the remaining topics.
"I've been travelling in the cabs here for almost two days and it is not less than a roller-coaster ride for me. Had it been France then I would have seen a hundered accidents by now." Dennis said. It seemed hard for him to contain the excitement. Did that mean that the city of Pune is full of skillful drivers? Nonetheless, I really found it hard to explain him how skillful the drivers and motorists in Pune really are! But, it is certainly not something the citizens of this city should be proud of. Skillful is a sarcastic word. Especially, when the city has been claiming itself as a knowledge hub for years, a lack of basic civic sense has been ruining the charisma of the place. I am very disappointed to see a complete lack of traffic sense among our citizens. More disappointing is the fact that they are the learned ones who are the rule violators. I have been travelling from Nagar Road to Hinjewadi for the past couple of days and have been finding it real difficult to drive following all the traffic rules. It is indeed shocking to know that most of them are IT professionals.
Here goes the lights yellow and there comes a pool of motorists fighting for every inch ahead to sneak out of the junction. The horns blow harder, and the one with a larger decibel level wins the way. The one who stops is assumed to be a stupid or rather unskillful. The light goes red. The smartest among them all notices a very few vehicles moving across the junction from the other end and heads hastily towards the other end. Certainly, he is never alone and is supported by a troop of followers. The RTO Cop enjoys this scene on the left. If he wishes, he grabs a couple of them and drags them aside. Grabs away his license, checks for the PUC certificate and other documents. If everything is in place, he still finds up some flaws and confiscates your document. The motorists pleads to get his license back. Some of them do not bother paying the fine. For a majority of them, the cop decides the bribe amount. Without any trace, money shifts the pockets. Crime for a crime - a good justice that is.
Is breaking rules now a part of our lives? How far does this sound good? I am not sure what to expect out of the local authorities but there is definitely a lot we can do at individual levels. Some minutes early or some years early, you decide.