Monday, August 27, 2007

The killer blue line buses in delhi

The blue line buses are everywhere. And from the everyday news, it seems that they are killing people on the fly. Crushing a pedestrian, or a cyclist or a motorcycle rider.

Some days back, i had the option of riding one of the buses. And i realized some things which though i had noticed earlier - but it did not strike me.

The problem - to me seems like more of an infrastructure & mindset problem than that of blue line buses. People in delhi think that they are invincible. They have the mindset that i am the king of the road and no one else could do anything to me. Instead of thinking about the situation as a whole, they would prefer to be at the top of it.

So what happens is firstly, there are no footpaths and pedestrians are forced to walk on the road. Earlier people used to walk at the end of the road, but now-a-days, people tend to walk more to the center of the road and since the number of vehicles are ever increasing in delhi and the roads always remain of the same width, people tend to drive more towards the end of the road. And lo, you have people being overtaken by honking cars and buses. And the people who dont look behind when they walk become the victims. If we would have had proper footpaths and pedestrian crossings then i think, the situation would have been much better.

To add to the ever increasing traffic and the narrow roads, now comes the Delhi-Metro, the construction of which makes the road even narrower - so narrow that sometimes it is even difficult for a single bus to pass through it. Of course - this would cause jams and increase the frustration level in the daily commuters.

The attitude of bikers and cyclists are even peculiar. Bikers tend to overtake you from the left - always. And they would zoom between buses and cars. All ads about zippy 150 cc bikes also show the same. I also confess that sometimes i would also zoom between cars, but ofcourse taking every precaution. But there are people who would like to squeeze in between cars and buses and zoom ahead. These are the people who neither care for their life nor for the life of others.

Recently i had an incident where an uncle on a scooter zoomed past the back of my car - collided with the back of my car and fell - in-spite of my constant honking. If he would have waited for 2 minutes or would have kept a bigger distance between my car and his scooter while zooming, he might have saved himself a fall and saved me another scratch on my car.

The problem to me seems that everyone is in a hurry to reach his destination. And the narrow roads and traffic jams, dont help a bit causing people to move ahead where ever they see a possibility. No one drives in a proper lane. Lane changing is very common. The only aim is to move ahead.

The bus i sat in a few days ago, was trying its best to avoid pedestrians and cyclists honking now and then to make space for it to move ahead. And still he had to brake hard for a hero on the motorcycle cause the hero overtook from the left and zoomed ahead from a very narrow space between the bus and some cyclists.

It is not the blue line buses which should be called "killer". It is the government and the infrastructure which should be called "killer". The government has given us smooth roads but the roads are too narrow for the kind of traffic delhi has. The government has not planned proper footpaths & pedestrian crossings. No one believes in staying in the same lane while driving.

No matter what you do, the autos always overcharge. They ask for thrice the fare and settle for double fare. And they deny driving to the destination, if they dont get at-least twice the fare. And this again adds to the delay in reaching one's destination. And frustration level keeps on increasing among commuters.

It looks more like a chaos...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow! for once someone is saying something different. thanx.
i travel in blue line buses everyday and i also agree that we cant blame them entirely. the drivers do make an effort to drive safe, although exceptional cases are always there. a thousand people die everyday becasue of road accidents but all we do is look at one side of the picture.