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I came, I saw, I am Flabbergasted

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TrafficTraffic jams

Came to Bangaluru after living in US for several years and I was shocked to see that the Bangaluru traffic has gone from bad to worse. In a way, I am happy! Ok, Ok let me explain. You see, with my MS engineering degree from US and working in US in various industries for several years, I have knowledge and experience to find simple solutions to the transportation problems. But, I know that people will not be ready to listen unless they are in deep trouble.   So, I think the conditions are dire enough and people are ready to accept and adopt new solutions. 

I am not a lone worrier.  I would like to work with a team or a community. However, I saw the need to first understand the problem before joining any community to solve the problem. So, in last couple months I was here, I embarked on a mission to assess the damage. I criss-crossed Bangaluru in every means of transport and talked to commuters, auto rickshaw drivers, bus conductors and the general public about the problems and possible solutions. The problems ranged from most obvious ones bad roads, bad drivers to too many vehicles on the road and the solutions ranged from better infrastructure to more buses required. My assessment, there is good news and bad news. Bad news first, Bangaluru has reached a tipping point from where it will slip into extreme chaos. The good news is that if positive steps are taken immediately, it is possible to salvage Bangaluru from brink. 
 
Now that I had assessed the situation, I was ready to join an organization which is working towards solutions for common man’s problems and found praja.in. First thing I do when I research the organization is read their ‘about us’ page. Praja.in has the most insightful ‘about us’ page which is really about ‘us’. The most important point I noticed is that there are no names and it is truly a team effort.  Hats off to the Praja team for job well done. 
 
Before we can work on the solution, I would like to tell you a real incident, which changed my perception forever. Long time ago (1991) when I was leaving for US, my family, my parents, my sister and her children had come to drop me off in Mumbai. We had day’s time before my flight and we had been to the beach and were returning back to our hotel. We boarded the local train at marine lines and going to churchgate station. It was around 4.30 pm and the trains going towards church gate are empty and since it was only one stop to church gate, we were standing near the door. A person who was speaking in Mumbai accent, came and told us that ‘this is a virar train, so don’t stand in the door, go and sit inside and you will get ample time to get down’. We could not make head or tail of it and we ignored him and continued to stand at the door. After few moments he came back again and literally pushed us inside and kept saying ‘this is virar train go inside and sit’. This time we could not ignore him so we reluctantly went inside and sat. As the train was just reaching the churchgate station, thousands of people started rushing into the train shouting, pushing with all their might. People were falling, loosing slippers but, nobody cared. We all were new to Mumbai and from a quite small city called Bangaluru and we had never seen such a sight in our life time.   Apparently, virar is suburb of Mumbai is about 2 hours train ride from churchgate and people commuting there wanted to secure seats. That is why the rush. We realized what that man had done for us, he saved our lives. 
 
The moral of the story is that, in many situations, there is no time for explanation but for action and the action should be based on sound judgement, knowledge and free of any ulterior motive.   This is the kind of solution required for Bangaluru traffic. Swift action with a well thought out plan and knowledge. Over the next   few days, I would like to get involved with praja folks as much as possible and help find the right solution for the Bangaluru traffic.   

Comments

silkboard's picture

welcome back

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95 users have liked.

welcome back to Bengaluru, and welcome to Praja. Best way to get involved is simple and easy. Post your analysis, and specific solutions (specifc as in pointed, not motherhood or theoritical talk). Talking sense is the first step towards getting involved and engaged.

Look forward to hearing more from you.

mahesh706's picture

Hi ashfaq syed, You are

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107 users have liked.

Hi ashfaq syed,

You are right, after many years you came from US and see the pain in bangalore. The basic reason for this is the public, we the people.

When people come to US we follow all kinds of rules over here, while driving stopping on all stop signs, red lights and following all kind of rules. But, when we go back there we see the same old stories, same people where we follow all rules in US will not follow basic rules there. Waiting in the red light for 1 min is highly  impossible for most of us, we either jump the lights nor ride on footpaths.

We the people have to change Bangalore to a better shape.

Praja is doing a real good job.

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