Mumbai Mayhem

Check out this photo….I took it near Mumbai’s Santacruz East railway station from the 2nd deck of a double-decker bus on the 5th of June 2007 at 9:00 pm.

Now, look at this one.

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This is the situation of traffic in Mumbai. The two photos show the total lack of any traffic rules and regulations. Even the so-called educated upper class has no respect for the rules. Look at how the cars in the second photo are ‘parked’. These supposedly rich people don’t know even the basic rule of waiting in a line or queue. The Motorcyclist’s are the worst of the lot. They seem to be testing the physical theory of least packing space on the roads. Putting the front Tyre of the Hero Honda between the Maruti Esteem and the Honda City seems to be the most logical step in the experiment to them. The buses and the auto rickshaws are also one of the biggest traffic offenders. In the first photo one cannot even begin to imagine how the auto’s on the left are going to get out the tangle. Talking about bus lanes….there are 4 buses in the photo and mathematically it is totally impossible to draw a straight line through all of them or even three of them. Talk about transforming Mumbai into the next Shanghai…haan!!
The main reason behind all this mess is the total lack of implementation and awareness of rules. Forget about the poor auto rickshaw driver and the motorcyclist, I don’t think even all the the traffic constables are aware of them. Getting a license in India basically needs nothing (except money, of course). When I went for my license, they just asked me whether I know driving or not and that’s it, no testing, no summary of rules, nothing. One of my friends, who has a Light Motor Vehicle license, can’t even drive. Till traffic rules are rigorously implemented and the road infrastructure is completely overhauled, which it seems is never going to happen, I don’t think the entire situation is going to change.
O Lord Vishwakarma,(I believe, road traffic is your department) please please please…shower some of your blessings on us. Please, make this traffic situation better…