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Prioritise Right


How much understanding do police officers tasked with traffic management have of the subject before they begin implementing ‘solutions’ to problems faced by commuters? Every newly posted officer begins with ‘radical’ measures – mostly experiments in the effort it would seem, to make an impression. After a few months, things are back to ‘normal’, with most changes having made things worse. It is necessary, perhaps, in the new ‘chintan shivir’ culture and the openness to obtaining advice from high-profile consultants, that some sincere brainstorming is done on the traffic problems of every city based on genuinely researched parameters. One wonders why it is that all the initiatives end up making life more difficult for the ordinary folk. The world over it is an established fact that traffic conditions improve in proportion to the availability of public transport. Just imagine what the state of Delhi traffic would be in the present if there was no Metro. Unfortunately, this aspect is inevitably neglected and one needs only to look at the state of the Uttarakhand State Transport Corporation and the condition of its buses. The condition of private buses is even worse. Despite the demand for services, neither do they make money, nor do they provide good services. Then every wannabe do-gooder, on taking office, targets the lowly Vikrams and, now, even the e-rickshaws. Projects and initiatives are approved it seems on seeing the public funds that can be obtained to spend at one’s discretion. Even the constantly changing policies seem dictated by the possible ‘returns’. It is the common person who gets hit by all this. In contrast, the best advantage being taken of widening of roads and improved infrastructure is by the better-off sections who continue to buy bigger four-wheelers and taking up more space. Dehradun’s challenged road network has massive SUVs and such-like choking the roads, each usually with just one occupant driving aggressively with a huge sense of entitlement. If people are so rich, why don’t they also buy small cars for use just within the city? Unfortunately, this factor is not being sought to be discouraged. Considering the fact that this is easily the most aggravating problem, how about the cops begin booking all single occupants of large cars driving within the city limits that have local registration numbers? Don’t let the burden of reform fall just on the poor. Any takers?