One of the reasons why we never reach on time for our commitments is heavy traffic on our roads. For a journey of approximately 4 km, sometimes we end up spending about 45 minutes to an hour on the road, whereas the ideal time required should not be more than 20 minutes.
So what exactly are the reasons for the extra time we spend on roads waiting rather than using that time to do something productive?
Let us analyse the problems and find a solution for the same.
Problem: If one finds clean roads in India, the first thing that strikes our mind is whether some state head is visiting our locality. Yes, the only time we find our roads without potholes or well tarred, is usually when we have some dignitaries visiting.
The moment the first rains come, they bring potholes and bad roads with them. These bad roads result in countless hours spent in traffic.
Apart from the bad roads, another problem that we face is bad road planning. Sometimes we have a good stretch of roads which are about 100 feet wide and then these roads suddenly at one point, become about 50 feet wide. These badly planned roads result in long traffic jams at certain bottleneck points.
Solution: The government needs to use better materials while building roads. Alas! Even after 70 years of independence, we still find it difficult to use good quality materials for our roads. Most of the times, we think after we act and the poor planning of our roads is a reflection of that.
First, we build a road, then the municipality decides to dig the sides, then the telecom companies want to change the underground wiring. Then there is some problem in the underground gas pipeline.
Why is it that only in our country, most roads are half blocked for repair work. I guess it is high time that our government decides and works towards being more systematic.
Problem: India is probably one of the few places where you would find vehicles parked right under the ‘No Parking’ sign. When a person goes to a mall, they are expected to park their car in the parking space provided, but we feel that it is more important to save ₹50 and instead, park our cars haphazardly on the main road.
Who cares about the traffic jams caused eventually? When the width of the two-way road is only 50 feet, we are still very adamant on blocking both sides by parking.
Solution: When the pay and park facility is available, please use it. Do not park your cars unnecessarily on the side, and reduce the width of the road that is already narrow.
Problem: We all have our favourite hawkers on the side of the street or behind the bus stop, who are also our friends since along with our favourite food, they also serve us love and local gossip.
These hawkers unlike your local restaurants, do not have proper seating arrangements or a kitchen but use whatever is available in the surrounding. Unaware of the inconvenience caused by their set up, we just gather around our favourite hawkers for the food we love so much.
Solution: Every once in a while, certain areas are declared as no hawkers zone but even despite that, these hawkers are back in business within a few days.
Just like we try to avoid paying for parking, these hawkers avoid rent too, so they set up their stalls on the street. The people also find it convenient that they get their daily requirements on their way home, but forget simultaneously that this arrangement is also the reason for increasing traffic jams in our localities.
Problem: If you just stand at any traffic signal, you can observe that cars move more during the red signal than they would have moved during the green signal. When you halt at a traffic signal, you are supposed to wait before the zebra crossing so that pedestrians can cross the road, but a lot of us halt our cars only after covering the zebra crossing but also end up blocking the other lane.
Solution: Even if we learn to stop our cars before the zebra crossing, I feel 90% of our traffic problems would be solved. In our hurry to go, we end up making a two-lane road into a four-lane road and block the opposite side.
Problem: Festivals come once a year and you only get married once in your life, so why bother about blocking the road while offering prayers on the roadside, or carrying processions with horses and animals, or dancing to your favourite song on your best friend’s wedding.
Solution: Your God will protect you and love you more if you do good to mankind by helping them and not by creating obstacles. Your best friend will still stay married, even if you don’t dance on her baarat.
Problem: The moment we come to know a VVIP will be visiting the city, the roads are cleared and then we see empty roads at a streach. Well, what about the traffic jams that will be caused later when the people have been delayed? If our leaders do not commute like us how do we expect them to understand our problems and find a solution for it?
Solution: Stop this VVIP culture.
This is what I feel about the traffic problems in India. Do let me know how we can further resolve it.