Tag Archives: public transport

On dealing with fuss-tration

So for those of us who thought that frustrated, naive and aggressive car drivers are a caricature, Hey we at Kafila found one just for our readers.  He is loud, aggressive and fuss-trated as they come. Read on …

The wonderful thing about blogging, I am told, is that it allows everyone to publish their opinions.  At times however, forgive me for saying this, I wonder if everyone should.  My most recent reason for this harsh indictment of the blogging world, is based on this recent post titled “This is what the fuss is about (you twit)”. The title stems from a spot of witty wordplay on one of my recent posts.

The “you twit”, I might hasten to add, is not my addition. it is the author’s impression of my arguments.  While his post is reasonably, if somewhat naively, argued; his frequent abuse stems, perhaps, out of the need to get his blog read. Or maybe it is a style that is much appreciated by his readers.  I will however, thank him for his incisive – if somewhat excessively enthusiastic – critique of my work.

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Of “Killer” Buses and Car Lobbies: The Coincidental Death of the BRT

The sustained campaign by the elite press to jettison Delhi’s first mas transit bus system has been remarked upon and documented on Kafila. Today morning’s newspapers carries news of an accident in which 32-year old Poonam Sharma was killed as she tried crossing the road and was hit by an oncoming bus. Delhi’s record when it comes to road safety is abysmal and this is yet another instance of the the terrible and tragic fate that befalls many pedestrians every year on Delhi’s roads. What is interesting though is the way in which accidents on the BRT are reported compared to the reportage of other road fatalities. Here are some headlines from the recent past:

BRT Corridor Claims One More Life

BRT Delhi: Death Toll Continues, Pedestrians Blamed

Delhi BRT has it 10th Victim

BRT Claims another Life: Woman run over by Bus

Continue reading Of “Killer” Buses and Car Lobbies: The Coincidental Death of the BRT

So what was that fuss about?

Pleased with its professionally executed hatchet job on what is probably Delhi’s first real public transport endeavour that incorporates the needs of pedestrians and cyclists apart from bus users, the press seems to have forgotten the BRTS – moving on to search for other programmes to torpedo. But what was the BRTS fuss all about? Read on …

“’Experts’ order serial rape of Delhi Roads” screamed a particularly tasteless headline, in a national paper, of an article that claimed that the entire city shall be subjected to “gang-rape by greedy contractors with the benign blessings of rootless experts and supine babus.” In another widely published English newspaper, the editor in chief spoke out fearlessly against the “brutal enforcement of licence-quota raj on our roads”, denouncing what he saw as the “cynical and expensive exercise in enforcing a new kind of ideological socialism.” In another op-ed carried by the same paper, another piece spoke out against the “elitist” nature of the same project. “The masses want to drive,” noted columnist Saubhik Chakravarthy,” So reducing road space for private vehicles is ultimately elitist.” Judging by the vicious vendetta unleashed by the mainstream press, one would assume that the mild-mannered professors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, had committed a crime against the state, rather than have designed the latest addition to the city’s mass transit system.

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Counting Lights

This is a simple exercise in basic arithmetic that will help us reach some rather basic results, the results might be a little unexpected but simple arithmetic is known to have indulged in such pastimes on other occasions as well.

There are around 3000 Blue line buses that ply on the streets of Delhi, and aside from terrorising the general populace off the streets, sending around 150 citizens of Delhi to meet their respective makers they are also known to occasionally ferry passengers.

It is now public knowledge that most, if not all, these buses are owned, benami, by local politicians and, as the expression goes, their near and dear ones. The fact that these killers are allowed to hold an entire city of close to 14,000,000 to ransom is not entirely due to their being politically correctly related, though that helps, it is mostly because of a well organised system of preventing diligent government servants from the discharge of their duty.

The government servants being thus prevented are gentlemen who have promised to be “with us for us always” [the motto of Delhi Police, for the information of non-Delhi people] (I am personally extremely happy that they are being prevented from discharging their duties towards me). The fellows want so dearly to serve us but are systematically prevented by the drivers and owners (Ds & Os) of the aforementioned vehicles. What can the poor fellows do, every time they want to rise to our defence the Ds & Os or their representatives show them some magical papers and the potential do gooders freeze in mid stride!

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