Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This holiday season drive safely

Year end is here and so is festive season (Christmas is just few days away). We all will have social gatherings of family, friends and co-workers. Fun and holiday cheer will be ruling everywhere. But this also is the time to be a little careful. A lot of people will be out there to attend Parties thus there will be more vehicles on the road. due Higher number of vehicles combined with more people being under the influence of alcohol increases the possibility of mis-happenings. It is that time of the year when we need to practice some extra precaution and drive safely.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe while you are driving this holiday season:

  1. Never drink and drive because it is a dangerous combination. Drinking even in small amounts will affect your judgment.
  2. Decide on one person for every party who will not consume Alcohol. This person can take the responsibility of driving back to home safely.
  3. If you for any reason do not have a person who can be designated as non drinker for the day call a cab or a driver to drop you home safely.
  4. If you are hosting a party don't let your guests drive when they drink. Insist that they stay back at your place.
  5. Driving too fast ain't going to save any time for you. So Don't be monster behind wheel.
  6. Make sure that you and the passengers are wearing seat belts.
  7. Avoid using cell phones.

These tips will ensure that you arrive at your destination without having an accident. It is critical to drive responsibly because you may take every precaution yourself but you have no control on how others drive. Also we should avoid any road rage as far as possible after all road rage does not only cause injury it also spoils all your party fun. Make this season a happy holiday season.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Car Companies should come forward to help improving Delhi Traffic

Somebody asked me 2 days back to describe the problems I am facing living in India,I just replied expeditiously that “Traffic and Pollution is on top of my listand I am sure everyone at least who lives in metro city like Delhi must be facing the same. But the biggest problem with us is that we always curse India/Govt. for such issues. And this is wrong it’s not always the govt. to be blamed for, it’s equally “You” and “Me” “We have to stop it by ourselves”. You all may have experienced and seen many times on roads that people like to break the lane system (common form of traffic violation) and I am sure most of us don’t even know what the lane system is. We never hesitate to overtake other vehicles from left side which is illegal. And also sometimes it’s often happened to see on Delhi roads that people block the left turn even when it is free and some fools park their cars just before the red lights which makes that road more congested. It’s just indicating “City lack traffic sense”.

As I always mention in my articles that “Everyone is responsible for road safety so each should be educated by traffic rules and laws” However DTP have already been making efforts for spreading traffic safety materials/tips through organizing various programs, exhibitions, shows etc. But I am amazingly glad to know that our Delhi got a helping hand i.e. a Car Company Hyundai Motor India also helping in this regards and introduced a road safety program in 2006 known as “Hundai Traffic Squad” in association with Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) and Institute of Road Traffic Education. Its primary aim is to infuse awareness of traffic rules and regulations. It is a student traffic volunteer scholarship scheme under which young college and university students are trained and imparted knowledge about signaling, traffic control devices, road laws, types of road users and driving. They help the police in management of traffic for about three hours during peak hours because during these hours people rush to go home can cause pedestrian crashes and also help bus drivers and passengers at the bus stops by preventing overcrowding and jostling while boarding. I really appreciate this idea of Hyundai to educate people about traffic rules and regulations. This will not only make people aware but also enforce them to maintain road discipline by following traffic rules. These efforts may not solve the all problems but somewhere certainly help in improving road safety. Apart from Delhi, Hyundai is further thinking to initiate a similar scheme in other metro cities like Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Providing information is a benefit only if it is organized, processed and available in a proper way to the people and the same is what Hyundai is doing. I would suggest like Hyundai other car/automobiles companies (Tata Motors, Maruti Udhyog, Toyota and Hindustan Motors) should also come forward to improve Delhi traffic by promoting traffic awareness for road safety. Organizing road safety programs such as driving training, driver behavior can help in reducing accidents and control driver performance (cause high risk crashes). Books donation can also be a new creative tool to spread info. This in turn can provide a platform to conduct behavioral studies about the drivers which could be useful for new automobile designs. The Advertising mileage is an extra dividend that they get.

Recently 120 university students joined traffic volunteer’s scheme for 2010-11 and will support DTP during Commonwealth Games. It’s primary aim to assist traffic police during peak hours in traffic management and road user education. Walking/driving safely means we are being aware of traffic rules and laws. We should act before the situation becomes grave and we are left to contrite.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Speed limits on our roads and streets

“Breaking any law usually leads to unpleasant consequences but breaking a law related to speeding can lead to many consequences”Few days ago I saw a shattering news while reading newspaper that a child died after being hit by a car driven by a man who was driving very rashly at the speed of 80 km/h. Did I mention that he was driving in a street in residential area where a speed limit sign was also available? Shocked? even I was. I want to narrate a story that happened in front of my eyes. These three guys in their early twenties were riding a scooter on busy streets. They were at high speed (must be 60 something) and top of their Hooligan self when they crossed me. After a few seconds I watched them skid, fell down and surrounded by public. It took me roughly 2 minutes when I reached near them and saw that they skid because of sudden breaks they had to apply to save kids playing in the street. Yet they stopped only inches away from the kids. Now how safe is this?

What I can not understand is why people drive so fast crossing speed limit? Is it the excitement or impression of being good driver or fear of getting late to work (or to home). Whatever be the reason but the same reasons can put people in danger. So here primary concern is about the safety of the public including the driver from speed causing accidents. We all must understand that vehicles on the roads are allowed to run under a ceiling of speed limit.

However in India the idea and implementation of speed limit looks like an alienated concept. The authorized body has fixed maximum speed limits for different classes of vehicles at a national level like within town it is 50 km/h, for highways it is 80 km/h and there is no limit defined for expressways. The maximum speed limit for rural inner state is 90 Km/h. As speed vary by state and vehicle type so Delhi govt. has also fixed 60 km/h for light motor vehicles like cars/jeep/autorikhshaws etc. and 40 km/h for all heavy motor/transport vehicles including TSRs. According to ASP (Traffic) N S Ahlawat, the idea behind this is to ensure smooth flow of traffic and safety of the pedestrians. Not only this, to regulate the speed of motor vehicles on the roads of NCT of Delhi, Mr. Prabhakar (Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic Headquarters) been dictated speed limit of vehicles on the city roads. Know more about these speed limits here. There can be debates on whether these limits are right or not but before that we should abide by these limits.

Well Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) already is enforcing these limits by using cameras integrated with radar devices to snap the picture and license plate info and by putting Speed Limit Signs on the road sides. DTP is also in process of procuring night speed radar guns. These will help to catch motorists for speeding even after sunset, though the same is expected to be introduced only after Commonwealth Games in Delhi. One thing that I have found missing here is proper communication of these limits to the general public. How many of you knew about these limits prior to reading this post. The proper signage need to be put up not only the roads but on major streets as well. The drives for educating the public and enforcing law need to be taken up by the Delhi traffic police. We should not forget the streets when enforcing this law specifically because many such accidents happen on the streets. But above all enforcements we the drivers will have to understand and take the oath to drive sensibly. I would love to hear your input about this.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Paying My Traffic Chalan

They are right when they say "Nobody is perfect". Everybody makes his own share of mistakes and pays for his own share of penalties. Thus I also paid for mine. Last month while taking my son to the Hospital when I took a right turn from Aurobindo Marg, I was stopped by the traffic policeman. Seemingly I crossed the road the moment when traffic signal just turned Red. Though in my opinion I turned before it turned red but that is a different debate which I had with the constable there. My fate was not on my side as I also could not find the photo copy of my cars insurance policy though it was berried in the papers (you pay when you don't sort your papers). I was slapped with a 1100 Rs. penalty which I had to pay at Patiala House courts.
So this Saturday when I started for Patial House courts I was expecting some time to be wasted during the day. Guys do you wanna take any guess how much time I spent in this process? Well I came out of my parking lot and there I was in the jam at the traffic signal out side the parking lot. It took me 7 minutes to cross this signal and I reached the courts. What amazed me reaching there is that there is no Parking in the courts. On asking a Traffic inspector, outside the courts, about the Parking he told me "there is no parking. You will have to park along the roadside." So be it I found a vacant space and parked my car there (parallel to the footpath). I had to report to the Room No. 20 and this is where a pleasant experience started. My chalan receipt was taken and I was told to wait outside until they call my car number. My turn arrived very soon. The Magistrate (I don't remember his name) was a gentleman. He was patiently listening to what people had to tell. I was ordered to pay Rs. 100 as fine I paid and got my License back. So now if you still haven't guessed the time taken it took me total of 50 minutes right from starting to reaching home. Yes from home to home in 50 minutes flat which includes 7 minutes halt while going and 10 minutes while coming back at the signal right outside the parking lot.

I have written this post to quash out all sorts of images of haggling in the courts. If didn't felt a need to pay any tout to get things done fast and easily, you wont either. I have already told that how gentlemanly and patient was the magistrate. Best part is that the whole process didn't actually take more than 15 minutes. Guess India definitely is progressing towards a better governance system.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

No Honk Challenge

Last year in April I wrote a post "Horn Not Okay Please", where I No Honk Challengerecommended noise pollution level in Delhi is too high, so we should honk less often. Last week one of my ex-colleagues argued that it is practically impossible to drive in Delhi without honking. Though I suggested
to honk less and not go down to zero but this brought up the thought to test how practical is it to drive in Delhi without Honking at all. Thus I took a "No Honk" challenge.

No Honk challenge means I will be driving to my office (23 Km one way) and back without reaching to that big button in the middle of my steering wheel. This means braving the traffic intensive areas like Badarpur and Kalindi Kunj among others. Do you think it is possible? Some say not possible at all while some other believed it is very much possible. Kanwaria RushInitially I thought of trying it for one day but later decided to extend it for 1 week. So the challenge started on last Thursday and I'll have to admit that the challenge started with a honk as soon as I started my car (damn this honking habit). But believe me I didn't even look at the horn for even once for the entire day after that. The next day was a bigger challenge I was subjected to the construction related diversions and also Kanwaria (Holy road trip on foot by Lord Shiva devotees) rush. But things till now have gone smoothly. I have driven close to 350 Km and in all have pressed my horn only 5 times. This include 2 times when I honked in parking lot when this guy standing in driveway refused to move and once when I started 10 minutes late but wanted to reach office 10 minutes early (did you read my post "Sure way to avoid traffic on the roads is to start early"). Now I know you would be wondering how many times I reached office late. Any guesses? I reached late to my office in total of 0 times.

I know there are some morons who will just honk because of no rhyme or reason. Some even take responsibility to invent some kind of music out of the noise (read that honking). But for more reasonable ones, I did an analysis for reason which force us to honk. In this No honk drive for a week I was frustrated, on some occasions. Lets talk about that guy who was the reason behind 2 of my 5 honks. In the evening when I reached parking lot, this guy was attending a call on his cellphone standing right in the middle of the driveway totally unaware of the risk he took over his life. God bless such idiots. Same is the case when someone stops in the middle of road, may be coz they wanna count the stars in day light.

A common reason we delhiets face is when the vehicle in lane next to you, overtakes wrongly, switchesBus Tand on T-Junction lanes and jumbles whole lane in order to win the race with an unknown vehicle. Having this bad habit of driving so that they block 2 lanes (or as I say driving in Opportunity Lane) gives them an opportunity to swerve across multiple lanes. I have one more classical case to frustrate drivers. People using a T-Junction as the bus stop and buses obliging them. What you don't believe this? Just see the picture.

So next time when you complain about so much of noise pollution on the roads just be sure that you are not being the reason to add some more. Following are some points I suggest to help Delhi fight this noise pollution.

  • Be attentive when you are on the roads.
  • Do not swerve across multiple lanes.
  • Slow down and look for traffic before you merge in the road coming from a by-lane or street.
  • Start early to get less frustrated.
  • Don't be a speed monster behind the wheel.
I have lost the challenge but I have understood 1 thing how much unnecessary honking we all indulge in. But it would be unfair if I don't credit those guys who are considerate and genuinely honk less. My friend @hapharzd is one such guy who called me up and said how much he agrees with honking sensibly and he himself think twice before honking.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jaywalking on the rise in Delhi

First of all, I wanna say one thing that “If you know how to break a rule then you must know how not to break it too”. You all must have seen somewhere on the road, people usually cross the road at random locations other than a cross walk or cross the road when a traffic signal tells not to cross, this is commonly called “Jaywalking”. It’s unacceptable and pedestrians are supposed to cross the road/street/highway at the area which is designated for them but some pedestrian still prefer jaywalking, cross wherever they want and whenever they decide. The questions which are popped up in my mind that “Are they fool or too lazy to walk to the nearest crosswalk or don’t care what rules say and not even think of their life?” As it looks so stupid that you are driving and someone can see you driving towards him/her but still start crossing the road, that is really unacceptable. And with such attitude of pedestrians, driving is becoming difficult for motorists.

What they think? Jaywalking isn’t dangerous? Ofcourse it is, because motorists don’t expect jaywalkers to be crossing the road in the middle of the block. Jaywalking is putting pedestrians and motorists equally in danger. Jaywalking is not a criminal offense whereas hitting someone with your car/bike is.

In metro cities like Delhi where pedestrian traffic at it’s peak, jaywalking is commonly being seen everywhere as it appears to save time for you. But believe me it actually don't. And it looks, instead of car being a danger to pedestrians; pedestrians are now dangers to cars. Although DTP (Delhi Traffic Police) has enforced a rule under the section 28 of the Delhi Police Act, against all jaywalkers by which they will have to pay a fine from Rs. 20 to 100, still more than 900 pedestrians a year fail to make it to the others side and killed by the city drivers (as per DTP record). Delhi traffic police took up the “safe pedestrian week” drives twice in since last August. But have we learn something out of it? I seriously doubt. How many times we see the whole group of people jumping on the road in front of you when you are crossing a signal especially when you signal is green. I read somewhere that in UK it’s legal to cross all the roads except motorways, While there also it is suggested to “cross using a subway, a footbridge, an island, a zebra, pelican, toucan or puffin crossing, or where there is a crossing point controlled by a police officer, a school crossing patrol or a traffic warden”. In other countries like USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and others, jaywalking is commonly considered as infringing and the penalty is usually a fine and in Singapore the maximum penalty is 3 months in jail. Large hoardings are used with “Caution No Jay Walking USE CROSSWALK” symbol to educate the pedestrians.

Well there is a system called “Traffic lights”. These help pedestrians and motorists to let them know when and who has the right of the way. If any pedestrian fall down while on crosswalk, people would be there looking for them but if they do it while jaywalking, It would be difficult for a motorists to avoid an accident. Thus we as pedestrians also need to understand to respect motorist's right to use the road. People should use subways and foot over bridges. Always use the Zebra crossing at the signals/crosswalk. I my opinion the Authorities should take Pedestrian education drives more often. As much as I hate to say but section 28 of Delhi Police Act (against jaywalkers) needs to be enforced strictly for habitual violators.
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Roadside Liquor vends increasing the troubles for public

I was walking towards my home after parking my car (I use a public parking), when I crossed a liquor shop. The Vehicles were parked haphazardly, The 4 lane road was reduced to single lane by the vehicles of the customers, parked on the road. Traffic was just crawling. This is an everyday scene in our neighborhood.

In view of Commonwealth games Government has given an okay to sell liquor in shopping malls. But What I want to ask is what is being done to ensure that this revenue generating business do not generate the Nuisance for the public. Should there be not a rule stating that a liquor vend cant be operated in a area where there is not enough parking space. Also there should be a police constable deployed outside every liquor vend to ensure no drinking on road is allowed. This is a normal practice that the guys would stop their cars (or Bikes) buy a pint of beer open and enjoy it on the road only. Have we not seen it every time we have crossed any such shop? Now should we allow these people to drive after they drink? Its too risky.

This creates multiple problems. The cars (and bikes) are parked on the road leaving only a quarter of the road for people to use. Another problem is once the people have had their beer and start feeling light headed few spoilt brats would try to pickup the fights. This all is happening because Delhi police is short of staff (or that's what is told all the times). Liquor vend is too busy serving the customers that they cant put someone to stop people from drinking outside the vend. Even the shops nearby, do not bother to ask these drinkers not to drink in front of their shops. The space outside these shops becomes the open air bars for them. These shops and hawkers supply snacks and cold drinks so they do not want to loose their customers. And why not? The law leaves every opportunity for defaulters to escape from it. A shopkeeper who is actually providing snacks and even the plastic glasses can easily say I can stop from drinking within my premises but not outside it.

What I suggest is any shopkeeper outside whose shop people are found drinking should be legally bound to register a telephone complaint and ask for help to remove these drinkers. If he do not call the cops he should be fined. Public should be encouraged to make such complaints to the local police station. The telephone number of the local police station should be written in big font outside the liquor vend along with its license number. Even today we have rules that says “no liquor vends are permitted to be opened at a distances of 50 meters from the main gate of a place of worship, educational institution and place of public entertainment”. Police should do random checks and enforce a heavy penalty on those who drink on the roadside and to the shops or vends who allow such behavior.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Pelican signals to facilitate pedestrians to cross roads safely

First thing, I would like to say that ‘Everyone is a pedestrian because everyone does walk as part of their means of getting around, no matter which mode of transportation they happen to be engaging in’.

In today’s world, we all have to be somewhere at specific times, therefore the road traffic is growing rapidly on regular basis and causing increase in fatal road accidents. So to face up, Traffic Signals are introduced as the solution to all accidents and traffic control.
Most of times it happened to see that Pedestrians are forced to wait endlessly at busy junction to cross the road and they take the risk to cross the road and ‘yes’ that risk can convert into an accident and sometimes it happens. But no worry, a tool called “Pelican Signal” is here to help us to overcome these situations. Though the Pelican Signals have been installed at various crossings in Delhi a little more than 3 years now, but public is yet to know that such a concept exits.
Pelican (Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossing) signal is a definitive light controlled crossing signal that features a set of traffic lights (Green Man & Red Man Signal) with a push button, operated by pedestrian for crossing. The controls to operate the light signals are on the pedestrian’s corner while the light signal for crossing is on the other side of the road. So if 4/2 wheelers are taking too much time at the signal, the pedestrians can press the button at the signal to cross the lane. When you want to cross, push the button to activate Pelican and if, Red Man signal appear on the other side of the road, do not cross and wait for the Green Man Signal to appear, but if, green signal begins to flash then you should not cross if you have already started you should have time to finish crossing safely. At some places audible Pelican with warning sounds are installed for visually impaired to safely cross the road without assistance.
So obviously, it would reduce the ‘wait time’ that pedestrian have to spare for crossing the road and once people will know the usage of Pelican there will be no question of chaos or accidents. We just need to spread awareness about it.
The Pelican Signals have been installed at more than 46 crossings in Delhi including Shanti Van, India Gate and Ashram Chowk. And I think, it is very important step taken by Delhi Traffic Police as the system had considerably reduced the accident toll of pedestrians in countries like US and UK among others.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Electronic Parking Meter should be introduced in all Parking Lots by Delhi agencies

Today, Our Capital is reeling under a severe parking crisis at parking lots because parking in Delhi is often a pain at varied places like Hotels, Metro Stations, Shopping malls, government offices, because of the exponential growth in number of automobiles at unbearable rate for the corresponding space to park them at ease. In fact today MCD has only 143 surface parking sites which can accommodate approx 15,000 cars as against 60 lakh registered vehicles in Delhi. There can't be any ban on buying cars but 'Yes' there is always a thing called 'Management' which is made for and comes out for rescue to manage any messed chaotic system.

Parking is not about creating more space but optimizing its usage. The strategy behind parking is to manage the total available space and implement time limits for parked vehicles. How many times you people said that we don't want to go for shopping and it is just because there is no parking space in parking lots. There is no space because of lack of well managed system. "Electronic Parking Meter" can be a great tool in managing parking lots.
An electronic parking meter is a device used to collect money against parking a vehicle in a specific place for a limited time. A timer is set in the meter and display on the meter displays the remaining time. This helps people to move their cars within the allotted time. The credit card or smart card swiping option cuts the wait for the parking slip. When implemented properly it can support identification of unoccupied space and vehicles can be guided towards it. Through this, Govt. can also charge people who park their cars on public space on a street. It reduces the requirement of manpower for managing parking. Apart from it, people go on vacation and works around 8 hours per day only, so these issues will obviously be overcome by Parking meters so it also reduce the personnel cost.
Authority concerned Delhi Urban Mass Transit Authority (DUMTA) can consider proposing these meters for the welfare of traffic society and this will lead the current parking system to a more orderly and manageable parking system. Services like this will surely be another milestone in an aware developing country like ours.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

3 Es of road safety Engineering, Education and Enforcement

How many people of us have experienced the fatal experience of getting almost into an accident and the very next moment thanked god by closing eyes for a sec for saving us from getting into a catastrophe? How come these situations happen to exist in our life? Reason might be the error on the part of us or other road users. No matter what, the incident still pamper n lingers our mind later when we relax at home or when we have nothing else to think about but only highlighting incidents of the day. And we assure ourselves not to get into the situation again if possible at par.

But as they say "life doesn't always give you second chance". It's good to learn from mistakes, but it can't be every time the reason or excuse for learning, to be a decent player on the road. Today there is a need to focus on few things about technical aspects of road safety, a need to revisit 3 Es of Road Safety which is an acronym for three major aspects Engineering, Education and Enforcement.

It is observed everyday a lot of people get injured and killed because of road accidents. And these accidents occur mainly due to pesky road conditions.
Today we have got modern equipment, facilities and lot of other engineering marvels to make our lives a lot safer on the road. But there is always, lot more left to do to keep up with the standards or norms of technical road aspects. For instance in practical consideration, wider markings consistently produce improvements in lane keeping discipline on highways. We need to work on the concept of forgiving roads. It is the concept which ensures minimum danger to a road user even in event of accident. A lot needs to be reconsidered and improved upon.

Another aspect for road safety is to educate people about the best practices, guidelines, regulations. Because one would follow a guideline or law only if he knows that guideline or the law. Press and media can help us in this regard. Documentaries, films, booklets and posters apart from other online and offline mediums can be made use of to improve awareness. It is imparted through the exploitation of the Do's & Don'ts from the time a person gets in touch with the road arena. In Delhi; Delhi Urban Mass Transit Authority (DUMTA) is the nodal authority to tackle the capital's chaotic traffic. DUTMA and other agencies like Delhi Traffic Police should take up the responsibility for the awareness programs. And moreover Campaign presentations and Publicity & radio Advertising will do even better.

Higher authorities, traffic wardens and police are responsible for the system to come in force. Police enforces and law courts are responsible for penalizing the person not making upto the rules criteria and so allotted with traffic chalans or penalty and fines to be payable, which acts as a learning lesson for offender for future awareness. Enforcements are generally implemented in the formal ways through "Targeting Crash risk areas", "Extra Patrols on Roads", "Speed Cameras" and much other which may include Road fatalities Ambulance, Special Police duties among others. The stricter we implement the laws the safer we will make the roads. No corruption should be allowed for the enforcing authority because there is simply no scope of it.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Increase In Road Tax On Two-Wheelers Purchased In Delhi Is not Well Thoughht Decision

Delhi Government recently decided to increase the road tax on the vehicles registered in Delhi. As per the plan the rate for cars, priced up to Rs.6 Lakh is doubled to 4%, for cars between Rs.6 Lakh and Rs.10 Lakh it is upto 7%, while for cars costing Rs.10 Lakh road tax is 10%. It is very high when compared to existing 2% of the vehicle value but I still believe it is the right step taken (with wrong thought process though). What concerns me more is that the road tax percentage for two wheelers has been increased to upto 6%. As per the plan prepared by Delhi Govt. (Pay attention Ms. Dixit) two-wheelers costing up to Rs.25,000 will be charged the existing 2%, while those costing between Rs.25,000 and Rs.40,000 will now attract 4% and those above Rs.40,000 will be charged 6%. I am just curious how many two-wheelers in Delhi today are available for Rs.25,000 or Less. Do you remember Luna (or Loon Naaa), even Luna costs Rs.25,000. Thus what essentially Delhi Govt. has done is increased the road tax rate for practically all the vehicles.

In Ms. Dixit's view the step will discourage the use of private vehicles. So if the road tax is increased there will be reduction in the purchase of vehicles thus lesser traffic. Well by this logic raise the food prices there will be lesser obesity (oops did I trigger another price rise?). They work on the concept of "Discourage use of private vehicles" while the concept should be "Encourage use of public transport". Provide a better public transport and people will automatically leave their cars behind. I have earlier also written about the same subject and today after I have spent a lot of time thinking, still stand for this logic. God please forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Delhi Traffic Police goes social with Twitter and Facebook accounts

When I joined Twitter and started following people apart from my colleagues, friends and some industry leaders I searched for the concerned authorities in various departments, especially Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) and the road and transport ministry. But I was unable to find someone. Online is very a good medium to connect with the people who are concerned. Then I read about Delhi Traffic Police initiative in the newspaper and was happy to know that the department is looking to come closer to the people who wish to contribute. The only problem was the newspaper did not tell the URL for the traffic police profiles on the social media. I thought of searching it twitter/Facebook. Twitter was no luck but I could find Facebook page for DTP (that is one of the reason for me to write this post).

Click here for Delhi Traffic Police facebook profile. Through Facebook(FB) they plan to provide information about new plans, initiatives and challenges, and also make the users aware about the traffic situation in the city besides seeking suggestions, reactions and views from citizens. At the time of writing this blog the count of the people who liked DTP Facebook page was 1,231. People are posting a lot of queries and suggestions on the wall of the page and also being amazed by the fast response from Traffic department. I saw their responses till as late as 10:00 PM in the night (on the day I joined their FB page). Some critical information like the URL of DTP suggestion page on DTP site, Contact Email ID and the call-center phone numbers were missing from the info tab of the FB page. Another thing that I found here (FB page) is links to other social media profiles (twitter) missing. Photos tab show the photos of DTP personnel in action (also the image of TSR complaint campaigne). In the discussion forum they have displayed four topics including 'Delhi Tourist Police', 'Guidelines for Foreigners Visiting Delhi', 'Traffic Management during Commonwealth Games' and 'Safe Pedestrian Drive by Delhi Traffic Police'. Hope to see a lot more topics there. There is an additional tab called "Boxes" which carries all the links shared on this page. I sincerely hope to see a sea change starting with this initiative.

Though hunt for DTP twitter handler did not return any thing on tweeter search a status update on FB worked for me. I asked about the tweeter handler on FB and a page fan (sorry I still call it "Fan" and not "Like") replied back with Twitter ID for DTP. The ID is @dtptraffic. DTP says that through twitter the plan is to provide real-time updates of any traffic snags due to events, processions, rallies, road congestion, accidents etc. The History tells it started on 14th May, already has 254 followers and tweets an average of 5 tweets a day. People are interacting with DTP and in some cases are actually being creatively funny. For an instance on 3:10pm, May 19 @libinmb tweets "Beware delhi police in twitter @dtptraffic to controle the twitt traffic:)". The expectations from the social profiles of DTP are very clear from all the posts and updates. These are i) More and more updates (@rohitdass updates "at this rate of 6 hourly updates there would hardly be any use of them updates") ii) Platform to get evaluate and implement suggestions and iii) Provide the details about lesser known traffic laws.

At the end I would say it is really heartening to have our Delhi Traffic Police come up an age and embrace the Mediums of today's generation to communicate with them and being open to take all those bouquets and brickbats. All we need to see now is how far they go with it because the opportunities and options are unlimited.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Remove the obnoxious autos from Delhi roads - Why?

All sorts of discussions started when our CM Smt. Sheila Dikshit suggested "that autos will be phased
out of Delhi roads once Government find alternative to three-wheelers.
" Well this is a small question I want to ask the Janta of Delhi what actually is the issue? Is it auto or Auto walahs or their behavior? Ask from me I'll say their behavior. So if that is the case will replacing autos with some other form of vehicle or transport system resolve the issue?

Well No alternate vehicle is going to resolve the issue. Replace it with Radio Taxi, as someone suggested in one of the blogs, but keep the drivers; Pooff what do you get? the same old issues of passengers being hackled. May be a different transport system could be the answer to the problem. We will have to devise a way by which Govt. can ensure that no Autowalah (let me call them Autowalahs only at this point of time) can over charge, refuse to take you to your destination or refuse to go by meter. Delhi Government really need to rein in the autos.

For this Govt. will also have to tackle the problem of Auto owners exploiting the drivers. The Badges and registration of Auto in the name of the driver are two good measures Delhi Govt. has taken in this direction. But how far has it implemented these measures? Now this is only a hunch but I believe that not more than 20% of all auto walahs have Verified their permits and received new badges from the Authorities. Please correct me if I am wrong. I'll be more than happy to be wrong on this one. 
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dont be a monster behind the Wheel

Friday night I was returning home from my office in my car and was stuck in a bad traffic maybe because if the evening rain. Hoooonnnnnnnk Poonnnn Hoooooooonnnnnnkkkkkkk and then Screeeech stopped a Hyundai Accent right behind my car. Honk Honk Honk Beep Beep Beep this guy was really impatient. I moved to the next lane, he found some space to slip in and Honk Honk Honk again. He kept honking speeding with full paddle to plug the gap and Honk again for the next car.

Now I would give him the benefit of doubt and assume he was carrying someone who needs immediate medical attention. But how many of such cases daily are really carrying a patient to the hospitals. I guess most of them are not. It’s only their Adernalin rush in more than 90% cases. Well have we ever thought about the negatives of it? Well let’s start with the amount of fuel you burn with this accelerate break accelerate break accelerate break. When we are using too much of that accelerator paddle mileage of your car actually decreases by as much as 25%. What! You are big shot and fuel prices don’t bother you much, remember fuel reserves are limited but I guess that also won’t bother you much. Okay your rash driving can prove dangerous for others. How dangerous? Well dangerous enough to kill someone. Kill a loved one, may be a son or a daughter or worse, the lone bread earner of a family. How does that affect you? Imprisonment could be one reason. But then yes you might have the connections at the top positions which could save you from the prison. But what if you get hurt? Can your connections ensure that you don’t? Do I need to go even further to count more evils of that rushing Adernalin. Just think once before you step on you Gas next time. Drive safe. Read more!