Take a Walk....... t

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pune - 1

The thing that struck me most about Pune on my first visit was the roads or rather lack of them. I can go a step ahead and say, There are no roads in Pune city. To elaborate more on that, majority of the roads in the city don't fit to be there even in a village let alone a city which aspires to the hub of manufacturing and technology. A 15-18 kilometer stretch from Kothrud to the Pune station can take anything between 1-2 hours. The reason being the roads that are not good enough for bullock cart to trudge along support thousands of vehicles and its not like that the problem is only at some part of the day, say something like a peak hour of the day. It's the same throughout the day, whether it is early morning or evening, you would be choked to death especially if you manage to be on a two wheeler, the most preferred mode of transport of Puneites.

There are some good roads but they can be counted on finger tips, namely the Solapur road and a stretch of Nagar road and couple of other odd names. But they are basically part of National Highways passing from the outskirts of the city.

The second thing that struck me the most was the traffic sense of the people out here. As per the best of my information Puneites on average are more educated/literate then people from other Indian cities or at least they proudly claim that. May be this literacy is the reason that they would score somewhere between 0% to 5% for the their traffic sense. The only traffic rules that the Puneites follow is none, So although there is timer at a signal people keep zooming ahead although signal has long gone read and stating the number of second it would remain red. You can take a left,right or a U-turn at your will or if someone is walking ahead of your vehicle its your duty to take the vehicle around him rather then he moving aside or else enjoy honking.

I would narrate a recent event that happened around a month back. I was on my way to passport office at Senapati Bapat road and being a traffic rule abiding Mumbaite stopped at a signal although there wasn't much traffic. Before I could realize there were people passing by cursing me, because I stopped at a red signal blocking their way.

I think I've said enough about the road and traffic scene in Pune, but there's a little more on it. There was a marked improvement in the condition of roads in certain parts of the city after the PMC received a lot of flak from the people and open criticism by the industry. But come rains and back to square one, the situation has again worsened so much that certain roads are just not motorable.

One last comment which recently a friend made on Pune drivers/riders(especially for one's riding bikes). The elders in pune drive as if the road is their's and they can move as slow as possible, anyways who's in hurry. The younger generation drives as if the road is theirs and they can move as fast as they wish, who cares if someone gets knocked off, to hell with them.


  • hmmn...Well, No comments on the roads of Pune from me coz I travel daily on one of the worst stretches everyday.
    And hell, I am gonna sue the BMC if I am going to have acute back problems by the time I reach 30 :-)

    About Pune not following traffic rules, well, apart from Mumbai, I have rarely found ppl following traffic sense anywhere. And I find the traffic sense in Mumbai too deteriorating. Especially, in Navi Mumbai. Traffic signals are broken at will. A look here and a look there, and if you don’t see a traffic policeman, then zooooommm you go.


    By Blogger HP, at 12:53 pm  

  • Hmmm... I was not comparing Bombay and Pune, the roads in Bbay are also pretty pathetic at this point of time.

    As for the traffic sense, the moment you cross the Vashi bridge the Mumbai traffice sense gets over and people start jumping signal's etc.

    By Blogger As If, at 12:56 pm  

  • i cant comment mach on pune road as i just went there for a very small time and be a year ago...
    but the thing u r talking abt is same in lots of cities in india.either its calcutta, lucknow or noida(which is also a munufacturing n IT hub)

    By Blogger shruti, at 11:21 am  

  • #Shruti,
    Have heard a lot about the fact that most of the cities in India don't really care about the traffic rules, but haven't visited many cities outside Mah. so not comment on them :)).

    By Blogger As If, at 2:03 pm  

  • Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

    This site http://driving-india.blogspot.com/ has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

    At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

    To watch the videos, interested readers may visit: http://driving-india.blogspot.com/

    The videos cover the following topics:

    Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
    Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
    Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
    Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
    Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
    Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
    Video 7: Merging with the Main road
    Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
    Video 9: Never Cut Corners
    Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
    Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
    Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
    Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
    Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
    Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
    Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
    Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

    By Anonymous http://driving-india.blogspot.com, at 12:53 pm  

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