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Letters to the PM – 2. I dream of the autobahn 



Dear ModiJi, 

Yesterday while driving from Sagar to Hyderabad, we thanked your government profusely, because the terrible stretches of “no road” between Nagpur and Adilabad have all been relaid and now a MIG can land there too … Just that the pilot has to be more experienced as the roads are winding :). It’s proof that roads are being made faster under your government than the previous one. We wondered aloud why the stretch near the railway gate at Hinganghat doesn’t get rectified. This is our 5th trip across these roads and for the first time we were able to drive without being exhausted. I do want to share my post from the March trip as it has some pictures and I have videos that I can share of the road condition then. The road to heaven goes through hell

We travelled to Himachal Pradesh in April-May. The only thing we didn’t like there were the roads – there was hardly any road that was worth driving on !! The locals blame the Jaypee group and other hydro power projects for the state of the roads. We will be driving across India over the next three years so you and Mr. Gadkari will hear a great deal from us. 

Our suggestions for improving the road conditions in India and other facilities that are much needed are as follows – 

1. Roads to be built with plastic waste so that they don’t break and last for a long time. Ban plastic and whatever is already in use or thrown out as waste can be used. 

2. When flyovers are built, first build the roads that have to be used till the flyover is completed and later will become the service lanes. It’s a nightmare currently when a new flyover has to be constructed. 

3. The fine for driving in the wrong direction must be imprisonment and attempt to murder because people get killed ! Am talking of scooters, tractors, lorries and buses that don’t go the extra distance to take a U-turn but just turn in the same side and drive onto oncoming traffic. 

4. Toilets and shower rooms to be available every 100 kms. Paramedic and an Ambulance too, since accidents do happen and the first half hour is so critical. These can even be two-wheeler ambulances who can call for help after providing initial medical aid. What about highway motels ? It’s an opportunity for local livelihood and also a way for travellers to take rest during long journeys. 

5. Can we ban speed breakers ? Or as a friend of mine Alok mentioned, vehicle breakers ?? Especially in Karnataka. We don’t need them. With amazing cars being available we need to make sure people don’t stray onto the road and those driving can safely drive at high speeds. Speed limits are good, but please don’t keep Ambassador limits of 50 kmph. Rather teach young people to drive responsibly, make it impossible for someone to drink and drive, and get people to cross the road using subways or overhead bridges. You asked us to dream big – well, my dream is to drive at 200 kmph non-stop on an Indian road without fear of a speed breaker or someone crossing the road. 

6. The livestock and other stray animals have to be kept away – I don’t know what is the way to do that. Hopefully some of the readers of my blog will suggest some methods. They invariably damage the vehicle or the driver and lead to accidents. 

7. The road shoulders should not be valleys and deep gorges as they are right now. The car would either topple over or its bottom would be scraped out if the driver went over the shoulder. Why can’t the shoulders be evened out when the road is laid ? 

8. We need emergency crane services that clear the road of any vehicle that is stuck within minutes. A bus broke down on the road between Tambaram and Ankaputhur in Chennai and led to a massive jam !! It happened on a National highway as well near Hapur where vehicles had to drive on the wrong side to get past the stranded bus. 

9. Make helmets mandatory for all riders on two-wheelers. No questions asked, all hairstyles notwithstanding. It’s more important to have the head intact, hair can be transplanted !

10. Would request you to please please please make a new rule – speaking on the mobile phone while driving should amount to murder because EVERYBODY seems to be doing it! We saw several lorry drivers, two-wheeler drivers and ofcourse car drivers driving incorrectly because they were on the phone. This is a menace.

11. This is for places like Himachal Pradesh. If hydro power projects are undertaken, the roads have to be maintained by the power company. Apparently the agreement is binding on this aspect but, it’s not implemented :(. Would request my lawyer friends to suggest if car owners can sue the hydro power companies for damages due to the roads they damaged.

12. Traffic signal jumping … .? Well, probably have spikes come up on the road as soon as the light turns red ! Can’t think of a saner or nicer solution because this is again a huge issue. Just yesterday in Nagpur, a bus nearly mowed down a scooterist by not stopping at the red light. 

I also dream of the day when people come to India to drive on our roads because there is no other way to see the beauty of Incredible India. Here’s a picture that cannot be taken except on road trip. This is yesterday just after Partapur on the way to Chindwara from Narsinghpur.

  
Would request readers of the blog to add more points to this blog before I send it forward. Hopefully we will have autobahns soon to drive on and safe, responsible drivers. 

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Categories: Political PonderingsTags: , , ,

1 comment

  1. Bindu,
    I liked what you said– especially about speed breakers. Roads are meant for travel in the quickest time possible and speed breakers cannot be part of this philosophy. Somewhere, our Traffic Authorities have lost the plot!
    And oh, that photo of your car on the “would-be-autobahn” was quite inspiring!

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