Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Road cancers

Hammy touched a sore spot…and no I am not talking about my recent hurt, but a larger and more painful sore that afflicts most Bengalureans, the Autorickshaw!!

My friend works at the Embassy Golf Links Business Park, a savvy name for an eye sore of an example of civil engineering. This place is tucked away in no mans land and there is actually no way out unless your office provides you transport or you have your own transport. BMTC buses are few and far between. And since only Call Centre employees get transport, the majority of people working here are in a vulnerable position if they don’t have their own transport. The place is too far away from everywhere to walk and that makes the wheel less people here sitting ducks for daylight and midnight and anytime robbery by autos.

Thousands of people that spew out of the 100 odd IT organizations here are stranded for hours for a lift home. A friend of mine waits two hours on the road so that after peak hour, autos will oblige her with a drop at thrice the amount of the meter fare. And as usual no one raises a voice and quietly puts up with the utter nonsense that is going on here. Autos wait in line but will refuse to take passengers for some weird reason and the Cabs that are supposed to drop employees do their first round of drops and then start freelancing and taking the multitudes teeming on the road pathetically for exorbitant fares. Why not join the party when it’s a free for all!!

What really riles me is that there is no initiative from anyone to rectify the situation at this place. The IT Park authorities have their office in one of the IBM buildings and I think people should do a dharna in front of their office to get them to see the light. Or better still when the collection man comes for the rent, Facility Managers should do some arm twisting to ensure that some sort of shuttle service is introduced to at least get people out of this no mans land to midtown from where they have a better chance of getting a lift home!

What bothers me more is that no one seems to rein in the Autos. And the recent fare hike (on the pretext of Petro price hike) that the government acquiesced to, even though Autos run on LPG is a stark reminder of the fact that there is no one up there in the seats of power looking out for the common man and or the common man remains a mute spectator like in R K Laxmans cartoons.

12 comments:

Mind Curry said...

very true..and its almost like even if you have your own transport, with all these mad drivers around, its still crazy! one thing i really love about the so called "west", which we conveniently always foul-mouth about, is that they really take care of the people. its amazing the kind of infrastructure they have in terms of public transport and amenities. i have stopped believing that india is poor or it doesnt have money. its all being eaten by vested interests. but what can we do about it? probably the lead-india initiatives and the like will change things.

Rockus said...

Auto drivers in bangalore are so bad that they make ours look like saints...really dreading my visit next month...

Dhanush said...

I never knew it was so difficult to get a BMTC bus from there. It is the same on on Inner Ring Road rt? I have seen many buses plying through that road though.

Reaction - I think people have forgotten what that word means. Even in our offices the employees has started to accept whatever the management says. No questioning why it is been done. And when I question something people pounce upon my Keralite link and Communist heart. We are over reactionists aren't we?

But Bangalore has gone onto such a level that nobody bothers, sab chaltha hai attitude. Even the KSRTC and BMTC is running on profit here. And BMTC charge nearly a Rupee for a KM which is much higher when compared to TN and Kerala. High time ppl in IT and Corporate world build up Unions and of course for good cause and an non-politicized one.

@rockus - Buddy I welcome you to Calicut and see what Auto Guys mean. Last time I went there, I took an auto to my uncles place, it came to around 20 Rs on the meter. I asked him whats the charge - he replied "Ingal entha kodukkunennu vachaa thanneru (Give me something that you give normally)". I said Boss it's your wage for the job that you did I am asking and I want it to be a proper one. He then calculated the correct amount and told me. I don't know Why Calicut Auto guys are different?

Strider said...

And you haven't even started about the pollution and the Do-I-look-I-care-about-anybody way these guys drive on the road!

mallu said...

In the context of ricks & cabs I guess B'bay is better than most places...If ever a driver refuses to take you to your destination; all you need to do is find the nearest traffic cop and the the driver has his vehicle seized for the rest of the day...A bit harsh - people might say but it goes a long way in ensuring discipline...Most cab and rick drivers here give you the fare card so that you pay by the meter...I think the governing authorities and cops have a large role to play in this initiative...

Alameen said...

@Silverine,
Look, dhanush is writing blog at ur comments section.. :)

Recently i went to Pune for a personal visit. I was amazed by the way they behaved. you are right.. We realize what we are going thru only when we compare it with other places.

Alameen said...

In the above comment I was referring to Pune Autowallas.. :)

mathew said...

I dont whether you have tried hiring a rickshaw in calicut as Dhanush mentioned..it is altogether different experience..For a person who was used to tvm auto culture i was in for a shock to see how honest the folks in calicut were...

well on another side..i think rickshaws are doomed..why when we are gonna have a car which cost just as much and carry more people!! :-P

silverine said...

mind curry: You are right! We do have the means to give our people the best, but no one to enforce that sadly :(

rockus: You are in for a hell of a ride :)

dhanush: BMTC buses come full and thus are of no use! And you are right about reaction. People dont react and the ones that react are given the sore eye...like me. My admin hates me for the umpteen complaints and follow ups :p And I cant believe that piece of info about the Calicut Auto guys. I guess the Calicut people are to be given kudos for the same.

strider: I think we should boycott them and teach them a lesson...but then we need to be as united as them to do that!

mallu: There would be a strike here if the cops did that :)

Al Ameen: lol! People are welcome to write a blog in the comments section :) The problem in Karnataka is lack of governance.

mathew: I really hope the stupid ricks are doomed. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

philip said...

Wait till you experience autos in Chennai. They'll make you want to marry an autodriver in Bangalore.

I think some of the blame in this case has to be borne by the employers - why can't they provide some transportation? When a company decides to put up an office in a onamkeramoola, they surely have to think about transportation for its employees. My office is in an area which officially falls under the pattikad area of Chennai. But we get vans every hour to Central from where we can catch a train or bus home.

The autowallas are not doing the right thing, but you hardly expect them to do the right thing when there is no incentive to do so.

silverine said...

Philip: "onamkeramoola" Luvved that term.Didnt know many people other than my mom uses it :p

I have been on Chennai Autos and they fleece you I know. You are right! Companies should provide as shuttle service at least. Let me approach my long suffering Admin about this as I work in this "onamkeramoola" :p

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

While the world goes about complaining of losing their money as a consequence of being 'Bangalored', I guess the IT sector of Bangalore goes about similarly complaining to being 'autoed' :)