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:: Thursday, September 08, 2005 ::


Lot has been said about it and lot has been cribbed about it. And we see that things only keep getting worse. Ofcourse the government gets the blame for being non functional, rightly so. They seem to be busy fighting within themselves and have little time for mundane issues of infrastructure. There are two things that trouble everyone: flooding and traffic jams. I don't know much about the former and am fortunate to be living in a locality where I am not affected. But traffic jams have not spared me.

Blaming the government apart, I have often wondered how much do we contribute to the problem. I have often wondered if we can do our little to improve the situation. A good lot of us drive our own vehicles and hence contribute for the traffic woes. So being part of the problem, I feel we should do our bit for the solution. I can't immediately think of obvious and easy measures but I can think of a few small things that could make a difference.

- Follow the rules. Most people tend to break it after long wait in traffic jams. It is only natural thing that many people do out of frustration, but it can only make things worse. We multiply the problem if we jump to the right line and block the oncoming traffic too. No one can go anywhere then. And jumping signals has become such a common place these days. I think we need to value the lights.
- There could be alternates to using your own vehicles. Take the company bus to work if you have one. I know most of us travelling to EC or whitefield have company transport. But we still prefer to take out our cars, get stuck in a jam(while contributing to it) and prefer to shout at the government and break our head. I have felt that travelling in the bus is a good thing. You can read something, or strike conversation with fellow colleagues and pass the time well instead of waiting for the traffic to clear up. It helps to our pocket too, doing it in the days when fuel costs are rising without barriers.
- Avoid peak hours where possible. And public transport is very handy in off peak hours, try using it. I have tried it out with some degree of success. Frequency of BMTC buses during off peak hours is not bad and you will most likely find a seat to sit comfortably. As I realise, a good lot of people have never travelled in public transport. Hey! Give it at least a try! People take the heavily crowded trains in Bombay without a word of complaint. And when in Bangalore, no one wants it, even though BMTC buses are easier to use and much safer than the trains in Bombay.
- When you have a four wheeler and two wheeler, which is my case, try using the two wheeler as much as possible. I had almost stopped using my bike. Now I use my car only when it is not possible to use bike - such as when I am going long distances or I have to ferry a few people with me.

These are a few simple things we can give a go on. Sometimes it may be hard to do all these, but the least thing is we can try and see if it works out. And about the flooding part, a good lot of us throw garbage randomly. Things can improve to some extent if we use the dustbins and garbage dumps instead of thinking that it is our right to throw everything everywhere.

There are other things that people with time in their hand can do: such as taking some public initiatives, attending public meetings or gatherings held in the locality for resolving the problems and all that. But I havent done any of these things personally but would not mind doing it if I find some time and information.

There could be many other initiatives that we could take. Why don't you post your suggestions here so we all can consider following them? We could probably save Bangalore with such individual initiatives. I sincerely feel that there is no need for a mass moment if every individual is disciplined. But personally, I have begun to feel that Bangalore can take growth no further. I feel happy when I see a new venture goes to Chennai or Pune instead of Bangalore. I encourage people to re-locate if they feel fed up of thie town. What is your take?

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