Do not go by the title of the topic…it was an experience I wanted to share today. For years, people have to travel between this side of Tilakwadi to the other side via the 3 gates. And crossing the gate is a daily ‘EVENT’ like conquering a summit.
So when you ask people how their day was, they start with ‘’Oh! Great! Today the gate was open both the times I crossed”, These are life’s small joys for them. Turning a heavily laden car or a bike with a pillion at the first or third gate has become all the more challenging than ever because of the loosely laid, uneven tiles.
Coming back to yesterday’s 25-30 minutes date with the First gate.
I had to buy something from RPD cross and come back to congress road, first thought will go by over the bridge via Military Mahadev. But then I thought why take the long route But never ever imagined my date with 1st gate will last for almost 26 minutes.
As I stood near the gate I could see many people come and stand next to me and some covering the gate from the wrong side as well. This always adds to the mess but no one cares. Then there are those who spit while standing in the crowd. The pungent smell of the gutkha is nauseating.
Saw a couple of people bowing down and crossing the gate. Then came the much-awaited train from the station side, all were happy that the gate will open now once the train passes. While most of the bogies had passed but then suddenly breaks were applied and the train stopped in between. Ohh what a sight…people all this time had patience because they waited for 5-10 minutes..but then they said let’s climb the train and move to another side…one person passed and seeing him others followed and many crossed over.
For the people on the train, it was fun watching us. Seemed like they really did not believe in “Swachh Bharat” as they threw coffee cups, and food plates on the tracks right in the middle of the first gate. All we could do was watch.
Finally, after 12-15 mins the train passed and people started their vehicles…but this happiness was short-lived..there was one more train coming. Then one person from the group shouted at the gateman to open the gate for 5 minutes so that all can pass and there are senior citizens, and kids, waiting for a long.
But the gatekeeper said his hands are tied and everything is controlled from the station itself. And again we had to wait for 5 minutes until the train. In between many people took a U-turn and started to go another way. Now that it has double tracks, many times we see two trains passing from opposite directions within minutes. Good for trains but bad for citizens who have to wait for more.
By default, traffic will not reduce at all but we need good foresight and think 10 years in advance and draw a plan. Opening the 3rd gate ROB will not solve all problems. Also, the first and second gates are at a right angle to roads and hence a bridge there may not be the best solution. Rather, an underpass like the ones in Bangalore would be better.
At the 3rd gate, the paving tiles have been laid uneven. So two-wheelers, especially those with a saree-clad woman sitting on one side, face a huge challenge as the bike skids on the uneven tiles with huge gaps. Well, I leave it to the best judgment of policymakers and authorities to find a quick and best solution to this mess.