by Swatee Jog
Time: Any given hour of the day. Place: Old P.B. Road. Traffic situation: Hell
That’s the one-line description of what happens at the railway gate at P.B. Road almost every single day. The overarching worry of every person crossing that gate is the time. A minute lost in passing the open gate, and rest assured one is caught in the frenzied traffic for at least 30 minutes. God bless you if you are driving a four wheeler. The problems with Belagavi are not very complex, they just need to be understood and worked upon by citizens themselves. Every time we complain about the massive traffic jams at this gate, we ask for a traffic cop to be posted there. The solution is not the cop but curbing the irresponsible behavior of the two-wheeler riders and the tremendous space blocked by trucks and heavy vehicles. Add to it the multi-axle trucks of VRL coolly going about in reverse gear to park them in the VRL Truck bay and you have a fantastic non-solvable problem at hand that no God or Angel can ever solve.
One look at the traffic when the train is approaching and you know that all bikers pile up on both sides of the road, even on the right. Everybody wants to be first. Queuing up was never an Indian habit, but of late it is creating havoc here. So when the gates open, both sides look at each other as though they are standing at Wagah border peering at the enemy beyond. No one moves because, simple- no one can move. If every vehicle queues up one behind the other, the bottle -neck gets cleared faster. It’s a horrible experience to wait alongside the trucks that spew heavy black smoke, passengers in the bus and bikers spit incessantly and almost everybody is in vain.
Yesterday evening, vehicles jammed at the Roopali theatre road for almost 45 minutes, solely because of these two problems. Cars and trucks kept honking. Hundreds of litres of fuel was wasted due to crawling speeds of vehicles, not to mention the thousands of productive man-hours lost. Belgaum may have to wait for decades before it gets its over-bridge, but till then, we just can’t afford to suffer like this anymore. There are some measures we need to take and egg on each other to follow traffic discipline.
- When a train is approaching, stop as the gate closes.
- Don’t honk when you know that the vehicle in front of you is not here for a picnic, it needs to move too
- Leave the right side of the road completely empty, always.
- Don’t spit while waiting for the train, it is very irritating and unhygienic for all those waiting besides you
- Once the gate opens, let the first vehicle pass and follow that one by one. It actually saves a lot of time and heartburn
- We are not kids that we should always need monitoring by a traffic police. Good citizenship is all about self discipline.
- Let us take it upon ourselves to first follow these simple rules and then urge the other person besides us at the gate to follow them too.
- Lastly, and most importantly, let us all collectively send an appeal to the Traffic police and the concerned authorities, to stop all heavy vehicles from entering the city from 8 am to 8 pm. and follow this strictly. The least we can avoid doing is to add wound to injury. All heavy vehicles can pass through the outer roads and need not enter city to save distance. Until we act proactively, no one can come to solve our problems, except us.
It is time to stand up and act fast for the betterment of all of us.
Swatee Jog is a Training and Placement Officer, Bharatesh Global Business School.