Belagavi was declared to be a part of the “100 Smart Cities Mission”. The astounding US $14 billion dollars have been allocated for this initiative, a project which will secure us a position among the developed nations.
But what have we achieved here in Belagavi over the past four years? Big changes start with little steps, but what if we never evolve from those little steps?
A city with a population bordering 5 lakhs faces critical traffic problems due to the absence of traffic signals in the busiest corners.
The RPD Cross in Tilakwadi is four-way crossroad linking Bhagyanagar, College Road and commercial stores like Reliance Trends, LensKart, Bata, Airtel, and many others. The absence of traffic lights results in a constant pandemonium of heavy loaded trucks, four wheelers, motorcycles, and pedestrians.
The two or three active traffic police personnel on site are sloppy and are usually busy with catching the riders without helmets. With an almost washed out zebra-crossing, the pedestrians must dodge past zooming vehicles. Senior citizens are often hit by ongoing bikers who lack respect and humanity.
But an unforeseen greater threat is of air pollution and noise. The constant blazing of horns and smoke emitted from vehicles stuck in the traffic pose a grave threat to the environment. The walkers-by inhale this very smoke. There are no trees alongside the road from Goaves Circle to third gate whatsoever. Are we so lost in the bigger picture that we have overlooked the effects?
The traffic police must increase manpower and not just look to profit out of lawbreakers. They must press upon authorities to install basic traffic lights at busy crossroads and be polite to people.
At the same time, the citizens of Belagavi are equally to blame as they lack an utter sense of traffic.
Everyone must respect each other’s rights on the road. Driving slowly at crossroads, giving way to pedestrians, avoiding honking altogether and following the traffic police orders are some of the minor steps that we can take to make an immediate impact. It is finally us who can make an actual change.
About the Author: Rahul Khatav penned down his thoughts who comes to Belagavi annually to see his grandparents.