Driving in India – Authority

So you have managed to negotiate the pedestrians and the cattle…..but watch out…..particularly in foggy winter evenings or rainy monsoon days……that is the time the municipal authorities suddenly remember that the central median has to be restored and decorated. So there may be loose blocks of stone scattered around the central verge.

Why do authorities do this ‘road maintenance’ in the monsoon…..because they want the city looking ‘beautiful’ come the Independence day (August 15). Why do they do it in the foggy winter because again they want the Republic Day (January 26) Chief Guest – some despot from a neighbouring developing country – to feel that India is beautiful.

While in New Delhi you could also be caught in long queues of waiting vehicles because of the ‘VIP movement’. Whenever the senior leaders of the ruling party, the Prime Minister, zillions of ex-Prime Ministers, Presidents, Lok Sabha (the Parliament of India) Speaker decide to go out….the traffic for miles around their path is stopped by the police. I haven’t understood for the life of me how that helps any body’s security…..it opens up opportunities for the terrorists to cause mass destruction.

Similar is the case when traffic police create ‘slalom’ like temporary barricades on already congested roads, mostly in the dusky evening time. I have found it always bizarre that a policeman with a flashlight is able to see amongst the beams of headlight the right vehicle to stop for questioning !!??

And another example of Indian authority is the bureaucrats from the roads and transport ministries who get chauffeur driven cars. They sit reading their morning paper while being driven through the congestion, around the barricades, between cattle. Of course they also do not need to park their cars……Parking Chaos in another edition… watch out …. I have authority over atleast this series of blogs 🙂

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