Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Traffic Kills Me!

Before I start, let me admit that I am not a good time manager.

But the traffic in Chennai kills. Usually, as soon as I come to office the first thing I do is to start the Mail Client and then couple of messengers to check personal messages. Today, I decided to vent my frustration.

Usually, a stretch which should not take more than half an hour now take one and half hours to commute. No, the distances have not grown; it is the traffic. I have always cursed B'lore for its traffic. But then there it is so because the infrastructure there itself sucks. It was never the case with Chennai. We always had good broad roads. The traffic always moved. But for the last two years, the growth in the number of vehicles on the road has outstripped any initiative to create better infrastructure.

It is good to see that, today, people are able to afford good cars. The question is where do we drive. Driving is no more an enjoyable because of the condition on roads.

Is there a solution?

I would say that infrastructure in Chennai is not all that bad. We have a North-South EMU service. One section is Beach-Tambaram line which run almost the entire stretch of Chennai. It runs (almost along) the GST Road which itself is a good broad road. From Central, there are two sets of line. One which goes towards Gumidipoondi and sometimes till Sulurpet. Another line runs slightly towards the West.

The bus service in Chennai is good. The MTC, though with slightly old fleet, is quite dependable.

The latest addition to Chennai's transportation infrastructure is MRTS line which runs from Beach to South-East of the city. Today the service is operated till Tharamani which houses Tidel Park, Chennai's first mega-IT park. The plan is to stretch it till Velachery , which is probably the fastest growing suburb.

But all these, just, doesn't help. There are various bottle necks. At some strategic places, the roads have to be stretched.

I remember an interview of Harshad Mehta, long time back. He said that Railways could build huge office complexes on each of their railway stations. Think about it, you get down at the station and then take an elevator to your office. Dear Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, are you reading this.

I am sure there are more ways to help reduce misery. I am not the one to do it. But please whoever is in charge, take care.

Till then all that I can console myself with is that Chennai is still better than B'lore. :) That line is for you Monica Darling.

Picture: Traffic Jam was drawn by J.Sreevenkatesh, VIII A, Vyasa Vidyalaya Matriculation School, Chennai. And it appeared in The Hindu.

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