Smart Auto

The Telangana government has definitely been proactive,

At the Hyderabad Litfest there was the electric auto’s on display. With two owners giving passengers a tour round the literary festival zone.

The auto’s felt good, amazing colours that it came in and some how it did not look like the harassed communters rescue operation, but it felt like a luxury ride, smooth and clean.

Aslam Haidiri one of the drivers who is one auto driver who opted to volunteer to use this for 6mnths and give a feed back to the government. Impressive exercise in itself.

The noise level was extremely low.

Passenger leg space in the current scenario is extremely good.

At the drivers space it is good, too, it does have the option of self start but the drivers are advised against it.  the engine needs intial 24hrs after which the charge has to be maintained, at least that is what Mr.Haidiri explained to me, according to him it works to about 70paise for a km, which seems a very good deal.

auto rani (3)

There are also built in billing system, which gives a printed bill to the customer.  This comes with zero pollution.

As a driver Mr.Haidiri was commenting that it takes, few minutes for the bill to be generated and customers tend to be impatient.  After the trail ride I was however left with a few questions, where will the charging points be? I mean will we have public charging points like the mobile chargers have… again Mr. Haidiri says there is a move to have solar charges that will allow the auto to get charged as it is parked.

I only hope it won’t go the same way that the electric run two wheeler or the Rewa went.



Etiquette in Public transport

A man sitting on a seat designated for women
A man sitting on a seat designated for women

Candles are being light this evening in memory ofpeople who died in road accidents, maybe we should look at making our roads, and public transport safter?

My scooter has conked off, and I am taking the public transport from the university to Kala Academy and back.

It is quite interesting to watch people.

I have this happening in the Vasco locals too.

There are seat designated for women, where men sit quite comfortable and women are standing, neither does the conductor ask the men to stand up, nor do the women exert their rights. One time when I told a woman it is a women’s seat sit down, she told me how can I? My husband is standing. I could ignore that as her call.

Then we have teenage boys who don’t give up the seat, they avoid making eye contact so that the women won’t draw their attention or point blank ask them to get up.

Oh! Yes there are mothers of teenage boys who plonk and get their sons to sit next to them they don’t let the boys get up when another woman comes by. If the boy is asked to get up then they create a ruckus.

The other day, there was a senior citizen who was standing. In the seat designated for senior citizen was a  staff from the Manipal Hospital. I got up and gave my seat to the elderly gentleman, at the university stop another elderly woman got in, when we told this staff of Manipal Hospital to get up, she says what’s wrong if I sit I am getting off at Manipal hospital.  I knew the staff of Manipal Hospital Goa is rather rude but this kind of takes the cake.

What is this entire thing of education, and making the public transport women and senior citizen friendly?

What does the conductor do if he cannot ensure things are functioning the way it is meant to?

image courtsey internet
image courtsey internet

It is bad enough that in bus that allows 11 standing passengers the  number of standing passengers are 22, one time the conductor insisted that I stand of the steps, when the bus stopped I feel off.

With these blatant flaunting of safety regulations does it really make sense to have this light a candle to remember people who died in an road accident?

Of civility and senses.

blog-mannersIt was pouring out at the bus stand and the journey to Hyderabad from Panaji is about 14hrs.

A couple with a two-year old in tow. A senior citizen couple who were diabetic.  The bus was on the roll, the ticket collector came around checking if we had our tickets and our identity proofs.

“My identification is missing, I am returning by flight and they won’t let me fly without identification papers she wailed.”

“Madam, where are your papers?”

“At home”

“How far do you live from here, we could wait for 15mnts can you get someone to get it for you here.”

The girl now threw a tantrum, there is no one who can get it for me, I will get it myself, and you wait for me till then. The driver tells her I can wait 15mnts not more. She said, okay you go ahead; I will join you in the next stop. The girl leaves her, baggage behind and gets off.

The bus ambles along and at the next stop which is normally a 5mnts one the bus waits for her royal pain in the**e who takes 1hr. To arrive.  The driver ascends the Amboli Mountain faster than he normally would as he had to make up for the lost time.

He was still about half an hour behind schedule. We stop for dinner at a tavern, which the driver prefers as he can keep an eye on the unwanted intruders entering the bus. Our girl now throws a tantrum at the quality of the restaurant. While most of us who are particular got our lunch from our homes.

Finally at 3am about 20mnts later than the schedule time the bus arrives at Gulbarga the place where this girl had to get down. From 2am she was on her mobile loud coordinating with the person who was to pick her up and when did reach the designated stop her escort was not there and there emerged the next tantrum, she wanted the bus to wait till her escort turned up.

This behaviour from a MD Gynaecology person had me thinking. That are we the so-called educated class so self-centred that we don’t think twice about the nuisance we are to others.

What surprised me is neither did the driver or the conductor bother about the disrespect this person had for the other 44 on the bus. Nor did he bother about the passengers who were waiting for the bus by the roadside. I stand corrected it is not about the passenger’s disrespect to her fellow passengers, it is about the disrespect the driver and his conductor had for their passengers.

Worse still were we the other passengers who let an ill-mannered Gynecologist, an irresponsible bus-driver disrespect us. There we people among us who had to attend interviews next morning, there people who had to get into connecting buses. We fretted and fumed but we did not take a stand for ourselves.

We of course have the right to laud ourselves that we were considerate towards a “girl” so we turn a blind eye to the inconvenience we doled out to our fellow passengers, to the four girls waiting on the road of Belgaum. The cook at the Tavern whose last guests are from this bus, he then has to wind up and clean the restaurant for tomorrow.

citizen journalistMy husband shares an experience he had at Portugal, where a set of teenagers were drawing graffiti the wall of an underground train. One boy saw an oncoming train he stepped aside without realizing that there was another train on the track that he stepped on, the train ran over him resulting in his death.

Four days after this, event as his family was grieving him the railways sent his parents a bill demanding compensation for the nuisance created by their son to the railways, and the other passengers.

Think about it, achche din aayenge, we shall prosper whatever only the day we learn to respect ourselves and others.

The Plebeian beacons.

public transportEarlier when I traveled to Margao or Vasco using the shuttle. It was very strictly sitting passengers only. There were no pass holders so no one dashed to you out of the ticket vending coup.

Last semester while travelling to Vasco occasionally there would be a passenger standing.

But this time round I see standing passengers one or two routinely. Yesterday the 8.30am to Vasco had six standing passenger, of which one was a woman, who insisted on standing beside me and falling all over while she had a loud conversation with my neighbor. when I asked her did the bus allow standing passengers, she replied”No, but I don’t mind standing.”

It did not occur to her she may not mind standing, but someone else did mind her leaning on them. The very purpose of paying extra for a shuttle was to avoid this.

I know I sound petty minded, but think about this in 10mnts, occasional single passenger has evolved to everyday single passenger and sometimes six. Before we know what is happening this will overflow like the local bus. Because Mr or Ms. Busyindividual does not mind standing!!

citizen journalistI wonder who is responsible for this

  • The ticket vendor who hands the ticket saying”standing aah, instead of shutting the counter.”
  • The “iambusy” person who is focused only his/herself this by the way is passive lalbatti.
  • The driver who accommodates the passenger.
  • We the passengers who passively accept this, in out mistaken wrap of being understanding.

If a single passenger protests along with the standing passenger, the other travelers and the driver turn round and accuse you of being inconsiderate. We don’t even know what that word means anymore.

Plebeian Woe”s — Autorajya.

picture courtsey internet
picture courtesy internet

Pedestrian Woe’s

In this great juggernaut of development the most forgot person is the plebeian.

matter. first and foremost his royal highness refuses to ferry you to the destination.  After a while some auto driver will be condescending enough to do so, but wait he decides the fare. It is usually one and half times what would show up in the meter.

The other day I wanted to go some place, I asked the people at the building where I stay about the fare,  I was told no don’t take a rick, they’ll charge you around 200/- well due to circumstances  I had to take the rick, I to driver “meter lagao” two auto men refused the third  agreed and fare was 95/-Rs. we are resigned  to paying 200/- we avoid taking the auto because we know it is overpriced but we do not stand up for our rights and ask  for the meter.

This seems a pattern, people crib and complain but don’t really do anything constructive about it.  The citizen’s forum at Hyderabad ran an invitation to the public about handling this here were some interesting suggestions.

  • Designated Auto rickshaw bays at theatre’s, bus-stops, railway station, malls, prayer houses.
  • Pre-paid auto facility, organized not by middle men or vendors but by the RTO.
  • Autos without meter should be declared unauthorized. And unauthorized vehicles should not be allowed to ply.
  • Based metering system the app. being released by the RTO.
  • One stop helpline for auto users – how exactly this will function well I’m not sure.
  • GPS based security – again how exactly it works I am not sure.
  • Period education and upgrading of auto drivers. Those who do not go for this will be declared unauthorized.

Implementation of declaring someone unauthorized because he has not gone for a refresher does seem very improbable.

Frequent changes in the fuel hike effects the traveller. While the auto’s hike the price when the fuel prices hike they do not reduce it when it falls. Again each auto driver hikes on his pleasure.

Before we invite “foreign investor” and talk “development” we need to put our house in order. The house includes plebiscite, who is as much the citizen of the country as the person on who zooms by in the two or four wheeler.