The infrastructure in our country is pathetic. We all know it. It doesn’t need an analysis for we all have experienced it first hand. The roads that crack up after every six months. The streets that clog up at the first hint of the rain. The flyovers badly planned. The potholed stricken road testing the limits of our cars and bikes. And once in a blue moon when they are actually done well, some government agency digs them up for one maintenance work or another. The situation is really bleak.
So when the news of a woman crashing onto the divider (Baner Road Accident) and instantly killing two people and injuring three others, for most of us the news would have come out as one more among the series of endless grotesqueness that our news keeps showing in their endless cacophony which they blatantly call News.
But for many like me, who live in Baner, Pune, and who have taken that very road every day to their offices, have stood at the same place on the divider waiting to cross the road, and once in a while felt the risk the curvaceous road of this city presented to the pedestrian and drivers alike, it must have come as a rude awakening. It could easily have been one of us.
The woman who slammed that car on the victims is only a consequence of the system that invites such incidents one after another. A product of mediocrity. Carelessness. And most of all corruption that has plagued our country since we got freedom. A system that creates ripe conditions for one disaster after another.
It all starts from our first encounter to this corrupt system of transportation.
Its is when we see our friends or family member getting away for over-speeding or jumping the red light by slipping a hundred rupee note or two in the hands of traffic police. We can get away on this road, this is the first lesson that we learn and imbibe for the rest of the life.
Then the same is cemented when we get our driving license. It is a farce, for most of the cities in our country. Most of the times one don’t even need to appear for getting the license. For their are touts who will get it done for you at a nominal cost. And you will definitely choose the option of getting your DL delivered without even moving a muscle.
The result – a whole army of drivers who don’t even know the basic etiquette of driving. The important road signs are alien to us. We switch lanes as frequently as switching TV channels. Overtaking from left is considered our driving right. We talk on phone while driving. We don’t believe in using indicators – it’s a hassle anyways – and helmets are worn only because it is mandatory. (visit the cities where police is lax about helmets; 90% of drivers don’t wear it.)
The road infrastructure makes the situation even worse. The turns are not planned well, creating such death zones as the one involved which creates potential for such accidents.
Baner Road Accident is one of the many such accident waiting to happen.
The woman who was driving the car was a product of such system. She is not different from us but a reflection of us as a society. Careless and callous of our responsibility on the road. Not realizing how fragile human life is.
Five lives ended in baner road accident. It happened because someone was careless. And because someone who was supposed to do their job right failed to do it. (Since then reflectors have come up on the dividers. And extra speed-breakers have been installed at the site of the accident.)
Too little. Too late.
Those who remain behind, the kins of who died, and the woman who was driving, they will forever be under the shadow of that one moment when hell broke loose. The moment that made somebody murdered, and someone a murderer.
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Also published on Medium.