Chennai!! Until a few years, Madras was the official name. Change of name has meant nothing to the common man. But that is not the point here.
Chennai has developed leaps and bounds in terms of its people population, automobile population, floating population, businesses, air traffic, and so many such great things. They are great because they are percieved as employment opportunities to the citizens of Chennai.
Alongside, the total road area has literally remained the same for the past as long as I could recall(from early 1980s). The result? Roads are packed with automobiles bumper to bumper! Traffic police are at their wits’ ends as far as keeping the traffic jams at the bay.
Added to this are the never ending flyover constructions at the Guindy junction and in front of the airport and some more near Pallavaram Chrompet areas which for some mysterious reasons, seem to have come to a halt!
If you are a manager or that kind of a person, you should have noticed, so far, in this blog, we have not seen a mention of pedestrians on the roads. You are wrong!! They are mentioned right in the topic ;). But that is all the regards this city has for pedestrians too. The automobiles incessantly zoom on the roads, honk at deafening decibels, if they are not honking at deafening decibels, their engines make enough noise to deafen you anyway. There are pedestrian platforms on the periphery of some roads. That is about it when it comes to pedestrians.
I couldn’t quite locate the point, but some law or such thing mandates the city authorities to make no less than 20 foot wide pedestrian platforms which are accessible (that is, low lying ones. platforms should not present a mountain to climb to the children and elderly and the saree wearing women of the city). No one seems to speak of that law. Not even the pedestrians themselves! But ariel photographs(which were the used in the 90th Indian Science Congress meeting in Bangalore) show that pedestrians out number the automobile population all the time. That is, even if you use a car, you have to walk at some places. So, the eminent people at the congress meeting advised our city planners to leave pedestrians and bicyclists a free way to commute.
That is all to say, best deposit your life in a bank’s safety locker or such a place if you choose to walk for any considerable distance on Chennai’s roads or crossing the roads. They are out there to KILL people!
PS: This, in no way means these problems are exclusive to Chennai of all the Big cities in India. It is because I like this city more than other Indian big cities, I ranted about Chennai in such detail.