Thursday, January 18, 2018
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no entry banned

We were told some weeks ago that the entry of  big vehicles, going from one city to another, will no longer pass through  the streets of Allahabad. We were also told that even the trucks that were to enter the city to deliver goods would be permitted to come here at night—not in the daytime.

What happened to that announcement I cannot say. But what we learn now is that there has been a record rise in the number of road-accident deaths in the city—100 in  180 days--- because the no-entry rule was relaxed  through pressure exercised by  politicians who carry weight in Lucknow. And they did so because they were supposed to have been  ‘pressurised’ ( or bribed?) by some transporters.  This allegation , published in a section of the press, has been quoted from a statement made by a police official who wishes to remain anonymous.
If this is so, it is shameful, disgraceful, to say the least.
The higher authorities should order a probe into all this. If every other day a tanker, a truck or a heavy vehicle keeps on crushing people to death, why is no one taking any notice of it?  Are the interests of the politically-backed  transporters more important than the lives of the citizens?

As it is, Allahabad city’s population has gone up from 1.84 lakhs in 1931 to 13.45 lakhs  according to the 2011 census. In 1931, people hardly owned a car. These could be counted on finger tips. Only ekkas, tongas and rickshaws or motor-cycles  and cycles were seen on our roads. But today the percentage of car and two-wheeler purchasers must have gone up  thousand fold if not more.  We have not been able to match this by providing  adequate number of roads and also suitable parking space for them. And yet we keep on talking about the boost in the sales of the four wheelers and two wheelers.
Where have our town planners failed? Why hasn’t the network of our roads been expanded in proportion to the increase in the number of vehicles in the city? Has anyone taken up this matter in earnest in the  right circles? Those who are permitting heavy vehicles are interested more in conceding to the demands of the transporters than in caring for the safety of our citizens. Why can’t the citizens start a movement for better traffic management? Unless the people take up these issues, the traffic department will go on pursuing its goals based on absolutely wrong priorities.

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