I’m little late to write about Tata’s small car (people’s car) NANO. You’ve seen it already, read about it in detail in newspaper and other media, bloggers have contributed their part by blogging about it. While everyone appreciated Ratan Tata’s efforts in making dream come true for millions of middle class families, they also raised serious concern that soon we’ll run out of space on our roads and a traffic nightmare is unavoidable once Nano hits the road.
In this post, I do not aim to write about NANO or traffic jams it may create or about people who are on their toes to buy this car. Instead, I wish to give you a different perspective over the fact that everyone is blaming NANO for impending Traffic nightmares.
Argument: When Nano hits road in large numbers there’ll not be any space left to drive or park our vehicles.
My perspective: Why are we holding common man and NANO responsible for traffic jams? Buying a car is a lifetime dream for millions of people and I feel it is totally unfair that we’re holding poor man, who hardly used any space on road till date, accountable for the possible traffic jam even before they get to drive their car. Because they are poor the rich people have NO authority to dictate that poor people shouldn’t get an opportunity to realize their dreams.
We say roads will be jam packed once Nanos start plying. But traffic jams are not caused because Nano is coming, but because we already have huge number of vehicles than our roads can bear. Roads do not belong to rich and powerful. If one who owns a Merc is entitled to use the road, so is a NANO owner. A Merc owner can’t say “hey, why did you buy NANO? There’s no space on the road for my Merc since you bought Nano”. In other words, a poor man shouldn’t be denied of his privileges just because it will cause inconvenience to rich person. Why the expectation is from a poor man (that he should not buy a car so that rich people can continue to drive around comfortably? Why the blame is shifted to Nano, while it is responsibility of the government and society to ensure equal opportunity to all? It is a collective responsibility and everyone together should bear their share.
Let us ask ourselves a few questions:
What are we-government in particular, society in general doing to discourage rich people stop using their Mercs, BMWs etc and start using public transportation instead?
Why do our netas need to commute with a convoy of 25-50 vehicles wherever they go?
If you take a cab for official travel, your office would reimburse the expense on producing the bill. But if you say “I was entitled for a cab ride but didn’t take any and I walked all the way and have saved Rs 500 for the company, give me 250 Rs without any bill”-No company will agree. In other words, we’re not encouraging those who choose not to use some of the privileges.
Why our traffic cops seldom stop any Mercedez or BMW or other expensive cars to check the license and documents, while a two wheeler driver is often harassed for mildest offence (or without any offence)?
Assume a scenario where water becomes scarce resource. Is it fair to say “If all poor people start drinking water we won’t have enough water-ensure that only rich people can get water” That is not fair right? It is a collective responsibility and whatever we have we should share with others, instead of complaining that new entrants are taking away our share.
Why not the governments bring in a law such that all those who own Mercs and BMWs and other luxury cars should use only public transport for next 2-3 years allowing first time car owners to drive around the town comfortably in their Nanos? I know this will never happen…
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