Alokedeep’s blog

diary of a wanderer

Driving the people’s car

Posted by alokedeep on February 23, 2008

The Auto Expo which is held at New Delhi every two years, is always a much  awaited event for auto companies since it gives them an opportunity to show case their latest offerings to the Indian masses.But this year the event held at Pragati Maidan was special too since Tata Motors was going to unveil its much talked about “People’s Car“-a car that would fulfill the dreams of many Indians to graduate from a 2-wheeler to their own car.

So when Mr.Ratan Tata,Chairman Tata Motors drove in with the “Nano” on its unveiling, he had assured for himself a place in history for delivering “a safe, affordable and all weather transport” at a price of $ 2,500 which many felt was unachievable even four years back at the given price.The Lakhtakia(one lac rupee car had arrived)

But the big question is that -Do Indian cities have the space on their roads and lungs to accomodate the Nano ?

Delhi TrafficI live in Indian capital city of New Delhi and commute a long distance to work and back and can definately say that driving in this city is nothing less than a battle.

Surprisingly even with new flyovers , express-ways being added this battle is growing tougher.This is because the sheer volume of vehicles being added every day to the city exceeds the road space being created. The authorities acknowledge this , the media writes and talks about this but nothing changes. Adding to this is the traffic system where there is no demarcation and enforcement of traffic lanes and traffic rules are all but obeyed.When we talk about how much progress we have made and how strong our economy & infrastructure is-does anyone realize that we drive in the most primitive ways. A sight seen often on Indian roads is bicycles, buses , cars , autos -all in the same lane of a road competing for space.

All this and  the way people drive-as for most people traffic rules do not exist-using lanes, stopping at traffic lights dents their egos . Mind you -I am talking about the capital where the who’s who of the country live.On a daily basis people loose their lives in accidents , are crushed under buses but nobody seems to care except a small column in the next day’s newspaper or ‘breaking news’ on TV channel(which gets changed after a few hours). 

Adding further to traffic woes is the dirty monster of road rage, as the tussle for space on roads, urgency to reach your destination leads to tempers flaring to a level that people resort of fists & blows with fellow motorists.

So in this scenario does it actually make sense to push in a product like Nano which will further aggragavate the traffic sorrows of Indian roads apart from the pollution and environmental issues.While not taking the credit from Tatas for creating a car for the masses , the world would have appreciated their contribution even more, had they as a socially responsible business group un-veiled a plan to improve the Indian traffic system,which is in a mess ! ! 


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