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Old 21st March 2007, 16:22   #46
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

Talking of pavement dwellers in Mumbai, I have hardly seen a single house without a colour TV set (so who is poor?)- and I may also mention that many of these houses have official electricity connections - so you know what is the attitude of the government and regulators to trespassing on public property. We also have regular "regularisations" of slums and pavement dwellings, so why have roads at all?
Most of the electricity used by the pavement dwellers is taken from the street lamps.
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Old 21st March 2007, 16:38   #47
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Most of the electricity used by the pavement dwellers is taken from the street lamps.
In most parts of Mumbai, I have seen electricity board meters inside the pavement dwellings - they are not stealing power here. Maybe it is different in other cities.
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Old 21st March 2007, 16:59   #48
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Originally Posted by amit
I don't consider this as a unforseen situation. It's not the driver's fault if he doesn't expect to see a couple of morons who for some strange reason decide to start chatting right in the middle of a lane that has fast moving automobiles. These guys have no business standing in the right lane of a busy high speed road notorious for frequent accidents.
I agree with you in the context of the example you quoted - they have no business being on the road, just as cars have no business being on the pavement. If you noted, I did not apportion blame to the car driver, I just mentioned that they need to anticipate the unexpected and drive accordingly.

Assume that 2 guys on a bike skid and fall down in the fast lane. And when you reach that spot, they have just about dusted themselves and got onto their feet - scenario similar to 2-3 guys talking on the road. This is an unforeseen situation and the driver needs to be prepared for this.

Ofcourse we in India have to deal with or be prepared for a lot more varied situations like the one you mentioned - eg. cattle napping on the road, dogs running across, etc. But then the good side to it is that inspite of the chaos on our roads, the number of accidents are much lesser, due to us being defensive/preventive in driving habits. Colleagues from US/Europe who come here are initially alarmed by the traffic here but by the time they leave, the comment invariably is "inspite of such chaos, I am yet to see any accident. I was expecting accidents all over the place".

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 21st March 2007 at 17:01.
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Old 21st March 2007, 17:31   #49
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the number of accidents are much lesser,
what!!! India has one of the highest, if not THE highest, fatality rate in the world.
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Old 21st March 2007, 17:35   #50
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what!!! India has one of the highest, if not THE highest, fatality rate in the world.
I should have clarified it as "accidents in cities, given the chaos". Highway fatalities/accident figures are one of the highest, as you correctly said.
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Old 21st March 2007, 17:58   #51
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In Mumbai, slums are so close to railway tracks that if you have a window seat on the train, you can easily look into the bedroom of one of the many shanties beside the tracks. Question is if a train moving at 40kmph derails and smashes into the slums, would it be the fault of the motorman? We are looking at this whole issue in black or white when it shouldn’t be so. Many times it’s not the pavement dweller’s fault that he is sleeping on the pavement. Same way, many times it’s not the driver’s fault if he runs over them. Of course, this is assuming the driver wasn’t drunk. Accidents happen. Cars are machines too and anything can go wrong with them anytime. What if I am sober and driving at a sedate 40kmph when an animal or worse a kid darts across the road. Like any decent human being who doesn’t want to run over ANYTHING on the roads, I’ll try to avoid the obstacle and if in the heat of the moment I happen to hit someone who is sleeping on the pavement, is it my fault? What if my tyre bursts and I lose control? What if something goes wrong with my car or the steering locks up and I hit the pavements? Is it right to arrest the driver in that situation and charge him with running over pedestrians and rash driving.

The problem is there is never a thorough investigation into any accidents on our roads. Neither do we investigate into the causes nor do we learn from freak accidents that do happen. For the cops, it’s as easy as blaming the person driving the bigger or more expensive car. It’s the M800 driver’s fault if he hits a biker, a Ikon’s fault if he hits the M800, the Skoda’s fault if he hits a taxi and so on. Same way if a car runs over pedestrians, it’s always “the overspeeding cars” fault. Again, if a vehicle hits a wall or goes into a road under contruction because there weren’t properly visable signs informing him of work under progress, it’s again a overspeeding vehicle getting into an accident scene. Point is the poor and the government authorities are NEVER at fault. Even better if the driver dies because dead men don’t speak. This whole attitude is seen in every field. When a MIG 29 crashes it’s always pilot error, a train crashes it’s always motorman or level crossing gateman or track maintaince engineer’s fault. There is never a thorough investigation into any accident, just a lot of brouhaha and speculation.

I have mentioned this earlier on this site too and I mention this again. When I was in Canada, there was a incident where a 6 year old girl was walking to her home from school with her mom when they reached a traffic signaled intersection. The girl let herself free from her mother’s hands and ran onto the road straight into the path of an oncoming van. She was hit and died on the way to the hospital. The cops investigated the accident thoroughly and the next day announced that it was an accident and they weren’t laying any charges against the driver of the van. Imagine the hoo hah that accident would have created in our country. We would have had front page articles, breaking news, talk shows on TV, demands for hanging of the rich careless driver and a thorough re look into the way licences are issued. 7 days from the accident things would have gone back to how they were. We are a nation of talkers.

Last edited by amit : 21st March 2007 at 18:02.
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Old 21st March 2007, 18:08   #52
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The problem is that our law doesn't give the police the option of not arresting someone if a third party is injured or killed. Unlike other countries where they first investigate the scene of the accident to verify who was really at fault before making any arrests, if it comes to that. In India, its the opposite way.

As soon as you have an accident, you are automatically presumed to be guilty, charged, arrested and must fight it out in court for years to prove your innocence.

Heck, just recently I read about a man who was acquitted after 8 years. His crime? Someone claimed he stole Rs.8/-. So he spent 8 years of his life in prison while the court took its sweet time to figure out that there was no proof to convict him. And even if he was convicted, his penalty as per the law would have been maybe a month in jail.

To make matters worse, nobody seem's to be bothered about changing this system. So we just have to live with it.

Last edited by Rtech : 21st March 2007 at 18:11.
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Old 22nd March 2007, 14:34   #53
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
@n_c, I am guessing you were being sarcastic there.
I was honest not sarcastic.

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
Because if those guys were on the road (atleast any part that was not a pedestrian crossing), I would think that they take the major part of the blame for any accident.
I hope you are not being sarcastic here or kidding. The whole road (wherever you maybe) is a pedestrian crossing in our country.

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
The vehicle driver also has the responsibility of driving in such a way as to be able to take preventive action when faced with such unforeseen situations,
SB, trust me when I say these things like people standing in the right most lane and having an animated conversation or people sitting on the centre dividers with their feet stretched out into the right most lane are common sights on Palm Beach Road. How many unforseen circumstances should a driver watch out for ? Even after you pay road taxes you can't enjoy driving because poor people have to hold conferences in the fast lane ??

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
which becomes tougher when you are drunk.
I did not speak about drunken driving here.
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Old 22nd March 2007, 15:05   #54
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This whole attitude is seen in every field. When a MIG 29 crashes itís always pilot error, a train crashes itís always motorman or level crossing gateman or track maintaince engineerís fault. There is never a thorough investigation into any accident, just a lot of brouhaha and speculation.
ajmat, i really cant see the connection here.

1. If a mig crashes, no one dies. Even if the pilot is stupid enough not to eject himself, only he dies. A few crores of rupees lost, thats all.

2. Whenever there is a train crash, motorman is blamed only for ignoring stop or caution signals, not for running the train into the slum. He just cant do that, even if he wants to.

3. Train accidents, unlike road accidents are thoroughly investigated. The gateman or motorman, if found guilty are severely reprimanded. They cannot be simply blamed without evidence as a huge union is behind them.
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Old 22nd March 2007, 15:31   #55
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PS: I am going off topic but I think you should read it

Lets get the Govt. in the picture...So many accidents have happened involving the pedestrians and slum dwellers. The govt should understand it needs to provide shelter by providing enough of job opportunities to all...skilled or unskilled. I am sure the govt is trying its best but we as responsible citizens should also take some actions so that such intances do not happen. we allow a Illegal shop to open on the road as its convenient for us to just cross the road and pick up the utilities...and the store owner or the cleaner sleeps on the road at night...So is it the fault of the driver who lost control of the car and killed the person sleeping on the road or its our fault? Let's involve Salman now, in his case those poor peole could have survived if there were not sleeping on outside the bakery. I know its not their fault but as everyone has time and again said, there are a lot of things which are out of our control...There are a lot of places where people loose their lives and a small precautionary step could have saved their life. In a city like ours, ever wondered there are so many subways and underground crossings for the pedestrians but all prefer to use to main highway to cross the road...so its again the fault of the driven who hit the person...

Coming back to the govt, in 1999 the govt of Mah started the slum rehab program near mankhurd, and most of the buildings were partially complete by 2000, I just happened to cross that area again last month and the buildings have been left the same way as they were in 2000 (incomplete) as the govt changed! If those buildings could have been completed, and the slum dwellers shifted, I am sure a lot of accidents could have been prevented on the highway as still there are a lot of people who sleep on the road there at night. Is the govt waiting for another truck or bus to run over the lives of we human beings...?

Now lets praise the govt:

They have made the dividers on the roads and also put wire fencings so that people do not cross the road...its us who cut those wires, break the dividers to cross the roads...remember in Mumbai they have out glowsign instructions boards for the directions...most of them were stolen within the first fortnight again making a hassle for night drivers...

MODS:- Apologies for going off topic...
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Old 22nd March 2007, 23:59   #56
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@ supreme -
i am not trying to say that. All i am saying is that the fact that it is a toyota and a merc, the cases got more attention than they would have otherwise.
And remember, only a handful of people can afford such cars. For majority of us, any car is a status symbol.
The fact that it is a toyota or a mercedes just increases its status, irrespective of how old it is.
The newspapers quoted that they were spoilt brats even though the car they were driving was worth around or less than the price of a Maruti 800.
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Old 24th March 2007, 12:55   #57
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ajmat, i really cant see the connection here.
The connection is regarding the attitude of government and the people towards accidents. I said there is never a thorough investigation into any accident, be it air, road or rail. That post was not just about pavement dwellers but about the way things happen in our great country. There are so many accidents that happen on our roads due to poor design or lack of traffic signs. Has the government done any survey on how many accidents happen because they failed to provide adequate signs on our roads? Why is poor design of the road or lack of signs not a cause of an accident? Why is it always blamed on "overspeeding car"? Does the government even know that there is something called unsafe road design? Are you getting the point that in our country the government and the poor are never responsible for anything?

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If a mig crashes, no one dies. Even if the pilot is stupid enough not to eject himself, only he dies. A few crores of rupees lost, thats all.
Frankly, I am shocked at the way you responded to the MIG 29 comment. Do you genuinely believe in what you posted? It's a known fact that the MIG's are flying coffins and everyday young pilots knowingly get into that aircraft and fly it. You say a "few crores" are lost. Are you trying to say that the only valuable thing that we lose in the MIG crash is the plane? Do you mean that the value of a young pilot's life is ZERO? We lose way more then a "few crores" whenever a MIG crashes. Till today the government doesn't accept that they have faulty planes with almost no maintainence on them. I wonder how you would feel if your capable young brother or friend flies out in a MIG and dies in the crash only to have the air force and the government say it was pilot error. Do you honestly believe that our pilots are so incompetant that they keep crashing planes? Pilot error is the simplest and easiest way to justify the accident. The crash will make breaking news, there will be talk shows and after that we move on better things in life like the cricket world cup. Who cares how many years the pilot fights to clear his name? Who cares if he loses a leg or a hand in the accident? Who cares how his bride of few months and now young widow goes through her whole life? There was a MIG crash where the pilot lost his life because he wanted to ensure that the plane doesn't crash on houses below. In doing that he couldn't eject in time and lost his life. I wonder what his family would think when they read your stupid pilot and few crores comment.

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Whenever there is a train crash, motorman is blamed only for ignoring stop or caution signals, not for running the train into the slum. He just cant do that, even if he wants to.
Shanties should not be close to railway tracks. But in Mumbai they are. What I said is if tomorrow a train derails and smashes into the slums, would you hold the motorman responsible? I didn't say he delibrately goes into the slums. And yes I know that it is not possible for a motorman to take his train into slums. Since you agree that a motorman can't be held responsible for derailment of his train into slums, why should a sober, sedate driver be held for rash driving if his car crashes into the pavement due to reasons beyond his control? A couple of such reasons are mentioned in the post.

A little off Topic: If these idiots get run over, they demand compensation from the railways?! If I set up my house close to the tracks, I would know that I am taking a calculated risk and it's my responsiblity to keep away from the tracks. But then the poor are never responbile for anything in India, isnt it? Like someone said, he must be wondering where he will get his next meal from, so it's the job of the motorman who has a home over his head and food on this table on ensure that he doen'st run him over!

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Train accidents, unlike road accidents are thoroughly investigated. The gateman or motorman, if found guilty are severely reprimanded. They cannot be simply blamed without evidence as a huge union is behind them.
When was the last time you read of a gateman or motorman dismissed from service for being responsible for causing an accident? And how much faith do you have in the investigation? The big guns either cover up their negligence by blaming the lower level employee's or simply refuse to accept responsiblity. Remember we have a railway minister that once, after an accident commented that everyday he comes to office and asks God to ensure that there are no accidents for that day. He flatly denied taking responsiblity for any accident conviniantly putting the blame on GOD!

We always take the easy way out. That was ONE of the things that the post was trying to convey.

Last edited by amit : 24th March 2007 at 13:00.
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Old 26th March 2007, 15:43   #58
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That post was not just about pavement dwellers but about the way things happen in our great country.
Please, let us stick to the topic at hand. Ours is a great country whether anyone likes it or not. It is in understanding & accepting the facts. Just because we are now able to travel the world & see the other cultures does not mean that we have to consider ourselves low. we are getting there, it will take a long time, but we are getting there. If only there were more people like you running the govt., maybe we will have better policies.

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There are so many accidents that happen on our roads due to poor design or lack of traffic signs. Has the government done any survey on how many accidents happen because they failed to provide adequate signs on our roads? Why is poor design of the road or lack of signs not a cause of an accident? Why is it always blamed on "overspeeding car"? Does the government even know that there is something called unsafe road design? Are you getting the point that in our country the government and the poor are never responsible for anything?
And there are people who drive fairly & do not get into positions that warrant mounting the pavement where some folks have decided to sleep that night. The breaking news that you see on TV & the headlines that you see on the newspaper the next morning are just masalas for the discerning public. I hope you have based your opinions on something more concrete than just that. Have you had a friend arrested & jailed for running his car on the pavement inspite of him being innocent & the road & the people to blame ?
I do get your point of the government not doing anything, but i also feel that we as people are also not helping in any way. Anyway that discussion would be seriously offtopic here.

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Frankly, I am shocked at the way you responded to the MIG 29 comment. Do you genuinely believe in what you posted? It's a known fact that the MIG's are flying coffins.
You are right. Even i heard about it & remember reading it somewhere. But i am not sure if it is a 'known' fact. Has anyone pinpointed the real reason why these MIGs are crashing ? Do you know this for a fact ? Can you enlighten me?
I think I will skip your reference to my capable young brother & the young widows etc. as such nasty & uncalled for references do not build up to a healthy discussion.

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There was a MIG crash where the pilot lost his life because he wanted to ensure that the plane doesn't crash on houses below. In doing that he couldn't eject in time and lost his life. I wonder what his family would think when they read your stupid pilot and few crores comment.
I salute the man's presence of mind & his sacrifice. This could have happened in any flight. There are everyday heroes in this world if only you would look enough. Instead of totally beleiving in what is shown on TV or what is printed in newspapers, if we talk to people & listen to what they have to say, there is so much to be learnt & so much to be done. Most of us just sit in our arm chairs sipping coffee & read the news & talk as if we know the world. It is only when we step into the real world that we know the real truth.

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When was the last time you read of a gateman or motorman dismissed from service for being responsible for causing an accident? And how much faith do you have in the investigation?
I have not read about it, but i have known a few people who were dismissed from service because they were not alert enough during their vigil. And if they had been dismissed, then there must have been some strong evidence to do that. You know how strong the railway unions are.

P.S. My apologies to amit for addressing him as ajmat in my previous post.

Last edited by esteem_lover : 26th March 2007 at 15:46. Reason: P.S
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Old 26th March 2007, 16:00   #59
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why should a sober, sedate driver be held for rash driving if his car crashes into the pavement due to reasons beyond his control?
I thought the whole point of the discussion was an accident that was CLEARLY NOT one where the driver was sedate or sober.

I don't understand why we are hypothetical whenever it suits our convenience?

Last edited by suman : 26th March 2007 at 16:01.
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