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Old 4th January 2012, 20:34   #31
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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Driving in Kolkata is a challenge - no doubt about that.
I agree with the chauffeured car problem.
Also pedestrians avoid foot bridges like plague - guess underpasses would be better.
Of the few underpasses that are present, none of them are used for practically the same reasons as the avoidance of foot bridges. As a result, shady characters and beggars have made these underpasses their homes now. Trying to clear these underpasses will now meet stiff resistance from the beggars union or should I say the union of beggars .
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Old 5th January 2012, 11:29   #32
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

About the paid drivers my elder brother has a different take.

My brother is a citizen of the US from 1989 and before that he used to regularly drive / ride here in Calcutta.

On his recent visit here he was shocked to see the traffic situation here and according to him these paid drivers have a secret agenda. They drive like this to scare and frustrate the self drivers so that they get fed up and give up driving and employ drivers. This way there will be more employment generation.
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Old 5th January 2012, 13:44   #33
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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About the paid drivers my elder brother has a different take.

My brother is a citizen of the US from 1989 and before that he used to regularly drive / ride here in Calcutta.

On his recent visit here he was shocked to see the traffic situation here and according to him these paid drivers have a secret agenda. They drive like this to scare and frustrate the self drivers so that they get fed up and give up driving and employ drivers. This way there will be more employment generation.
Currently though there is a severe shortage of good chauffeurs who can take on the might of the bumble bee (Amby taxi) drivers and the mosquito (auto-rickshaw) drivers.

An interesting point is when the switch to LPG happened all the mosquitoes were from Bajaj and TVS was smart enough to build the LPG ones quickly and capture the market. Bajaj has now responded with RE60. With 35 KMPL they want to take on TVS again so a dreadful battle is on cards here. Thankfully the Ambys are struggling to hold on to triple digit sales so hopefully we should be able to say goodbye to the bumble bees soon. Then it will be a battle of equals
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Old 5th January 2012, 20:52   #34
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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About the paid drivers my elder brother has a different take.

My brother is a citizen of the US from 1989 and before that he used to regularly drive / ride here in Calcutta.

On his recent visit here he was shocked to see the traffic situation here and according to him these paid drivers have a secret agenda. They drive like this to scare and frustrate the self drivers so that they get fed up and give up driving and employ drivers. This way there will be more employment generation.
That is a completely new perspective to the issue.
On a serious note, I have just visited Lucknow and I was shocked by the state of affairs on the roads there. Calcutta is much much more organised and well behaved when it comes to traffic.
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Old 5th January 2012, 23:20   #35
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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On a serious note, I have just visited Lucknow and I was shocked by the state of affairs on the roads there. Calcutta is much much more organised and well behaved when it comes to traffic.
Organised I am not sure but as far as behaviour is concerned Delhi takes the top honours here my friend. Not only will they cut your lane, honk and abuse you but will also be ready for a fist fight at the slightest instigation/any signs of displeasure shown by you.
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Old 6th January 2012, 06:40   #36
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India among all metro cities?

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That is a completely new perspective to the issue.
On a serious note, I have just visited Lucknow and I was shocked by the state of affairs on the roads there. Calcutta is much much more organised and well behaved when it comes to traffic.
I should have the topic edited to specify that this comparison is for traffic between the metropolises rather than every city in India . At least that was the original intent.

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Organised I am not sure but as far as behaviour is concerned Delhi takes the top honours here my friend. Not only will they cut your lane, honk and abuse you but will also be ready for a fist fight at the slightest instigation/any signs of displeasure shown by you.
Cutting of lanes without any indication is just a simple part of our driving lives. Right now all of us our conditioned for this kind of behavior specially all commercial vehicles and even private vehicles. If one were to take road manners, one would hardly say that Delhi is Dilliwaalon Ka Shahar. Really sorry state of affairs.
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Old 12th January 2012, 12:45   #37
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

Considering the wide variety of vehicles plying on Kolkata roads, this city has its unique issues. Other metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc, does not have this dense population of vehicle types, i.e from slow coaches to fast ones! But here in Kolkata almost all types of vehicles are allowed on all types of roads! Cycles on Eastern Metropolitan bypass is really unthinkable, when we compare the same road to Outer Ring Road of Bangalore. Kolkata is incredibly tolerant towards anything and everything, irrespective of being good or bad. Not sure how to come out of this messy loop.
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Old 12th January 2012, 23:36   #38
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

Calcutta is a crazy city man. I once saw a bus over taking other vehicles! Something very normal right... wait the bus was travelling in the footpath overtaking other vehicles.
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Old 13th January 2012, 06:30   #39
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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Considering the wide variety of vehicles plying on Kolkata roads, this city has its unique issues. Other metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc, does not have this dense population of vehicle types, i.e from slow coaches to fast ones! But here in Kolkata almost all types of vehicles are allowed on all types of roads! Cycles on Eastern Metropolitan bypass is really unthinkable, when we compare the same road to Outer Ring Road of Bangalore. Kolkata is incredibly tolerant towards anything and everything, irrespective of being good or bad. Not sure how to come out of this messy loop.
Yeah I would say variety of vehicle types is very true. Density not so sure? I guess the other metros do have a higher number of vehicles plying on their roads. But its very true that anything that can be designated as a vehicle or a mode of transport has a fundamental right of owning the road in Kolkata.

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Calcutta is a crazy city man. I once saw a bus over taking other vehicles! Something very normal right... wait the bus was travelling in the footpath overtaking other vehicles.
Whoa what? What kind of footpath are you talking about? There are no footpaths available for any other activity except for hawking. Please do let us know where you saw this and the hawking unions will ensure that such kind of activities are never repeated in the future by completely encroaching on them.
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Old 18th January 2012, 10:01   #40
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

Have started seeing a wee bit of improvement in handling of traffic by the cops at least at most major intersections. Buses are being forced to stop at designated stops instead of bang at the intersections, auto rickshaws being fined for making unauthorized stops on heavily congested roads. I hope this sticks and probably is due to the initiative of the new CM to show a little more seriousness towards her job in contrast to the completely incompetent Left Front which used to consider the unruly commercial vehicles their vote banks.

Its now funny to see these intersections where rules are enforced passengers waiting under the "Buses wont stop here" sign while the buses themselves for fear of penalty go and stop at the designated stop. Then all the passengers start running in a huff towards the buses and invariably end up missing them. Old habits and specially bad ones die hard . A lot needs to be done to bring in any major improvement. Even when the government creates facilities citizens refuse to use it. For example in front of our office in some of the swankier and more planned sections, separate bus bays have been created but no soul has ever ventured into it. Passengers continue to encroach on the half of the main road at the intersection blocking oncoming traffic while the commercial vehicles make their stops as usual. The bus bay remains empty till date. No explicable reason for not using it.
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Old 30th January 2012, 12:20   #41
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

Before coming back to Calcutta 3 yrs back, I was in Mumbai for 5 years, where I used drive every single day to office.
Let me give you an example of the difference: If you are stuck in a Red Light in Mumbai, the vehicles, private or commercial will never stop before the stop line. By the time its 20 secs to turn green they are half way across the junction. In Calcutta at all major signals I have seen, stop lines being respected, drivers pulled up for no helmets or for not wearing seat belts, temporary number plates, etc.
Basically you cannot blame the cops entirely. If I am hiding behind a bus because I am not wearing a helmet , you cannot blame the cops. The cops in Calcutta, specially the Kolkata Police I find are far more efficient and strict than Mumbai, even when the previous government was in power. In Mumbai,you just need, Rs 20 if u are on a bike and Rs 50 if you are in car for a cop to let you go, no matter what rules you have violated.

No government or 'pariborton' can change the traffic situation in Calcutta. The change needs to come in the minds of the Bengalis. We need to evolve ourselves as being responsible and giving priority to the right things.
Instead we just want to think that the grass is greener on the other side, which maybe true but doesn't mean it is tastier.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 10:16   #42
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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The cops in Calcutta, specially the Kolkata Police I find are far more efficient and strict than Mumbai, even when the previous government was in power. In Mumbai,you just need, Rs 20 if u are on a bike and Rs 50 if you are in car for a cop to let you go, no matter what rules you have violated.
The cops in Kolkata kind of are pretty strict with the private vehicle owners and make up with tremendous laxity in enforcement against the commercial vehicles specially buses and auto rickshaws. Action against these biggest culprits is in fits and starts while they are the biggest violators. Sure they don't collect bribes like cops in other cities which is a big plus for them. But they need to do a lot more to rein in the utterly lawless auto rickshaws and bus drivers.

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No government or 'pariborton' can change the traffic situation in Calcutta. The change needs to come in the minds of the Bengalis. We need to evolve ourselves as being responsible and giving priority to the right things.
Instead we just want to think that the grass is greener on the other side, which maybe true but doesn't mean it is tastier.
Kolkata is already a very constrained city in terms of infrastructure. Even though the vehicle density is way lower than other big cities, the citizens must improve on their self discipline while on the roads. No two ways about it. But Didi has done quite a few things to help improve the situation. There is a lot more traffic control in the IT sector area and I am hearing they are going to implement some one way plans in the IT sector area from Feb 6th to better manage traffic. I expect utter confusion and some more brazen violations of the same by commercial vehicles and public alike in the next few days
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Old 6th February 2012, 13:56   #43
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

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I recently returned from a 4500 Km drive -- Kolkata-Varanasi-Kanpur-Lucknow-Bareilly-Haldwani-Almora-Binsar-Nainital-Delhi-Agra-Kolkata -- and realised that Kolkata traffic is in quite good shape compared to the places I visited.
Kanpur and Varanasi has got the worst traffic, I believe.

How is the road condition between Sitapur and Haldwani? I am planning for a Kolkata-Nainital drive and waiting eagerly for your travelougue.
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Old 8th February 2012, 10:28   #44
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So the much vaunted one way plan was launched with fanfare in Sector V, Salt Lake where all the IT offices are located. The objective was grand, the cause noble and the knights in shining armor, er the Waste Bengal P(F)oolish with their entire battalion landed up in battle gear with as usual .... no plan.

The idea was to make most roads inside one way between 8 AM to 2 PM to better manage traffic I guess. Suddenly I find hitting some unbelievable speeds because of the one way rule going towards office only to realize that only half of that road has been converted one way for some reason. I could see perhaps the entire force including the DIG trying to coordinate things on the ground. However the results were far from what can be remotely called a success. Because of utter lack of planning the half one-way street had caused the mother of a chaos with folks utterly confused about which way to take to reach office. I even saw some folks taking U-turns continuously because the chaos had made them end up driving on roads with dead-ends. Later I heard that some folks were so wound up going round and round trying to figure out a way to office, by the time they made it, it was already time to leave.

Now you can always rely on Waste Bengal P(F)oolish force to show up at work with grand ideas but absolutely zero planning. Right now it takes twice the amount of time it used to take for me to cover the same distance going through the last mile to my office. Thank you Waste Bengal P(F)oolish. Whoa as I write this that the one way plan has been scrapped after only TWO days of implementation. Good fun.

Let me hit on one more aspect before I sign off here. Quite a few undertakings happening now for road laying and beautification taking place amid this chaos. Now a new metro line is about to be laid which I am sure will not see the light of day before year 2050. However to keep up appearances large parts of the road has been blocked for I dont know what. Coupled with that a perfectly tarmaced road is being relaid on the other side thereby restricting the office traffic to only one lane. Generally the procedure of road laying or beautification work is simply. Raw material is first dumped on the road for first 20 days with absolutely no work started. This gives opportunity for those who are in dire need of such raw material to pilfer half of it. After 20 days, the laborers saunter up and the next 20 days are spent in just hanging out smoking bidis while precious little progress is made up for the assigned work. When the deadline has crossed over by an extra 20 days and patience has run out, the work is completed haphazardly or in a huge hurry to find that every thing has broken apart in the next 20 days. This is the endless cycle of what happens on the streets of Kolkata. I will stop ranting now.
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:16   #45
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Default Re: Does Kolkata Have The Worst Traffic in India?

Thats exactly what I was trying to tell you. I wanted to reply your last comments on new changes which will happen, etc but refrained myself .

No government can bring any 'change'. It all boils down to the same thing.
We need to change. And as far as the roads go, just pray the PM visits us soon again, an overnight shoddy job on the roads will be done again.
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