Sunday, November 28, 2010

Facts & Figures Calamity

Be there an earthquake, flood or a disaster any time of the day or night, Newspapers comes out with all the facts and figures accurately the very next day. You get all the details about how all the roads have been submerged in water or how roads are blocked due to land slide, how villages are not accessible by road and where railway lines have been washed away. Electrical and telecommunication lines are snapped, bad whether making aerial survey impossible etc.
These headlines and sub headlines will follow more details like 638 people died, 1201 missing, 118 cattle washed away, 3114 houses collapsed and estimated loss of 3410.51 crores, phew! Commonsense says that these numbers are not estimated otherwise it would have been in rounded off numbers. They are exact and that too, up to the last digit and even in decimals. It is another matter as to how come these data are released the very next day of a calamity when communication is snapped; villages are not accessible by any mode like rail, road or air due to unfavorable climatic conditions.
Same yardstick applies to day to day scams taking place in our country. As far as I can remember, the first big scam was ‘Jeep Scandal’ during the regime of Mr. Nehru. In fact our country is now enflamed in scams and there is no respite. After CWG and Adarash Building scam, it is the 2 G spectrum scam now! It is reported that Rs.1.76 lakh crore presumed loss to the national exchequer on account of this scam.
I envy and salute these reporters and even government officials who have a sort of third eye to roll out the facts and figures with such precession in no time! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Five Minutes Syndrome!

“Sir, I will be there in just 5 minutes”. 
All of us might have heard this many number of times from friends, clients, relatives or anybody else in our day to day routine, but do they really come in 5 minutes? Does these 5 minutes are for today, tomorrow or the day after?

My experience with electricians, plumbers, carpenters, tailors, iron-wallah etc is that they will never turn up at the promised time. If your tailor asks you to come after 2 days, rest assured, your cloths would not be ready even on 3rd day. When you go to him the next day, he will ask you with a smile on his face to ‘just wait for 5 minutes’. The other day a computer technician was uploading anti virus software on my computer when he got a call from some one. Knowing well that it takes anything from 1 to 2 hours to install the software, he told the caller that he would be there in 5 minutes. It took full 3 hours for him to complete the job at my place! Think of the poor caller who may be waiting for him leaving all his other engagements of the day.

I am still not able to figure out what’s so special about this 5 minutes syndrome. Why not people say 3 minutes, 7 minutes or 2 hours, why only 5 minutes?  I often ask my electrician, tailor or iron man to tell me an extended date and time providing all the cushion for urgent work on hand and the delays in commuting but even than they are not able to stick to their promised time. They plead their helplessness citing ‘Sab Chalta Hai’ attitude without any regret. In a place like Bangalore traffic jams, diversion of road, break down of vehicle due to pot holes are the best excuses for delay.

Even if somebody is MBA, MBBS or MCA, when it comes to mathematics, they fall short of proper calculations. We are all poor at calculation to visulise how much time does it require to complete a given task or to reach a designated place taking in to the account frequency of transport and traffic conditions of the city. If we are able to do these mathematical calculations in our mind beforehand, I bet you would never tell others that ‘You will be there in 5 minutes’!

It is high time we make an attempt of attitudinal shift from ‘Indian standard time’ to something concrete, focused, disciplined, punctual time befitting to the concept of time management.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Road Safety Awareness

1:- It can be observed that while accompanying a child to school or nearest pick up point, majority of parents (often mothers) hold the child’s left hand in such a way that the child walks on the right while accompanist remain on safer left side. The right side walker child is exposed to the dangers of traffic on road. Actually, the child should be made to walk on left side and parent holding the right hand of child should be on right side to protect the child.

2:- Whenever a car or vehicle is stopped on the road side, very often the occupants tend to get down by opening wide the right side door which opens towards the road. This way, people are exposing themselves to the danger of any vehicle coming from either side. The correct method is to get down from the left side door which opens towards footpath and not the road.

On Roads/Traffic-

Let the talks of Magic Boxes , flyovers, elevated roads, Metro, mono/tube rails be kept aside for a moment and concentrate on the following points which are not of long term nature and can be implemented with a minimum outlay of funds by any town developmental authority.

1. Remove or shift all the bus stops and auto stands which are situated immediately after a turning or circle. These are main hindrance in free flow of traffic. Penalise those bus drivers and auto drivers who stop the buses/autos at these turnings and bus stops.

2. Distance between two bus stops should not be less than half a kilometer. At present, there are many bus stops which are less than 100 meters apart and buses are not able to pick up speed.

3. Make footpaths free of hawkers. Stone slab footpaths are uneven. They should be properly plastered to have an even surface.

4. Public or for that matter any body including government agencies like wter board, Telecom, electricity, cable operators who dig the road or footpath must be made accountable to restore them back to original failing which heavy penalty should be imposed.

5. Slow moving vehicles like bullock cart, hand driven carts, three wheeler rickshaws, Tonga, etc should not be allowed within the city limits during peak hours.

6. Any body driving two wheelers on the footpath to go ahead in a traffic jam situation must be penalised or his/her vehicles should be impounded.

7. At railway crossings, there is a common tendency by two as well as four wheelers to block the right side of the road in order to go ahead as soon as the train passes. This practice results in blockage of traffic on both sides of the crossing. Public who are also well educated should understand this.

8. Potholes on any road should be immediately filled up as soon as information is received. Road inspectors should be made accountable for not attending to any pothole.

9. Superior quality paint should be used for zebra crossing and other road humps as the paints used at present become faint or invisible after a weeks time.

10. Glow signs should be put up at the starting of all road dividers.

11. Traffic discipline during crises like fire brigade, ambulance or police patrol jeep siren  must be known to all road users.