I’ve lived in Pune all my life, and to tell you honestly, I wouldn’t probably want to live anywhere else …
But of late, there have been a few things, really hurting, which I wanted to yell about.
I don’t know if this is happening in other parts of the country, but it shouldn’t generally happen anywhere at all.
Anyways, here are a few things which really hurt and I have no idea how I could help to fix.
1. Pathetic Roads
When the it rained recently, all the roads got completely damaged.
I mean – the roads were so bad, and nothing was being done about them … that someone actually came up with an online petition which was the number 1 active online petition till some weeks ago.
Even now, the roads are pretty bad and if you get out of your house, you are sure to face the brunt.
There is a road behind residency club ( which I have also written previously about ) in which people come to one of the ends.
Stop their bikes or cars, get off, observe the stretch, go back to their bikes / cars, turn around and take the longer route.
The Pune Police has actually barricaded the stretch of road to deter adventurous people from venturing there.
It’s already a month since the last of the rains and still most of the roads have not been fixed. Going at more than 40 km/hr for more than 2 min at a stretch is next to impossible and even trying to go above 50 km/hr anywhere is plain suicidal.
2. The Public Transportation System
In Pune, this equals to nothing but the PMT ( Pune Municipal Transport ) buses.
Everytime I go to college in the morning and see the scores of hapless people waiting at the bus stop, and hundreds of people hanging out of the bus, I thank my stars that I have a bike and don’t have to depend on the crappy system.
Everytime I see people hanging from the buses, and by hanging I mean – atleast 7 people hanging from the bus, I feel this blinding rage at the apathy of the PMT and PMC.
The true story goes that, sometime ago, there were the six seater rickshaws which would ply through most of Pune.
They were not allowed to move in as many places as the PMT buses were, but they covered a major chunk of Pune.
Of course, they were rash drivers and would stuff 8 people in places meant for 6 … but they were a blessing.
You could walk out of your house and be certain of catching a six seater within 5 minutes.
They stopped everywhere, and their sheer frequency was such a boon.
Anyways, naturally people preferred them, rather than waiting for the buses.
So, PMT went into loses and they got an order passed via the PMC, banishing the six seaters to the outskirts of Pune.
Their reason – six seaters cause too much pollution.
Later, more buses were promised …
But I think its almost 5 years now, and nothing has changed except the number of commuters.
All the people who switched over to using the public transportation system ( six seaters ) were stranded.
It’s so sad and pathetic.
The government creating a monopoly in a market which it itself does not have the resources to satisfy the basic needs.
3. Power Crisis
I have noticed this huge crisis cropping up ever since the congress government came into power.
There hasn’t been a single day where you had 24 hours of pure unadultrated power ( electricity ).
And on top of this, the government has the audacity to offer free power to farmers.
The farmers, naturally happy at the offer, elected these people, and are now suffering the most.
All villages around Pune undergo 9 hours of power cuts everyday.
And as all election promises go, the free power deal was eventually cut off …
On top of this, the maximum revenues of the MSEB come from Pune and it has always gotten step motherly treatment.
With hundreds of BPOs and software companies and industries in and around Pune, needing to manage power themselves for 3 – 4 hours daily, who in their right mind would want to come here ?
4. Fuel Stations
There should be a rule made in the constitution, which makes it illegal for fuel stations to go on strikes.
It has just been happening too frequently off late here.
These people know that they can hold an entire city to ransom, just by going on an indefinite strike.
The latest thing which happened just yesterday is just short of a joke.
The Fuel distribution centers went on an indefinite strike ( which has now been called off ) because they did not want the Oil companies coming and checking the purity of the fuel they were serving.
Their argument being that the oil companies themselves send them adultrated fuel and come later to check it themselves.
What utter crass !
I don’t know, but I sincerely hope something is done.
Sell off the PMT, sell off BSNL, sell off MSEB, sell off everything that makes any difference to the life of the general populous to private companies.
Though I doubt anyone stupid enough to actually buy any of these.
Privatisation, it seems might be the only way out …
You don’t see Mumbai undergoing load shedding of 2 hours daily … do you ?