There is blood on the streets of Calcutta and no one is willing to shoulder the blame or find a solution to the problem. This is what some readers of Metro wrote in response to our campaign for safer roads.
I blame Md. Kamran, the director of the public vehicles department (PVD), for the accidents. It’s very easy to get a licence by paying a bribe even without knowing how to drive. It’s very difficult to get a licence without paying a bribe even with proper driving expertise.
It is not possible to control bus drivers unless proper punishment is meted out (cancellation of licence, fine, imprisonment). Not only buses, drivers of most vehicles flout rules.
Uttam Kr Sen,
Buses and autos in Calcutta are synonymous with death, not only for pedestrians but also for the passengers. No one obeys basic traffic rules. The commission system is one of the main reasons why buses rush. If the police bosses think they are doing their job, they are either liars or they do not know what they are supposed to do. The PVD, of course, has to be blamed. I have seen an officer from the PVD sitting on a wooden chair, taking “driving tests” with no vehicle in the vicinity. What can you say if a minister (Subhas Chakraborty) says, “I have expressed my concern but nobody seems to be bothered”' It sounds so ridiculous! Last, but not the least, we (the commuters) are also not saints. If we decide to stand at the proper bus stop, tell me, won’t buses be forced to stop there' If we wave our hands at speeding vehicles and cross the road, who is to blame' Wake up Calcutta, time is precious, life is invaluable.
Reckless driving is a real menace and I strongly feel that the bus drivers get the courage to flout all traffic rules because of the support they get from their respective unions. The first thing that the government should do is curb the power of the union. Drivers of buses should be made responsible for damage of the buses. Passengers themselves should display more civic sense and be pro-active in taking action against rash drivers.
The traffic police should start detaining speeding drivers. The transport department should scrap the commission system and introduce trip rotation. The bus syndicate should organise awareness sessions. The unions should not bail out culprits, but introduce reform. The PVD should ensure that these ‘expert’ bus drivers do not drive in our city. Careless pedestrians must also mend their ways.
No one is to blame. Because the big people’s sons/daughters are not pedestrians.
To save people on the streets of Calcutta, ruthless action must be taken against all offenders. My suggestion is to induct voluntary citizens and grant them rudimentary policing powers. We want a safe, civilised society.
Anil Roy Road
Have you ever seen a bunch of hungry wild dogs hunting down prey' Well, I guess we see it every day in our metro. The way a bus speeds at the first sight of a green signal, or a rival bus, is no less in comparison. No bus stops at the so-called bus stops, and a person has to run after it to the middle of the road to get into one, while playing kabaddi to bypass other speeding vehicles!