iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Anshu Seth, Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, August 25, 2013
As Hebrew philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol said, "The test of good manners is to be patient with the bad ones", a large number of city residents, who abide by good etiquettes, bear the brunt of being patient with the ones flouting them. A few examples being - parking vehicles in front of gates of houses near markets, keeping the insides of luxury cars clean but littering on the road, honking non-stop on traffic lights, using windscreens of four wheelers to paste advertisements.

Each of these activities amount to one violation or the other in terms of law, but more importantly it is a "moral responsibility" that very few like to share in the city of millionaires.

Insensitive to inconvenience of others, a large number of shoppers take the liberty to park their vehicles in front of the gates of houses near markets and commercial streets. The residents living on Mall Road, Civil Lines area near Dandi Swami Road, Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar are among the most affected with this "apathetic class" of vehicle owners who do not hesitate to block the entrance/exit of these houses.

Also unable to provide parking to the vehicles of a large number of students attending tuitions, tutorials and various dance academies are a nuisance for residents living nearby.

Sharing one such incident Ritu, the head dietician at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), said her sister-in-law missed her train last Saturday as they could not take out their car, as the gate was blocked by a BMW.

"I was flabbergasted when the PCR cop and the tow-away vehicle driver refused to tow it away from the fear of damaging the bumper of the luxury car. They also told me that the vehicle owner had not violated any rule as there was no line demarcating the parking zone. This two-facedness of having different rules for middle class and influential class is a blotch on the administrative set up," Ritu rued.

The traffic wing had also come under fire for its pick-and-choose policy last year.

In such an incident, a doctor had confronted the traffic cops as her car was towed away from Ferozepur road, while several luxury cars were not touched.

"My car was a Maturi Zen, which was reason enough for cops to tow it away, whereas dozens of luxury cars, including a Mercedes, Honda Accord, BMW and Fortuner, were not towed away despite being parked along the highway," Dr Gurpreet complained.

As far as littering is concerned, the municipal corporation has a provision to challan people found littering and impose a fine up to Rs. 1,000, but not a single individual has been punished so far for the reasons best known to the authorities.

When this correspondent saw an individual sitting in a SUV throwing a banana peel at a traffic signal, she approached him questioning him on his act. However, he just brushed her off and rolled up the car window.