A decade ago, trips over weekends to supervise the construction of my house in Gurgaon barely took 30 minutes from my Ashoka Road house. But by the time I moved in to the city in 2005 with great hope of a cleaner environment and a better life, commuting time stretched to an hour.
Today it is anybody's guess. It is not just the phenomenal increase in traffic volume over the last decade; it is the sheer callous attitude of authorities concerned with regard to traffic management - the lack of planning, analysis, little regard for commuter convenience and safety, horrendous road conditions, aggravated further by rude and rustic road behaviour and non-existing avenues for grievance redressal.
You don't need to be a traffic expert to gauge the absence of planning in Gurgaon. I am shocked to learn it was the reputed RITES that did traffic projections on NH-8 and the city - based obviously on existing traffic flow counts when they undertook the exercise.
Does one blame it on the government in power, local administration, multitude of realty developers, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), Town and Country Planning department, or the hapless police and their traffic managers?
Road infrastructure has to be such that ensures rule adherence, not make it impossible for commuters to follow road rules! Road conditions remain the pits. Pits is the word, since potholes and craters are the order of the day. Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has been heard blaming it on the rains, not realising there are cities across the world with perfect roads despite rains 365 days of the year. One asks, is there no system of accountability?
There are scores of other issues, but they can wait for another day in these columns.
Against this background, the citizen expects the Gurgaon traffic police to make the best of a bad bargain. What is heartening is the effort being put in by traffic police chief Bharti Arora. It is immaterial at this stage whether she succeeds or fails in her endeavour. What matters is, she is trying!
The writer is a former IPS officer with 35 years experience. He is now an advisor and consultant on matters of policing, security, administration, distress management and personnel management.