Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sattva - April Issue

According to a recent report, a rough estimate of the economic loss caused due to traffic jams is in the order of more than 450 crores due to delays and congestion. So, if there was any doubt, this statistic should convince even the die-hard cynic that traffic is one of the most serious problems Bangalore faces today. It ruins our mornings, puts our carefully crafted schedules in disarray and leaves us irritated, nauseated and tired. Traffic, in brief, is a curse.

Now that we are done complaining, let the issue begin. In this issue of Sattva, we have tried to look beyond traffic as a menace and have tried showcasing the opportunities it presents. We talk about the efforts that have been taken at different levels in the society to solve the problem. In the Forefront section, we look at how traffic has given the children of ECHO an opportunity to find their place in society. We tell you how CommuteEasy helps you find travel buddies to fill the empty seats in your car, while taking three cars out of the road – All a click away. We talk to those sections of the city whose voices we don’t hear at our dinner parties, and post-cocktail conversations. Shantharaju, the celebrated traffic cop, our Sattvic Celebrity and a favorite among Bishop Cottons’ students, tells us how he helps improve the traffic situation in his own little way. Aarti and Kishore talk to the auto rickshaw and bus drivers to present the other side of the coin in Postscript.

We are deeply indebted to Professor MN Sreehari, advisor to the Government of Karnataka in Traffic and Transport Engineering, for having taken the time to share his thoughts with us in the Editorial. And we are equally indebted to you, our readers, for sharing your views on how to improve Bangalore’s traffic situation in our Refractive Index.

The overly optimistic tone of this issue might contrast with the daily reality that all of us face. It has been a conscious decision to stay away from harping on the problem but talk about ways in which we could help solve it. The success of each of these initiatives and our own wellbeing however hinges on one singular premise – that you, the one on the road every single day, will strive to make a difference; whether you will ask yourself if you really need your car, follow lane discipline, stay away from your horn, respect the signal and always remember that you have time for that one second that you gain by cutting corners. I hope you find the information in this issue interesting and informative. Do remember to check out the little tidbits that we have put together for you in the end. And as always, we would love to hear from you.

Before I sign off, here’s a little piece of advice that all lorry-rears have taught me since childhood.

Sound Horn. No. OK. Thank you.

P.S - This is the foreword that I wrote for the April Issue of the Sattva. Please read the whole issue here.