[ Tongam Rina ]
Getting stuck in the traffic is the new normal in the capital. It could be anywhere from half an hour to hours together. One can’t do anything about it apart from fuming and swearing at everyone in sight.
The pace at which the construction of Highway 415 is going on, it is unlikely that traffic will move faster or safer. It appears that even construction agency TK Engineering and PWD highway has no idea when the construction is going to be over. With the hills being severed, forget about the pace of the traffic, there wont be roads by the time monsoon arrives at its full glory. Nature has a unique way of reclaiming what belongs to it and based on previous experiences, one can only hope that PWD Highway and the TK Engineering know what to expect. The question is-are they disaster prepared?
While the PWD and TK Engineering severs the hills, which certainly is not an engineering marvel, while dumping muck right next to the construction site, let us hope for safety of workers making the roads and those staying nearby the highway.
In the meantime, let me share few tips, based on experience, to make traffic delays less distressing.
First and foremost; please go to the toilet before you leave home. Make sure that your children and pets do too. The traffic moves very slowly so you obviously cannot leave the car in the middle of the road, though many tend to do that. We have to be a little more considerate to others as well.
Stock up on food, water, reading materials in your back packs and cars. Avoid taking the road between 9.30 AM to 8 PM unless there is an emergency.
Meantime, learn to control your anger. Everybody is obviously upset and in a hurry. So stop yourself from swearing at fellow drivers. It only aggravates the situation and makes you more upset.
Don’t carry guns. As we saw earlier, someone took out a gun and shot at someone because his car was obstructed by a fellow driver. It’s illegal to shoot or brandish your guns even if you think it’s a status symbol to own one and to show it off.
Don’t spit at all. It’s likely that it will end up on someone’s face. Carry a good pair of shoes. If taking the public transport, make sure to put on the right shoes. Wear helmets. Make sure pillion rider does too. It saves you from the dust and it’s mandatory to wear it. And it’s your head, therefore your primary responsibility.
Stop yourself from screaming at the over worked traffic police personnel. They are there to regulate the traffic flow and help us since we don’t know how to negotiate bad traffic or have the patience to do so. They are not only over worked; they are underpaid too. Share your food with them.
If you really don’t know how to stop fellow drivers from bumping onto your car, please put a learner’s sticker even if it’s illegal. Most people are not sympathetic to a new driver but they are scared so they keep their safe distance. Yours and everyone else’s safety is a priority.
[ Tongam Rina ]