Haralur Road’s Speed Breakers – or why "Only Our Needs Matter"

I get more and more cynical about the Great Indian Middle Class that I also belong to.

Here’s the latest trigger: folks who use one of the roads that passes close to our house complaining about the numerous speed breakers that were added to it.

Background : this was till recently a rural road under the panchayat. Its primary purpose was to connect Haralur Village to Sarjapura Road. Obviously not a very wide road, it served the needs of numerous who walked along it, or cycled, to get to school, catch a bus at the main road, or buy provisions, etc.

All of a sudden it got “discovered” by the ever growing city, and a bunch of apartments and layouts, including ours, came up off it. So we got the road improved. Next, people discovered a short-cut to Hosur Road using a network of roads leading from this to the next village and the next. It saves more than half an hour, and lots of fuel! So far so good.

The traffic on this increased – and speeds started going northwards too after the road was improved and even widened! Being a narrow road used by mutiple modes of transport and pedestrians, the panchayats rightfully saw reason to enforce some sensible speeds and civic sense since fellow drivers obviously were not managing to use enough common sense of their own accord.

So the GIMC did what it does best – protest something that causes it “inconvenience” – in this case defined by slowing down for speed breakers and never getting to get up to speed, on a road where speeds are downright dangerous. [Enough drivers manage to still speed in between speedbreakers, btw] Anything that we start using automatically becomes a resource that is subjugate to our requirements and must bend to what we think is right.

I’m really wondering if the current trend of get-up-and-vote is a healthy thing for the nation. The signs aren’t always healthy since this set of people rarely seem to be able to see things beyond their own noses.


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