Friday, December 9, 2011

Traffic Madness on Indian Roads

I have been in India for about 3 weeks and after experiencing the traffic on Indian roads and the antics of Indian road users it is really baffling to me trying to understand the psyche or the mental make up of the Indians here. All of them from the pedestrians, the cyclists, the cycle rickshaw operators, the 3-wheel tuk-tuk drivers, car drivers, truck and bus drivers all seem to be in a great hurry, be it on rural roads or in the busy streets of the cities and towns. Indians in Malaysia , don't take offence, but the Indians here don't seem to care for other Indians or anybody else while on the road. The tuk- tuk will stop just about anywhere to pick or drop passengers without using the indicators.The buses, too, will do the same with passengers hopping on or jumping off, while the bus is still moving in the busiest of streets.

On the highway, slow vehicles hog the right lane while all manner of vehicles from the buses, trucks and cars overtake on the left. While the highway has a cycling lane, many parts of it are filled with a thick layer of fine sand making cycling impossible forcing you to move right, exposing you to real danger. What is most annoying is that you have to be very alert all the time because all kinds of vehicles may be using the same lane coming from the opposite direction ; bicycles, motorcycles, tuk-tuks, buses ,trucks and even tractors. I also wonder if there is a law against overloading. You just wonder if there's any Highway Code at all. But the best part is no one gets annoyed no matter how you behave on the road.. I have yet to see anyone losing his temper on the road. Everything seems to be acceptable.

Cycling from Agra to New Delhi.

We left Agra at daybreak in heavy fog with visibility of about 20 meters. It was cold and gloomy but we made good progress as traffic was light except when going through the towns along the way. After covering more than 100 km and in fading light we decided to stop for the night. The hotel room along the highway would have set us back by 2,000 rupees but we were very lucky for an Indian Oil petrol station manager, further down the road, offered us his place for the night. To top it all he even gave us dinner. Thank you Mr Sohan Lal. It is not all negative after all in India.

The next morning we left the petrol station , again in very heavy fog with the usual hazards but fortunately for us we rode without much problems and was at the suburbs of New Delhi around 2.30pm. We were back into heavy traffic repeating the madness. The only difference is the more modern infrastructure, like the MRT and the shopping malls and fast food outlets. After asking for directions at several junctions we finally reached the New Delhi Railway Station area (Pahar Ganj) where the backpacking crowd are found .We are now at the Sky View guesthouse to sort out and plan our next move. My India visa ends on the December 14th.

Cycling in heavy fog at daybreak

No prize for a correct guess

A camel train on the highway to New Delhi

In New Delhi


Anonymous said...

hai adnan,how r u.all these while i hava been thinking that the mad rush u are describing is the root word for naming the city of madras now chennai.i did experienced this when i was in madras very long ago.anyway abang adnan look thin a bit.u must take enough healthier food.take good care of your and your sons health.i see both of u are adventurous.keep it up.deen from j.b.Malaysia.

Joe said...

India is a chaotic country at best!!! Betul, betul susah for us to understand!!

Anonymous said...

hai adnan.i believe both of u must be rushing toward pakistani border as your indian visa expiring today 14th best salam to both of u. may god bless us all. Deen j.b. malaysia.Bye.