The main roads here in Nagpur are quite wide. More than 5m in each direction are separated by a small concrete wall. There are not many rules (or at least nobody cares about them), but the “law of speed” applies. On the very edge of the road there are stands, huts or garbage. Cattle, street dogs and pedestrians walk there, cyclists come next, then autorickshaw, motorbikes and cars. By the “law of numbers” cycling seems rather safe -- even at night, although the bikes don’t carry any reflectors or lights. Safety is also neglected by other transport users -- cars don’t have many safety belts (and if so are mostly not used), motor bikers rather carry their helmets on the arm (if they have any) than on their head…
Bikes are mostly used by poor people and schoolchildren. The majority of bikes is old, black, heavy and single speed.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Traffic in India
Beep! Beep! Apart from left-hand traffic this is the first thing one notices after coming to India. It’s the cars, autorickshaws and motorbikes blowing their horns on the crowded roads. Unlike Europe, however, this noise level does not indicate stress or anger. People honk for various reasons -- before and while overtaking, to indicate a turn, before stopping or changing lanes.
What I really like is that women even cycle in colorful saris. I have worn a sari too, but I’m not comfortable enough yet to walk (or even cycle) on the street in one.
We mostly get around by taxis or on foot and visited a park, a few Hindu temples and Muslim shrines and shopped a little. During the day temperatures of 40°C are already reached. I deeply respect all the people here who do their work in this weather. Even in a light kurta I prefer going out early in the morning or in the evening. A lot of the daytime is devoted to sitting or sleeping under a fan -- timepass, as they call it here :-).