Wham Bam! Traffic Jam!

The streets of Karauli, Rajasthan can’t handle its truck traffic anymore. The area around Bajirpur Gate in Karuali, Rajasthan is a prime piece of location lined with schools, colleges and offices of the government. It accommodates a bustling crowd and heavy traffic throughout the day. Sunita Kasera, Community Correspondent from Karuali, assures us that it a walk down the road is almost always slow and occasionally cumbersome and it has been this way ever since she can remember it. “But these days, it has got beyond difficult and into the impossible,” says Sunita. Two transport companies have made the road their home. They have opened their offices and godowns along it. They like to park their trucks a few inches from either side of the center of the road creating an is-it-blocked and is-it-not situation for the infuriated population of Karuali to navigate. The companies are not averse to bringing the traffic along the road to a complete standstill while their trucks are being gently loaded with an ease that instructs the teeming angry masses to pipe down and why-hurry-when-we-have-the-time-in-the-world. There has been a steep increase in the number of accidents in the region. Parts of the semi-urban landscape around Bajirpur Gate have been modified for good by the frequent collisions with heavy vehicles driven around the narrow street with not a care in the world. Buildings have lost their facades. Street lamps are horizontal. People have lost limb and life. Unable to tolerate the circumstances, many have complained to the District Collector. “Isn’t it valid that companies operating heavy vehicles should be situated on the outskirts of town?” they asked. “It would be a good way not only to safeguard the lives of the populace but also reduce dust, noise and the traffic.” The District Collector, however, appears to have other inclinations. The transport companies have hooked, crooked and wormed their way into the good books and large hearts of the local politicos. And as Sunita says, “As long as the politicians’ hands are blessing their foreheads, they will never have to move.” But what about the common people, Sunita? What will they do? “We try to make do. We’re struggling. We occasionally pick fights with them. And we use a lot of horn.”

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