Some things can be pretty shocking. Imagine having bought a new bike, and then getting transferred to a new city. New bike owners are paranoid about the maintenance of their bikes and spend time taking care of them. Depending on somebody else to care for them, even for a few hours, is something that seems odd; but if you have got a transfer, you have to depend on somebody else to transfer the bike for you. Nowadays a lot of people depend on packers and movers for the same, but the railways also have a good service to carry cargo, and ensuring the movement of cars and bikes through the railways service is something that a lot of people depend upon. However, once in a while, if something goes wrong, there is a lot of effort that needs to be taken to find out what has gone wrong, and to get redressal for the same.
In this case, the person who had booked his bike had also got insurance to cover the movement, and had to call upon both the railways and the insurance company to make good for his loss. However, he was in for a bigger shock, with the railways disclaiming any responsibility for the same, and even claiming that his receipt issued by the railways was not authentic. The loss of a new bike or any such vehicle can be painful, and having to make a lot of efforts to find out what has happened and to file claims in the insurance forum for the same takes effort and legwork, especially when the opposing party refuses to accept any responsibility.
There was a long effort for the same, with the insurance company giving in a bit early and deciding to settle in the consumer forum, but the railways refused to accept, and had to be taken to 2 different levels in the consumer forums in order to get a settlement that the person was willing to accept, and it took a period of 5 years for the same (link to article):
A brand new motorcycle of Ambarish Chandrayan was stolen from Pune railway station premises. Chandrayan had purchased the two-wheeler and insured it with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company by paying a premium of Rs 1,133 on March 15, 2010, under package policy.
Due to transfer Chandrayan on June 30, 2010, booked his bike for Rs 680 including packaging charges. The complainant was also issued receipt to that effect and was informed that the motorcycle would be delivered at Nagpur station within 10 days but it didn’t reach.
When inquired, the complainant was informed that the receipt itself was not authentic. Chandrayan lodged a FIR at Pune railway station on July 24, 2010. As the two wheeler motor cycle vehicle was insured, the complainant submitted insurance claim on August 17, 2010, with the company but the insurance company repudiated the claim as not being theft. The railway police too washed its hand of the matter.
This issue rose out of a dispute, but the basic point is a point that really cannot be disputed. When roads are not wide, and when there is a probability of high congestion, then the availability of parking on the road is something that needs to be decided by the traffic authorities and the municipal authorities. It is basic common sense that when the road in an area is not really wide enough for both traffic to pass through and for parking on the side of the road, something has to give and the smooth movement of traffic is a priority.
In this case, there was a dispute over making a divider on the middle of the road (and sometimes making a divider is necessary to ensure the segregation of traffic moving on both sides of the road, since it is seen that in many Indian cities, motorists will easily move on the wrong side of the road in order to move ahead); with the regular motorists and locals objecting while the traffic police firm in its proposal to make the divider. And once the divider was made, it was clear that there were 2 lanes on either side, and if vehicle parking took 1 lane, the transit lane would not be enough for traffic. And so, soon after, the traffic police starting putting parking fines on the vehicles parked on the road. In earlier decisions, the National Green Tribunal has already made it clear that roads are meant for transit, not for vehicle parking; and this is what the traffic police have now started implementing on this stretch of the road (link to article):
Challans of Rs 100 were found fixed on the windshields of the vehicles parked outside Godavari and Narmada apartments on Wednesday afternoon when the road was crowded with school buses. The one foot-wide divider leaves a two-lane space on either side, one of which is used for parking cars, leaving just one lane for vehicles to pass.
“We are forced to park on the road as the colony roads are crowded with vehicles. The traffic police were aware of this, they had even promised to discuss an alternative with us,” said Harish Nagpal, a resident of Godavari Apartments and a member of the local traders association.
Of course, there are many other problems that need to be handled; the roads of these areas are not really geared to handle the kind of traffic flowing through them, and the number of vehicles moving in this area. There needs to be more provision of public vehicles in these areas, as well as more of encouraging walking rather than taking vehicles everywhere.
Last month, in June 2015, there was an incidence of heavy flooding in Mumbai, after a long spell of rain. As usual, the recrimination game blame started, with the corporation and the government both claiming that they are doing the best they can, but with the huge amount of rain, it was just impossible to prevent flooding. The critics however claimed that the corporations had really not done anything after all the promises made during the disaster of the 2005 flooding, and with construction activities going on all over the city, there was localized flooding in many parts, spread all over the cities. The river was over-flooded and not really cleaned to make it capable of accepting this large amount of water, and so on.
This blame game occurred for a few days, but was forgotten after that, to be repeated the next time there will be heavy rain. However, with the increasing presence of the judiciary in civil issues and taking up the rights of citizens, there is a new angle involved now. The courts are showing an increased feel of getting involved in how the corporations are doing their work, and are not hesitant to strike out if they feel that the government bodies are not really doing their work. In this case, the query before the court is about the flooding, but if the people of Mumbai are lucky, the court will get involved in some more detail, questioning the amount of work done and the money spent (link to article):
The Bombay High Court, hearing a PIL, on Thursday told the BMC that everybody was blaming the civic body for the waterlogging during the recent rains, that brought Mumbai to a halt. It also allowed the IMD to be made a party to the PIL.
“What is this? Everybody has been complaining about you,” said a bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anil Menon while hearing the public interest litigation by advocate Atal Bihari Dubey, seeking that the corporation hold an inquiry against persons responsible for it.
One of the accusations laid on the BMC is that although it spends money on work, a lot of the money is siphoned off through corruption or on ineffective work.