Friday, November 20, 2009

Mumbai Traffic Police – Now Online!

Think of this scenario- You commute to work every day in Mumbai and cross a particular traffic signal on your way to work. You feel that the traffic light should be green a little longer. You contact the traffic police via their online portal’s complaint button at and voila- The signal is green longer.

I missed one crucial point in the above scenario. The ill-timed traffic signal wasn’t allowing enough traffic to flow across which led to longer waiting times for motorists stuck at the signal. This translates to more fuel being wasted – Despite all the advertising very few people switch off their engines at signals.
This signal wasn’t always ill-timed. The 20 seconds for which it remained green was good enough when there were no pubs, restaurants and coffee shops in the narrow lane leading up to a major road. Today it demands at least 30seconds. And the traffic police did just that after I complained through the portal.

In hindsight I feel the “chalta hai” attitude of Bombayites /Mumbaikars is what allowed this problem to persist for as long as it did. When I first noticed the problem I asked a traffic cop at the signal why he didn’t do anything about such an obvious issue. He said he didn’t have the authority and that I would need to send a letter to the Worli branch(20kms from my home) to get the timing rectified.
A fast google search solved the problem (Check the link above). Mumbai is your city as well. Do find the time to solve the minor problems in your vicinity. Cumulatively these solutions go a long way in making our city a better place.