Saturday, June 30, 2007

Low Cost Small Cars - Impending Urban Chaos

Well the infrastructure and traffic situation in India is quite bad. Thats not a revelation. But what could possibly make the situation worse?

A Rs 1 lakh car could bring the cities to its kneels. When we look around wherever Traffic situation is bad, invariably one can find a sea of cars. Now add an ocean to it, and you have a perfect recipe for chaos. Indian Roads are not equipped to handle this kind of traffic.

Tata's are not alone in this low-cost car race (A picture of Tata's 1-lakh car). Here are other contenders:


  • Would a car that competes with Two-Wheelers be safe, and reliable? Cars like Maruti-800, wouldn't even be allowed in many countries of the world - for precisely that reason.
  • In Japan, which cannot afford to put more cars on roads (for lack of space - and not artificially missing infrastructure) - cars are manufactured largely for export. Should we not learn from them?
  • A situation similar to Airlines industry is unfolding. Lots of Airlines but decaying Airports - Lots of Cars but Pot-holed one-lane mis-managed roads. (Time Magazine Reports: Altitude Sickness - India's Airlines tied down by crumbling airport infrastructure.)
  • Tata's or car-buyer's are not to be blamed in anyway. It is the governance that has failed the people. Responsibility for Urban Planning, Roads, Public Transport - does lie with people who sit on positions of Authority and Power.

Infrastructure and Reliable Public Transport is what this country is crying for.


At 2:56 AM, Blogger Shruti said...

Hi Dear,
A Lac Ruppee car will surely bring city in havoc...
Add more to congestion, traffic and pollution..

At 2:21 PM, Blogger akanksha said...

I never thought dat it could cause trouble too..But now, i am sure it will.Considering the over chaos would get manyfold

At 2:04 AM, Blogger Pijush said...

Nice one, I was also thinking the same and before reading this one I just posted on Indian road/traffic condition. I totally agree with you that this call is for govt and not for car buyers.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across a site that ofcourse is not from Govt. of India, but tend to provide the best information on public transportation that I know so far. There are private offerings for bus ticket etc. but including public with it is a wonderful idea that one can not ignore. The beauty of the website is that it gives the visitor multiple choices on travel service providers. The website address is, which to me has helped a lot as i am in sales, and goto places that are not known, or where private travel agents don't care due to low profit margins. Their customer services also looked too good comparing to profit making businesses. Sometimes i wonder how can these people can afford such services.


At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, a fast, clean, safe and reliable public transport system (bus, local trains) is the way to solve issues of pollution, traffic etc. and not a single, compact car for everyone.

Nice blog, though I'd like to suggest that it'd be nice if you had a post on what is the definition of "progress" as you mention in your profile, and how it applies to India (I apologize if I missed that post - I haven't read all of them). If you ask different people, you'll get different answers from them as to what progress means. So, what's your take on progress? What do you see/define as progress for India, or what, according to you, are the indicators of progress? :)

Keep writing and exploring.


At 10:40 PM, Blogger Musings on India said...

26th Jul '07 Economic Times has this editorial from the head of infrastructure for GE in India. The gentleman gives the same usual speal about India's infrastructure needs. But I never hear anyone talk about setting standards that have been benchmarked against the best in the world.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger Kiran said...

Totally agree with this post. Either industry or Govt has to act responsibly here. Flooding the market with OLRC's might as well bring down the entire urban infrastructure in one heave.

I also agree with your point about safety. The cars presently in the market struggle to offer basic safety features - and these cost as much as 4 Lakh rupees. So what could oneexpect from a 1-lakh car??

I have written more about this here.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Adhiraj Joglekar said...

Almost 10% of the global road traffic accidents occur in India. Much of the world wide web is full of sarcasm & mocking of the indisciplined driving on Indian roads. Unfortunately in since 60 years since independence the authorities have failed to publish a National Highway code. Licences are given to anyone who can demonstrate an ability to use the clutch-accelerator, consequently the motoer driving schools teach just that and no more. Concepts such as - blindspots, principle of MSM, the tyre & tarmac rule, 2 second gap and most improtantly giving way are not known to the average Indian driver.

This site has been created with the purpose of providing driver education and training to all Indian road users. It is by far the most comprehensive website providing training in defensive driving. Learning simple road habits can make our roads safe and also free up congestion caused by traffic chaos.

At present 17 driver education videos aimed at changing the driving culture on Indian roads are available. The video are unique in that the footage is real life action from streets of London. We have copied the Western habits: Replaced the dhoti with denim, high rise buildings for Indian cottages, burgers and coke instead of Indian breads and perhaps sugarcane juice. Surely we can copy the Western ways of travelling too.

To watch the videos, interested readers may visit:

The videos cover the following topics:

Video 1: Covers the concept of Blind spots
Video 2: Introduces the principle of Mirrors, Signal and Manoeuvre
Video 3: At red lights, stop behind the stop line
Video 4: At red lights there are no free left turns
Video 5: The Zebra belongs to pedestrians
Video 6: Tyres and Tarmac (rather than bumper to bumper)
Video 7: Merging with the Main road
Video 8: Leaving The Main Road
Video 9: Never Cut Corners
Video 10: Show Courtesy on roads
Video 11: 5 Rules that help deal with Roundabouts
Video 12: Speed limits, stopping distances, tailgating & 2 seconds rule
Video 13: Lane discipline and overtaking
Video 14: Low beam or high beam?
Video 15: Parallel (reverse parking) made easy
Video 16: Give the cyclist the respect of a car
Video 17: Dealing with in-car condensation

Many thanks


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