Dreadful traffic, scheming auto drivers and insensitive motorists make commuting during the monsoons difficult
If the scorching summer heat was unbearable, then after months of yearning for the monsoon showers, we still seem to be unprepared to face the rains. The uncontrolled water logging, sinuous lines of traffic, unpredictable and longer power cuts and the demoniac open potholes and manholes which just gobble up unsuspecting pedestrians— Hyderabad monsoons have a way of washing away all the romance and poetry that is normally associated with the season. The best way to enjoy the monsoons is from the window of your bedroom; if you are out on the streets then it becomes a question of survival of the fittest. While stranded on the road, one doesn’t think of hot pakoras and listening to Kishore Kumar and Gulzar’s poetry, but how to get on to the bus without falling in the cesspool.
“The frequency of buses becomes fewer due to the rains and they are usually overcrowded,” informs K. Divya a college student, even though she considers the bus as the most convenient way of commuting during the rains. But the problems just don’t end with availing of the bus. “From the bus stop to my house is a 10-minute walk — I dread it. I have to tread carefully so that my foot doesn’t get stuck in any ditch or touch any loose wire,” she informs. Even the bus shelters are not sufficient to shield a big number of awaiting passengers from the downpour.
Despite the jostling crowds, buses manage to provide a shelter. Its not so with other modes of transport. Securing an auto and convincing the auto driver to go by the meter can prove to be a Herculean task. Braving the rain is not enough, you have to engage in a tricky verbal duel as well. “Most of the auto drivers realise you are completely at their mercy, and demand exorbitant amount of money,” explains Pia Chakraborty, marketing executive. “In a moment of desperation, once I yelled at the auto driver in a very filmy way that he is taking advantage of me being wet and stuck, he started laughing then,” she says.
After waiting for an hour, Subhasini S. MNC employee was forced to jump into an auto with a total stranger. “Without a care I just hopped into the auto and the person sitting inside was completely flummoxed. I asked him where he was going and I forced him to drop me home, since it was on his way,” she recalls.
Moreover, the roads dug up in certain areas also create problems for the commuters. The ditches are usually left unmarked and without a barricade which poses a danger for motorists as well as pedestrians. Water logging under the flyovers and inconsiderate driving by motorists also add to the woes. Kaushik Kumar a student who rides a bike says that when stopping under any flyover, water from the top falls overhead. “The area under the flyover is usually inundated and I have to lift my legs up so that it doesn’t touch the muck. People can be very insensitive too, they drive past so fast splashing the murky water on motorists nearby,” he says.
Driving late in the night becomes almost impossible and many of the night shift workers are sometimes forced to camp in their office till the heavy rain abates.
The monsoon grouses are many and in the words of Sravanti Sharma, software engineer, “I had conjured up an entire scene where I will fall in love during the rains but all I am forced to deal with is the murky waters and bad traffic.”