Since last few days I am back in Ahmedabad and I am pissed off with our great “Amdavadi driving style”. People drives “Bindass”, they neither care about their fellow commuters nor care about any rules and regulations. That results into traffic jams, accidents and chaos at every junction.
Now a day, I am often travelling to Kenya for my consulting assignments. So I’ve got a change to compare traffic conditions of both the cities and believe me it sucks everywhere! Both the cities have different set of problems that result into pathetic traffic conditions.
Just to brief you about Nairobi, It has highest number of Mercedes – Benz outside Germany. It is also a big market for refurbished (used) Japanese cars (as per my assumption every 8 out of 10 cars are the refurbished one!). Here, people prefers car because of security reasons. Now a day you will find few Chinese and Indian motorbikes on the road but the ratio is negligible as compared to cars.
If we talk about Nairobi, Infrastructure is almost zero and roads are the same what it was in 1975. Number of cars has been increased drastically but there is hardly any traffic signal! Every road has a series of traffic islands which creates further chaos!!
The moment you enter Nairobi, your first encounter with traffic jams will start from airport itself. The Mombasa Road is very famous for its bad traffic situations; one day it took me 2 hrs just to travel half a kilometre on Mombasa road. Overall traffic situation is almost same across Nairobi, the major reasons for traffic jam are rain, bad road conditions, accidents, MATATUs (Domestic mean of transport) and sometimes police officials themselves!
I would like to quote my encounter with traffic cops, one day there was a traffic jam on Enterprise Road and my driver was following the lane but to save my time he tried to change the lane. Suddenly a policeman came in front of my car, beat my driver and throw away my car’s keys! My driver took 25 minutes to search the keys and during that time my car was idle at the middle of the road; which results into a long file of cars behind me!!
Despite all the odds, traffic sense of the people is far better than Ahmedabad. People are generally following their lanes (except the great MATATU drivers!) and almost zero honking. As one of my colleague “Shri. Borse Bhai” rightly said it’s a serene traffic jam!
On the other side, Ahmadabad’s infrastructure is far better. Wider roads, traffic signals, flyovers, subways; it has everything - a city should have for better traffic management. But it is its people (Including me) who all are responsible for chaotic situation at every junction. People doesn’t have any traffic sense, they drive like crazy!
If someone can conduct a survey on noise pollution level, I am confident that Ahmedabad will top. Here, everyone loves honking. Even if you stop at red light; person behind your car will keep on honking. This is really a very pathetic and typical habit of Amdavadis (Person belongs to Ahmedabad)!
Amdavadi loves breaking traffic rules and they act like they accomplished some great task, but because of all these they make it worst for the person who follows the traffic rules!
In conclusion, I can say it’s better to stuck in Nairobi’s serene traffic jam than drive into so called world class Ahmedabad!