Narendra Modi has undoubtedly done a lot to MODIfy Gujarat.
His no-nonsense approach towards getting things done is what India needs. In the absence of any other equally resolute, determined, articulate and confident leader who also has huge public acceptance, he remains the only hope for a MODIfied India. He has clearly shown by his work in Gujarat that he has all the credentials to surely make a positive difference to India.
But, among all the good and great things that he has done for Gujarat. There is one small thing which needs his attention. And that is, public transport in Ahmedabad. My recent and earlier visits to the city showed that the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) is anything but efficient. The frequency is bad, buses are in bad shape, the drivers are careless and always-in-hurry and the service is pathetic.
The auto rickshaw service in the city is worse. The metering system is almost 30-years old. The auto drivers are always aiming at fleecing the passengers for some easy money by taking new people in the city for a ride literally. The general attitude of the autowallas in the city is rude and greedy. I have hardly come across any co-operative auto man in Ahmedabad. Their lot in the railway station area is the worst. They don’t follow metering system and even the Traffic Police don’t do anything even after told to intervene. There is also a shared auto system (called ‘shuttle’) in the city which carries at times EIGHT passengers along with the driver. I have sat in such a ‘shared’ auto with 7 others… It is downright risky. But in the absence of any other viable transport system, people have to take such risks.
Ahmedabad is growing in all directions, but this growth will not sustain if corresponding public transport facilities are not added. Currently, public transport infrastructure in the city is grossly inadequate, and traffic police is virtually invisible to control the menace of auto rickshaws.
NaMo should intervene and influence the town developers in Ahmedabad, with the example of Mumbai. A lot of progress of Mumbai has happened thanks to its robust public transport system of local trains, buses and auto/taxis.
Till then, a visitor to Ahmedabad will have to bear the brunt of the rude, greedy auto-men and inefficient bus services. This makes the city visit memorable for all the wrong reasons. Along with developing all other parts of the state, NaMo must immediately look into this issue and MODIfy it also.