Friday, March 07, 2014

Playing Police Where There is no Police

The Dochula Block saga begins again. The road widening works are back, they always wait for the rainy season. The mess from last season has not been taken care of yet and now new works have begun at three locations. Traffic remains closed for hours, there are police on the spot and of course roadside thukpa sellers. When traffic opens on regular intervals vehicles go wild from both directions. There is nobody to manage the flow.
So on a typical day, I was on my way to Thimphu. I waited an hour sandwiched between hundreds of vehicles. I finished reading all the tweets I missed in many days and completed several levels on Diamond Dash. When the floodgate of frustrated traffic opened I landed up after two trucks. We were moving like glacier. Soon a truck from other direction slipped and hit its body onto the nose of the first truck before me. Everybody came out and that's it, the traffic came to standstill.
It took quite sometime for me to dare put my new shoe into the red mud covering the road. I went to the accident spot only to find that the two drivers haven't even started talking. They were facing away from each other and talking with their groups of supporter- you know how people take sides. I looked at the damage, the dent was only about a punch size that could hardly be worth Nu.1000.
Look who is angry!
The driver of the damaged truck blames the other for not stopping and not keeping enough gap but it's clearly visible the there was no room for safe gap and that he had slipped despite stopping. There was rather space on his side and he could have moved a little away. I voiced that. I told them that there is no way any road safety official could reach us from either end and waiting there any longer will only build the traffic jam that could lead to bigger problems. So I decided that they share the cost. With Nu.500 we began clearing the jam. It was another hour before I could finally free myself from the snailing convoy. But damn, only to be stopped at the next block.
It took me six hours to reach Thimphu. What causes this problem? Does road widening have to be road blocking? Do we really have to stop traffic? Well I heard that thing about safety, but where is the safety in creating traffic jam along the unstable hill (remember the incident from last year? I nearly lost a friend. he lost his hi-lux though and nobody paid for it) Don't we have a smarter alternative? Though Bhutanese are generally lazy we still have better things to do than play mobile games at high altitude road block.

1 comment:

  1. Very sensible post PaSsu. So is the same story with the cotton-tree that causes irritation to our eyes grown wildly in Thimphu - you just wait and see; the officials will start cutting them only when the pollens start spreading. That will be too late. The pollens would spread even farther.

    The road widening also widens the danger zones on the highways!

    ReplyDelete

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