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04 November 2006

Driving in Mumbai

Drive them crazy!
Link reference:, sent by Behi Sobhani

SO YOU thought the roads of Manila, Tel Aviv, and Rome have been your best driving challenges? Wait till you come to Mumbai. Drivers in this city neither race with each other at the slightest provocation (like Israelis do) nor halt in the middle of the road to debate on the latest traffic regulation (like Filipinos do). But a typical Mumbai driver honks madly and comments on how idiotic the other driver is . . . before joining 1.8 million other vehicles the competition for honking the loudest and squeezing cars into that extra space on the road. And that's when the best driving challenges of your life begin.

While most Mumbaikars travel within the city by train, around 655 vehicles navigate every kilometer of road length, compounded with 9,000 vehicles being bought every month. Enhance the snarl with the fact that only 2,500 cops form the Mumbai traffic force.

But there's light at the end of the tunnel (or road, in this case). The good news is that the state government is reviewing the initiative by the city police commission to install an ambitious automated area traffic management system to ease the congestion. It remains to be seen how soon this system gets delivered. In my experience in Mumbai, deliveries get delayed in the city . . . because of the traffic.


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