After having spent around two hours in traffic for a journey which should have taken just 15 minutes, I began to get back my equanimity after letting go about 150 abuses full of the choicest adjectives one could think of.
Then having settled back with a glass of something invigorating and a cigar to calm the nerves, a sudden thought struck my mind – what if I fast forwarded the clock to the year 2040 when Pune had actually become a smart city?
I began to warm to the idea. I could see Pune, all spic and span, full of slick, modern buildings, many touching the sky. There were flyovers everywhere and the metro sliding away into a dense part of the city.
This was the modern city one dreamt of living in. The roads were concreted, smooth without any moon-like craters. And there I was, in my electric vehicle, chugging along without a bother in the world.
The traffic was extremely disciplined. There were cameras everywhere to catch violators if any. There were police present at every corner in smart uniforms looking fit and very professional indeed.
The flyovers and underpasses were a big boon. The traffic flowed without glitches except for an occasional breakdown.
The filth and dirt had disappeared. Garbage was a thing of the past. There were proper disposal points at every corner of the city. Huge black containers with lids were placed at almost every corner and every two hours a truck would come and empty it.
Violators who littered faced stiff punishments and nobody dared to do so. Paan was finally banned in public in 2045 and those red blotches were a thing of the past.
Smokers were not allowed to butt their cigarettes in public. If they smoked, then they had to pick up the butt and throw it into the nearest available public ashtray.
At every km, there were these mobile public toilets both for men and women. Open defecation was banned and anyone caught doing that would face four years in jail. Spitting was an absolute No, No. If you dared to spit, then the consequences would be enormous.
Pune’s move not to give permission to builders if they don’t include parking spaces also finally paid off. Also the civic authorities built huge multi-storeyed parking areas which have eased parking in busy streets.
The coming of the metro has been totally beneficial to the city. People prefer to use this mode of transport for work or visit.
The network had increased to such an extent that every corner of the city could be accessed easily. If the metro can’t reach you then there were those modern public transport buses which get you on time anywhere. Prompt and efficient, these buses were manned by polite and helpful conductors and drivers.
And then the icing on the cake was the polite people of Pune who now believed in keeping time. If they said one hour then they would come within 50 minutes instead of two days later.
I now knew that this was an ideal city to live in and an example for other cities to follow in the country.
Just then the bell rang loudly, breaking the reverie. It was the watchman, looking nervous and saying in a reedy voice, “Sir, somebody banged your car from behind and sped away before I could take his number. The damage seems huge.”
I have now added some more adjectives to my vast collection of cuss words. The new ones are far more descriptive and it insults not only the person but his entire lineage starting from the dawn of civilisation.
Smart city indeed!
#All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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