Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Petrol dealers strike is good for Bombay

The petrol dealers strike could not have come at a better time for the city of Bombay (Mumbai). Although their reasons for going on strike are a little silly - how and
why should they interfere with the state government taxation policy on petroleum products. There are a few state run petrol pumps and some company owned petrol pumps which are functioning, but they are in sufficient to meet the demands of the city.

Before I write further, some might believe that I am biased as I use the public transport and I also believe/have faith in Bombay's robust public transport system. Let me state some things which I observed over the last two days - my bus ride to work today was a lot smoother (though the bus was crowded, more than usual), I saved about 10mins or more of travel time, the air felt a lot fresher and the roads looked a lot cleaner. Other than that I also observed that lot of people were using car pools which was a pleasant surprise in Bombay, people were not using their private cars unnecessarily for small errands & unwanted trips.

I hope that this indefinite strike continues for a few days, it will teach us a good lesson on how we can conserve and use petroleum products judiciously. This will also give the car pool movement a big kicker. I hope the state government decides to levy a heavy congestion cess or some additional tax on private vehicles that enter the main city. This will not only help reduce traffic but will also provide additional
resources to the government to invest in the city's public transport system.

I recently met a the guy who started a service called Koolpool in Bombay. visit www.koolpool.co.in to register or call +91 22 39442772 for more details. Its a very safe way to carpool and its supported by a SMS based platform to facilitate the car pool system. Registrations are now open and the service would start soon in Bombay
and some other metros.

Coming back to my preparation, I did manage to run 7.5kms today and did it in decent time of a little over 42minuets. I hope to run four times during this week, followed by a 20km long run on Sunday.

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