Today sees the fifth day-visarjan of the Ganesh festival in Mumbai. Already we see preparations for visarjan, with more road signage and more traffic police to ensure smooth movement of both pedestrians and traffic at crucial points.
Mumbai sees a special, added burden on the roads during festivals. There is naturally more traffic moving in different directions on these days, posing a challenge to cops and pedestrians. Overall, the police keep traffic moving without incident during these days. There are, of course, certain times when things do go off track, but on the whole, the cops do a commendable job in stressful times.
Let us make a sincere and committed effort to follow traffic rules on these days. Overtaking from the left, breaking signals and speeding are obvious no-nos at all times, but more so when Mumbai faces more people than ever on its roads as hordes move towards lakes and beaches for visarjan or other destinations for different festivals.
The onus does not just lie on the police, or even motorists, for that matter. Pedestrians need to make a sincere effort to stop jaywalking. Don’t rush across the road while crossing, avoid weaving your way through vehicles, especially at traffic signals, in a hurry to get to your destination. One does understand that pavements in the city are impossibly encroached. We see shops and other commercial establishments which have taken over large swathes of the pavements, forcing pedestrians off them and on to traffic-choked roads.
One appreciates that it is a challenge for walkers to find the space to get to different destinations or even walk on one side of the road. Even so, let there be less haste and more maturity from all sides when on the roads. Everybody has a stake in this, from the commuter, to the driver and the pedestrian to the police.
Today, as Mumbaikars mark a half-way point in the Ganeshotsav, let’s give the city its modak-Kodak moment with a disciplined fifth day-visarjan.