Thursday, 10 January 2008

Car seva

"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world"

This verse from 'The passing of King Arthur' in a way describes the turn of time, when one year flows into another.

The last week of 2007 and the first week of 2008 has been filled with action the world over. Ranging from the serious to the frivolous, these two weeks have seen it all. Benazir Bhutto's assassination with son Bilawal and niece Fatima catapulted to world attention, Sarkozy cosying up with Carla Bruni in Egypt, the start of the Presidential race in the US have hogged world attention.

However, most middle class Indians are now occupied with the launch of the Rs one Lakh ($ 2,500) post factory car by the Tatas. This could be the New Year gift of the Tatas to the people of India. The car is going to capture the 300 million middle class aspirations of a nation where more than 50% of the population is below 25 years of age.

Everybody and his uncle would be maintaining a car. BPO kids, college students, retired people ----------everyone would be interested in buying a piece. No wonder that Bajaj group is also planning to enter the four-wheeler sector --however it is not known whether the car will be priced similarly.

But I am dismayed. Indian cities are grappling with traffic jams and poor road connectivity. Indian roads are nothing to write home about and although several new highways and flyovers have been planned, it will be some time before the roads are able to cater to all the tiny new contraptions running all over the place. Commuting is going to be a nightmare (if it is not already!) in Indian cities.

So while we celebrate rising incomes and lowered car costs, the least the government could do would be to build more roads at a lightning pace. Till then, good luck to us!


MUSER said...

'Nano' car will choke our 'nano' infrastructure and lead to 'colossal' chaos.
Good to hear from you again.
Welcome back to the world of blogizens.

honestinjun said...

I liked the clever use of the word 'nano'. Thanks for the welcome. Writer's block has somewhat lifted.

MUSER said...

Blogger's block you mean?

rasbichool said...

So much of hype and hoopla over yet another major source of global warming. I just don't get it...

nachbaliye said...

Yeah. I agree. Now at a time when most of European cities and even Japanese (Kyoto) have bicycle zones which are strictly no auto zones, trust our industrialists to find new ways of creating a market for potential environmentally hazardous goods. The car is not fully Euro 1V compliant, I hear.

mumkool said...

With a price this low, Nano is bound to raise India's dependance on its oil imports. This does not forbode well for its economic health.
I wonder whether this car is a passing fad or it is here to stay.
Only time will tell...