Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thank city’s traffic jams

If you have not heard ‘Vote for...’ blaring from autos this year, thank city’s traffic jams
Civic poll campaign was quieter because candidates did not hire autos fitted with loud-speakers, as they become ineffective when caught in traffic jams
BANGALORE MIRROR BUREAU


Though Bangaloreans have been cursing its infamous traffic jams, there’s one reason to thank them. They have ensured that politicians do not deploy autos mounted with blaring loud-speakers, which made life miserable, during election campaigns.
The three-wheelers, decorated with party colours and posters of candidates, were among the most visible and preferred campaign vehicles as they could navigate narrow gallis and reach every nook of the city. However, these vehicles were conspicuous by their absence throughout the campaigning for the BBMP elections. Various auto drivers’ associations claim that during the last BBMP elections, one of the major political parties had hired close to 2,000 autos.
“That is a conservative estimate,” says Syed Khan of the Bangalore Auto Rickshaw Dealers and Drivers’ Association.
This time, the number of autos hired by all the candidates put together is less than 2,000.
Though official line of political parties is the limit on the number of vehicles, candidates let us in on the real reason.
One of them said, “Each auto costs about Rs 2,500 per day. It works out if the auto covers at least 60 to 70 km a day. But, the traffic jams ensure that they can’t do more than 40 km. Why waste money when there are no returns? Instead, if i get a lady to wear a saree in my party colours, more people will see it.” This two-time corporator has deployed three autos in his constituency at Vijayanagar while he had hired 20 during the last civic election.
A first-time candidate said, “When stuck in a traffic jam, there is no use repeating the same message to the same people? It is a dead investment.”
The change in strategy has hit the auto drivers hard. “During elections, we used to make anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 900 every day. We had a fixed income during the campaign. But this time, nobody has approached us,” says Ramesh S N who has campaigned for all political parties. FACTORS AGAINST THREE-WHEELERS
A first-time candidate said, “When stuck in a traffic jam, there is no use repeating the same message to the same people? It is a dead investment.”
A two-time corporator had hired 20 autorickshaws during the last BBMP election. This time, he deployed just three in his constituency at Vijayanagar.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home