During the 11 years since Independence there has been a remarkable change in the attitude of the educated people. They no longer scuff at the traditional cultural and religious forms. I am not sure whether we are witnessing revivalism on orthodox religious lines. But clearly there is an attempt on the part of intelligentsia to strike roots in the soil. Rootlessness is no longer rated a virtue. Simultaneously the Westerners are beginning to realise that we are not a nation of naked fakirs and snake-charmers. The Ramlila celebrations should provide an ideal opportunity to emphasise some of our best traditions.
For a whole fortnight I have followed DTU buses in attempt to assess the percentage of buses which eject smoke. My conclusion is that well over 75% of the DTU fleet do so. At least 25% of them raise a veritable smoke screen, which blurs the vision of the motorists behind.
With the growing congestion on our roads, the problems is assuming grave proportions on some of the crowded routes. It is practically impossible for a motorist to overtake a bus. He has to trail behind it for furlongs, if not miles, inhaling the foul smell.
The authorities cannot take shelter behind the defective rules which permit them to challan the drivers and not the owners of such vehicles. The rules could be amended. Even otherwise they can persuade the DTU officials to pay greater attention to the proper maintenance of the vehicles.
As for the quality of this public undertaking's performance, I shall quote from the quarterly progress report, which was released to the press by the Chairman of the Transport Committee on Friday fast. Of a fleet of 534 buses on an average only 375 were on the road. Seventy buses are either obsolete or out of commission for want to spare parts. They were responsible for 155 accidents, five of there major ones. Nearly 500 trips were missed. The number of complaints rose from 556 during previous quarter to 858.
For once investigation vindicate the much-maligned Department. Early this year the read had been surfaced, even though the necessary second lager of stone metal had been provided. In view of the height of the embankments the roads was expected to settle down and the engineers took the view that it would be better to provide second layer afterwards.