SUTHARYA KERALAM…. Humbug to the chore

via HK Correspondent published on January 21, 2006

THIRUVANAMTHAPURAM: If it is terrorists who massacre innocent human beings at Kashmir and the North Eastern India, it is the private buses and tipper lorries which mow down hapless pedestrians in the state of Kerala. Everyday brings in reports from all over Kerala of gruesome death caused by the ‘rogue’ private buses and tipper lorries which compete each other in break-neck speed. Though there was a move to rein in the speeding buses and trucks by installing speed governors, it has been caught in the usual ‘procedural delay,’ a hallmark of the government of the day. Meanwhile death toll mount up in an alarming note all over the state. “The safest mode of transport in Kerala is the tipper lorry. You need not worry about anybody and anything while you travel by the tippers,” remarked a north Indian tourist to this reporter.


A leading light of the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) agreed the other day that pedestrians and bus passengers in Kerala deserve a better deal. “The passengers are treated like cattle by the staff manning the buses in Kerala,” said the official. But the bus owners in the state are worried a lot. They go on wailing about the mounting losses due to the hike in diesel and automobile spare parts. If there is no hike in the price of these products, then they will cry over the taxes and insurance premium!


Taken aback by the alarming rate of bus and tipper accidents, this reporter rang up 155300, the SUTHARYA KERLAM system, set by the one and only Oommen Chandi, the great Apostle of Kerala. It was promised at the time of launching that all grievances of the public will be solved then and there by none other than Oommen Chandi. Well, on Saturday morning I rang up the SUTHARYA KERALAM and a female voice attended the telephone. I told about the alarming increase in the road accidents in the state, especially about an accident involving a tipper lorry on Friday and that too in the capital city.


“See, I will give you the address of the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell. You write in that address,” said the female at the other end. We all know what will happen if we write a complaint to the chief minister. A personal assistant or a lower division clerk will open the letter and the chances are that he will throw it in the dustbin. If we are lucky, the clerk may direct it to the transport minister’s office. There is no chance of the letter reaching the table of the Sakkthan Nadar. Yet another Nadar clerk or personal assistant manning the correspondence section in the transport minister’s office may curse the sender of the letter and throw it in the dustbin. This is the SUTHARYA KERALAM which is being enforced by Chandi and Company.                

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