It was a proud moment and a powerful statement when Dhaka rolled out a bedecked iconic cycle rickshaw on the opening day of the World Cup cricket. This is perhaps the only capital city in our region that can boast of zero emission areas with majority walking or on cycle rickshaws. Yet cars, only 10 per cent of all wheeled trips, bring this city to a grinding halt daily – traffic jams are as bad as we see in the worst of times in Delhi. Jam-struck on Dhaka’s roads, I understood, what warped fuel pricing can do to our cities of South Asia, and, wondered why our finance minister has not figured that out yet?
Our Moms and Grannies will rebel. They have just about upgraded their kitchens from smoky chulhas to clean lpg burners.
We discovered this by sheer chance, buried in the website of the Union Ministry of Shipping Road Transport and Highways. This is a public notice soliciting public opinion on the unfinished agenda of the emissions standards roadmap finalised way back in 2003.
Railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu are the clowns of Indian politics. But think of the actions of the two in the past fortnight and you will begin seeing the difference. Sidhu led the protest for the Bharatiya Janata Party against the fuel price hike by riding an elephant. Effective but clearly stupid. Do excuse my intemperate language but the gall of the politicians to believe we are myopic and their complete lack of leadership in this time of crisis makes me mad.