Before people started to wave at their relatives in Canada, from Punjab, the world as we knew it, wasn’t able to see its own toes due to air pollution. So we devised unique methods to lessen our carbon footprint, initiatives like odd-even were tried out, and shared mobility was in vogue. But that very phenomenon will now have to travel back in time and if you are among those who used to cringe looking at a single occupant in a 7-seater SUV, prepare your facial muscles for some new expressions.
The new world order suggests that our lifestyle in the near future must be tweaked to maintain physical distance. We’ll find a vaccine eventually, however, the human mind has been instilled with fear that might last for quite some time. Recent studies have already begun indicating that post the lockdown, a majority of people have indicated that they will fall back on personal transportation. Those who don’t have a vehicle are already contemplating buying one. Since the lockdown barred cab operators and public transportation from functioning, the troubles such folks have experienced during these times has only cemented their resolve further.
Those who are in the business of mass transportation have already been asked to rearrange the ways in which they ferried people, once we decide to step out and attempt to get on with life. In such a situation, carpooling, cab sharing. shared rickshaws and all other such initiatives will have to be binned, for a while at least. We’ve been asked to travel with limited occupants in a car already, and it appears, we’ll be back to square one for a while when it comes to shared mobility.
What Happens Next?
What this means is that when we eventually step out in full force, there will possibly be more vehicles on our streets. However, for a majority of us, a personal mode of transportation is still a far-fetched luxury. Post the lockdown, it will still be a challenge for those who would have no choice but to continue using means of public transport, where air pollution or not, our toes have never been visible to our own eyes (and it’s not because of our bellies). It will be a big dilemma for the authorities too, especially in cities like Mumbai, where a sight of jam-packed local trains and buses is just the opposite of what the current situation demands. For a country like ours, where the majority depends on daily wages to put food on the table, we’ve got to put our shoes on and start walking at the earliest. However, it could also mean that some might tie their laces for the last time. No wonder nobody wants to be in the Government’s shoes for now.