Kolkata roads - like most cities, have an array of cars zooming past. At peak hours though - the zooming changes to trudging or hiccupping. Kolkata city traffic has swelled over the past decade, much like the rivers in spate during the monsoon, consequently increasing commute time and traffic jams.
Amidst all this traffic madness, the streets of Kolkata cradled a silent revolution. A city - known for its orthodox taste, was only sparsely dotted by flaunting long tailed cars. In fact, these rare high-end cars maintained a quiet, stately presence. A study done a few years ago revealed that Kolkata had the financial power, but was not in favor of splurging on luxury cars.
The small and mid-car segments ushered in a revolution that made cars affordable for the masses. Cars of all colours poured onto the streets like gumballs. It brightened the roads, but packed it too. Public vehicles have shed that weary, tattered look, and have been replaced by a smart fleet of buses that make the ride comfortable for commuters. Many of these are air conditioned, making the summers all the less dreadful for the daily passenger.
Now, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Spotting Mercedes and BMWs purring past, grew from being a weekend novelty to commonplace even during rush hours. Sensing business opportunities, other luxury auto makers like Toyota, Audi and Skoda refused to be left out, and came in with plush showrooms in the heart of the city. High end cars of leading brands such as Volkswagen, Honda and Ford arrived, and Kolkata had enough willing buyers with deep pockets - so none had to jostle for marketshare. Seldom had the automobile industry had it so good in a city.
Superbikes like Harley Davidson have added smoke to the already 'hot' roads of Kolkata.
Luxury cars on Kolkata roads are now like a generous sprinkling of nutty topping on an apple pie, with even Jaguar, Porsche and Ferrari recently joining the party.
Mindsets have changed. The cars are here. 'If you've got it flaunt it' is the new mantra for a generation that is raring to go.
While on that, Team M3.tv's advice: Drive safely and follow all traffic rules.
Source: Team M3.tv