Monday, June 30, 2008

Adventures of a Chennaiite in Petrol illadha kaadu

(Jungle without Petrol!) (Read like Thanni illadha Kaadu:)

30 June 2008 9 AM: Me and Hari on the phone

Me: I need my camera to upload the pics of yesterday's BHUMI meet, at least 80-90 people must be waiting for it

Hari: I'll give it to you at Gandhi Mandapam at around 10 when I go to my office...

10 50AM, Call from Hari: Prahal see you in 20 minutes! (see the time this fellow goes to office and his punctuality)

1105 AM, Me travelling through Kotturpuram, Call from Hari: Hope you've not left home, cos I'm stranded on the OMR without fuel.

Me: So what you gonna do? Let me get fuel for you...

Then began the hour long search for Black Gold! I first bought a 1 litre mineral water bottle and started in search of the bunks near Adyar Signal to my surprise all were closed. When I asked the guy inside if there was some strike he said po po!

So I went in search of petrol bunks toward Thriruvanmiyur. Got caught in a major traffic jam near a petrol bunk on the way to Indira Nagar, so I started drinking the water not wanting to waste 13 bucks :P. Suddenly the traffic moved and the bottle slipped from my hand and started rolling towards the pavement. In cinematic fashion, it slowly rolled, escaping all the speeding vehicles to reach the pavement without a dent!

After a while I managed to get in to the petrol bunk wondering what to do with all the water, only to find a long snaky queue of people with all sorts of containers. as I passed around the water to all the waiting 'auto karans' I realised none of them knew why there was no petrol at other bunks or why they were trying to get fuel in large containers in preparation for doomsday! As I joined the long line of ignorant people cursing Hari, that 'Nanari payan' calls me to ask what's taking me so long :-/

After, half an hour waiting through conversations of 'expert' economists I finally got 50 bucks worth of 'black gold!'

Later learnt, it was only a supply chain disruption... But is the day when water and fuel will be rationed like this far away?

Defintely related!: Subsidising Regression

Friday, June 06, 2008

Gmail Rocks!

If the ever expanding mailbox, Conversations view, Google Chat, Labels, IMAP and the email account that wouldn't get deleted weren't enough. These guys keep making it better and better every day. Gmail Labs allows Gmail users to create add-ons to Gmail and these guys will implement the most popular ones for everyone else. How much more cool can it get?

And Gmail is still in Beta! The possibilities are endless for best email service in the world

- A grateful Googlaholic :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Subsidising Regression

Cost of the Chennai's MRTS: Rs.1,000 Crore (over 20 Years)

Cost of Delhi Metro: Rs 10,500 Crore (over 10 years)

Cost of National fuel subsidy: Rs: 200,000 Crore (in 2007-08 - 1 year)

Considering a Bus costs Rs.0.25 Crore approx and the subsidy on petrol is Rs 15/litre (A bus for every 1.6Lakh litres petrol subsidy!)

It's obvious that the government has frittered away a lot of money to prevent a possible loss at the next general elections. While the MRTS and the Metro have been dubbed as part failures because their patronage is not to their full capacity (where again the blame lies with the governments) imagine we could've had Metros across all our major cities and MRTSs across all other major towns and cities and thousands of buses for the whole country just with this year's fuel subsidy.

One of the UPA government's biggest mistakes was removing the Administered Price Mechanism of the NDA which made changes in cost of petrol a mathematical process rather than a political decision. The best news I've heard in this regard has been that the national petroleum companies have started rationing fuel and their impending bankruptcy and closure within a few months if the fuel price subsidy is not removed/rationalised. When that happens, it'll be doomsday for the UPA and a lesson for all selfish power-hungry politicians who come to power in the future.

If the government can afford so much on short-term subsidies they can definitely afford better public transport for all of us.

If people can't afford to pay for the true cost of fuel, they can't afford the true cost of damaging the environment either!

The One-eyed Blogger

8 hours at the Hospital, travelling, studying, Bhumi work... if all this wasn't enough. I joined 12 hour classes in the weekends :(

So I quit my job to concentrate more on my exams, guess what... More time for BHUMI and the IPL!

Left with nowhere to steal time from it's my Physical diary, Blogs, Email checking, news paper reading and the like that have suffered. No More! :)

Also, since my micro Blog on Twitter has taken off (see side-bar) it feels so nice to tell the world what's going on in my life. But it's a little sad the people I really wanna 'follow' are not yet on Twitter:'( Till then I 'Tweet' on...

Since my spectacles broke in the morning, I've had little else to do, so am putting my self-imposed house arrest to good use by updating my blog!