Monday, January 5, 2009

Off-topic: India notes

Sundry notes unrelated to my normal topics, & unlikely to be of interest to readers outside India.

A pleasant surprise from Bombay police.

On 27 December, I received this SMS that claims to come from MUM POLICE: "If any central government employee demands bribe for any official work in Mumbai & Maharashtra, pls contact SP, CBI, ACB, Mumbai on 9820185123, 22882794."

I've no idea if the message is indeed from local police & whether someone is actually sitting at the other end of phone numbers, but assuming it is - this is the first time I've seen an organ of government hand out a message like this - that too with contact numbers! There may still be hope for a decent administration.

Now when do I get similar numbers for reporting corrupt traffic cops & other public contact points of local administration?

For domestic fliers in India.

Apparently in reaction to Bombay terror attacks, a long list of articles is now banned from commercial airplane cabin baggage. Among the banned articles is Gillette shaving foam bottles larger than 100 ml! I ended up spending additional 10 minutes during checkin due to this.

Also, when flying out of Bombay, old system of physical cabin baggage check (after passing it through X Ray machine) is seems to have been reintroduced. So budget additional check in time.

Kingfisher Airlines.

My first experience with the airline turned out to be less than interesting.

A journey that normally lasts 110 minutes had a Kingfisher flying time of 130 minutes, & that was accelerated time because flight was an hour late! I'm not sure if they're using old aircraft, or optimizing fuel. This is a fact I've never seen advertised - that they have slow moving planes.

Then there was the creaky bus that shuttled us from aircraft to terminal.

I somehow had high expectations because of Vijay Mallya association.

BPL Mobile.

I wonder if they are in some sort of serious trouble? I never had problems with my cell phone till this Diwali. For last 3 months, getting connected has become a rare event - often fails to connect the dialed number; when connected, I or other party can not hear while billing meter keeps ticking! Over a dozen complaints got inane & non-committal answers about vague troubles in ongoing network upgrade; I keep getting the impression that the staff is either not sure of problem, or is not allowed to talk about it.

I wonder if other BPL subscribers in Bombay have also been recently facing this? Are other operators' cell subscribers in Bombay facing similar issues? I haven't had any problem using others phones elsewhere in the country, but my own wasn't receiving calls & was apparently allowing only commercial solicitations as inbound SMSes!


Arvind Mishra said...

Regarding the mobile message -the similar helpline was extended to Delhites by CBI some time back.Glimpses of hitech-good governance!
And regrding Air traffic-With so many airline services in operation there is severe space crunch at the airports and they blame it on other things but yes presently the situation have gone from bad to worst owing to the prevailing dense fog in many parts of north India.