BMTC's hidden agenda

Right In The Middle
Last Updated 18 October 2009, 16:41 IST

The other day I ran into a BMTC official. He was at pains to explain to me how his organisation was trying to provide transport service with a humane touch keeping the health of commuters in mind. I was a bit surprised. Pray explain, I said.

Look, most of our commuters do the paper pushing or key board operating job. It means sitting glued to the chair for 8-10 hours daily. Again, when they reach home, they hit the chair. If they get a seat in the bus they will sit again. This means sitting for some 12 to 15 hours daily. Where is the time for the exercise? You are right, I said.

Sitting for such a long time leads to deep knee thrombosis and early arthritis. That is what our concern is. That’s why we make people travel standing in the bus and so, in their interest, we have curtailed the trips. Fewer trips mean crowded buses and this means one has to stand and travel. Some exercise for the knees, you see. I saw the point.

Again we make people travel long distance. Wherever you have to go you have to change the bus at Majestic or KR Market or Shivajinagar. No direct routes. This means more exercise for the people. Health is our priority. No? Of course, I said.

Good. Travelling standing means exercise to hands, legs, waist, head — in short — to all parts of the body. It is ‘sarvaanga aasana’ indeed. Legs have to be constantly moved to accommodate the co-passenger, his luggage, vegetables, grocery items; by holding the top bar at various angles, in different ways, free traction is obtained  and specially so when bus stops, starts, turns, jerks. Excellent, I said.

Our drivers have been specially trained to give maximum jerks to produce the required stimulus to the arms, hand and wrist. By constantly bending and turning the back and the waist get enough exercise. I am sure people are healthy now. At this rate, doctors will be unhappy with us. Agree? I agreed.

But people have not appreciated this and we are berated. The media has also not appreciated this, he lamented.

(Published 18 October 2009, 16:41 IST)

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