62-Year-Old Jaipur Motorist Shares His Point Of View On Changing Roads In Mumbai

62-Year-Old Jaipur Motorist Shares His Point Of View On Changing Roads In Mumbai

As an outsider who visited the city after more than two decades, Mr. Gautam shared his perspective about the changes he saw in the city.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, March 30, 2024, 07:17 PM IST
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FPJ

Being the biggest metropolitan city in the country, Mumbai is changing so rapidly that most of the people can hardly notice the changes undergoing in the long run, but a Jaipur man on motorcycle who visited the city after almost a quarter century has a clear note of how the city has changed over these years.

62-year-old Anil Gautam is known as the ‘man on motorcycle’ not because he rides a bike at such an old age, but because he travels only with his bike, wherever he goes. Mr. Gautam has travelled with his bike to all four ends of the country and places within. After 24 years of riding to Mumbai for a bike promotion rally from Delhi to Chennai in 2000, Mr. Gautam again rode to Mumbai in March on his adventure bike.

Gautam's Observations On Mumbai's Evolving Landscape

As an outsider who visited the city after more than two decades, Mr. Gautam shared his perspective about the changes he saw in the city. Talking to the Free Press Journal, the biker said that the heritage buildings of Mumbai have been covered with ongoing constructions and the grandeur of iconic places like Marine Drive, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Flora Fountain has disappeared.

“During my visit in 2000, I remember visiting the Queen’s Necklace, which had a clear view of the sea, but now the view has changed due to multiple constructions. The same is the situation with Bandra Fort, Nariman Point and Colaba Causeway. There is so much construction happening in the city that even the landmarks have changed,” said Mr. Gautam.

From Father's Influence Leads To Founding SAAHAS

The 62-year-young biker became fond of bikes seeing his father, a policeman who donned aviator sunglasses with his uniform and used to patrol around the city on his bullet. With time, as his interest in motorcycles grew stronger, he started a non- government organisation called Society for Adventure Awareness Humanity and Automobile Sports (SAAHAS) to spread awareness about motorsports and road safety.

As an advocate for two-wheelers, Mr. Gautam believes that the newer infrastructures of Mumbai are an injustice to the bike and moped riders. He highlighted the restriction to two-wheelers on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Atal Setu, Freeway and the Coastal Road as discriminatory.

Gautam's Perspectives On Mumbai's Infrastructure And Traffic Culture

“There are 21 crore two-wheelers in the country and we are the most tax paying motorists, still we don’t have access to such beautiful locations. I also wish to ride my bike on the Sea Link and the Coastal road to embrace its beauty, but we are denied entry citing speed limits, which itself is very subjective. There must be at least a 10-feet wide passage for us to benefit from these utilities,” said Mr. Gautam.

However, the man on a motorcycle appreciated the motorists of Mumbai as disciplined drivers and also appreciated the traffic police for their hard work. “Having rode my bike in most of the cities in the country, I can confidently say that the drivers of Mumbai are very patient, compared to other cities. Unlike in the north where traffic police’s only focus is issuing challans, in Mumbai they actually do their job of mending the traffic,” he added.

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