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Enforcement series – 1 (Madras VS Chennai)

The year was 1978, a young cadet heading out on shore leave after a long shift on board an oil tanker berthed at West Quay 1 Madras Port.

Eager to get off the boat and meet up with old friends at Stella Maris, he showered and stepped out with a spring in his step into the gloriously hot afternoon sun and passing the port Main gate, decided to cross the road.

A traffic constable on the other side beckoned for him to follow, and being of a disciplined background, (Fauji family, military type school and naval training on the training ship) one didn’t argue with uniformed personnel and so follow him he did and was unknowingly led into a dock in the closest magistrates court.

Next thing he knew was answering the magistrate “Guilty / Not Guilty ?”

Excuse me Hello about what ??

The gavel falls Rs 10/-

Guilty / Not guilty ??

What did I do ??

Gavel falls Rs 20/-

Guilty / Not Guilty ??

He is advised by co-dockers to plead guilty or the fine keeps going up.

Gavel falls – settled at Rs 30/-

Now the charge —  “Jaywalking” (if you please)

That was Madras and ever since then the young sailor (now older) on land, only looks for zebra crossings.

(Cadets salary at the time Rs 150 per month)

Fast Forward to Chennai of today and look around

Do the cops know what is “Jaywalking” ?? or What is a zebra crossing ??

Are there any zebra crossings visible ?? Are they used by motorists ?

Is there any enforcement ??

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