Sunday, April 12, 2009

Does anyone care?

Last night, a dangerous accident occurred in Chandhanee Magu. Four people were injured. Last week in Male’, a 51 year old man died after a motorcycle hitting him while he was walking on Medhu Ziyaaraiy Magu (
It has become almost impossible to walk around the streets of Male’. The number of motorcycles in Male’ has increased disastrously in the past 2-3 years. The number of ‘private’ cars has increased alarmingly. There’s hardly any space for anyone to walk. Does anyone care?
Male’, being a highly populated city, among cities with the highest population densities in the world, requires special attention, as far as importing vehicles to this small island are concerned. Thanks to Sheesha, and many other importers, who provide easier installment terms, making a brand new motorcycle affordable to almost anybody with a fixed income. However, we do have a Transport Ministry as well, who should be worrying about the growing traffic problems, and devising policies that could address the increasing number of vehicles being imported into the island. I say, we need urgent action; imposing a strict quota on imported motorcycles and cars; and if possible increase the import duty on all these vehicles, so that the numbers can start to fall.
According to news reports, some 521 vehicles parked illegally have been penalized by the traffic police ( you can see them busy every night around the streets of Male’, towing vehicles). Again, the best solution would be to control the importing of these vehicles.
It’s not safe to be out on the streets anymore. No matter you walk, ride or drive.


  1. does anybody care abt anything? we must be the most hedonistic country in the world, everyone pursuing their pleasures and nobody respecting the other. Getting what you want is the most important thing, there;s no such thing as courtesy, considerateness. What you see on the street is our culture

  2. Why the hell do they need so many cars for in Male? There isn't any space to drive it!
    I'd be embarrassed to drive a car in Male (it has actually gotten to the point where you can reach your destination faster by walking), but some people just can't fight the need to show off. :P

  3. While I appreciate your alarm and concern at the rising number of traffic related deaths it shows again that Maldivians need more government not LESS. Free marketeers like you espouse competition survival of the fittest and hedonism. There are 'no [Adam Smiths]invisible hands' to regulate such behaviour. I hope it proves to you that regulatory mechanisms are important.

  4. Yes ofcourse. We need a government for proper regulations and required infrastructure, even if you have a free market. A free market cannot function with good institutions, a legal framework, efficient court system, and the necessary infrastructure.

  5. The root cause of the problem in not unrestricted imports or lower tariff on vehicles. I believe it goes much deeper than that, and imposing a quota would not solve the problem. If any, it could lead to creation of black markets and increased motor vehicle theft and such.

    The problem roots from centralization and continual investment of thirty years in a single island of 1.5 square km (Male'). An island that now accounts for one third of the population of the country (100,000 people approx.). We can pass strict motor vehicle regulations, we charge higher tariffs on motor vehicles, but what good would that do in the long run?

    Unless we device policies to divert the population away from male' I don't believe we can change the face of Male' or the situation that the people of the Male' face today.