Experiences from staying a month in India – Part 2

Recently I have returned in Dhaka after staying almost a month in Delhi, India. I am going to share my experience of staying a month on India. This is continuation of sharing my experience from my month long stay in Delhi, India. If you have not read earlier parts, you may read at here.

5. Towards cashless society

Delhi has put a lot effort in becoming cashless society. Almost everyone has a mobile wallet or mobile banking account. It is possible to make payment either in card or from mobile wallet in almost anywhere. I have seen QR code placed in small and big shops, taxi, hospitals, pharmacies, super shops etc. Customer can just scan the code and make payment. This is similar to Bangladesh. What surprised me was that roadside sellers like vegetable sellers, fruits sellers, street food sellers have QR code of their own. In Bangladesh, I believe, we have not been able to issue QR code to this street level vendors.

Another interesting thing I have seen is number of mobile banking providers. From PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay to many others. Interesting thing was these mobile banking service providers allows to add and send money to other mobile baking service provider. This facility is yet to start in Bangladesh. Although I heard there is a project on going at Bangladesh Bank to allow inter mobile wallet transactions.

In terms of becoming cashless, I have seen another interesting thing in Delhi, India. Almost all shops accept card payment no matter the size of the business. I was able to make a card payment to small grocery shops for making a purchase of 500 INR. It was possible because there are some companies, in addition to traditional banking and non-banking financial institutions, which provides POS machine to facilitate financial transactions. Pine Lab is one of such companies and I believe is the leading one in this sector. I believe this because I have seen Pine Lab marked POS machine in maximum shops in addition to the POS machines facilitated by banking and non-banking financial institutions. This is an excellent business idea. You collect money on behalf of your user and make payment to the user based on their request. Meanwhile, you hold the money and can utilize the money to generate income. Although this is the same concept mobile banking service providers uses.

In nutshell what I want to say is the number mobile banking users in Delhi are very high and it is possible to make payment in card or from mobile wallets in almost everywhere. It is possible to pass the day without making any payments with cash notes. I myself has spent couple of days only using my card.

6. Traffic management

Before going to Delhi, I heard that Delhi was very crowded area and with lots of Traffic. But once I went there, I didn’t see that much of traffic other than traffic signals. Delhi has managed its traffic very efficiently. The length I passed in Dhaka in 1 hour, I could pass the same length within 20/25 minutes. Despite having plenty of cars and other vehicles, Delhi traffic was very light. Of course, specious roads and metro rails plays a big role in minimizing traffic, but I believe following the traffic rules plays most vital role. I have seen that vehicles and pedestrians are very respectful to and compliant with the traffic rules. One night I saw a car was waiting at the red light when the entire road was empty. I am sure this wouldn’t be the case in Dhaka. On an empty road, no car will wait at the red light.

I had the opportunity to visit Taj Mahal at Agra. I hired a 7-seater car for this ride which took nearly four-hour to reach my destination. The roads were very specious, but my ride didn’t exceed speed 100 KM/H. I asked my driver why he was not going faster in an empty straight-line road when many private cars passed us at higher speed. Then my driver informed me that the there is a speed limit for different categories of vehicles on these roads. For example, Trucks can go at limit of 60 KM/H and big cars like ours had limit of 100 KM/H where private sedan cars have no specific limit. Roads has CCTV in various places which automatically records the speeds of moving cars. If anyone violates the speed limit, it will be captured by CCTV and will be fined. My driver had a 1000 INR fine for speed limit violation. That’s why he was very serious at keeping the speed limit below 100 KM/H

7. Metro and Infrastructure

Last time I went to Delhi, I saw Delhi metro lines and people visiting from one surrounding states. But this time it has expanded massively. In last 3-4 years Delhi has started constructions of Phase IV of the project. Within this short time most of the project has been completed and metro has started to operate on this line which has connected almost all areas of Delhi. Furthermore, Delhi Metro is connected with Gurugram Metro and Noida Metro. Therefore, People from those surrounding states can do jobs at Delhi by travelling from their own home. This has reduced traffic in the Delhi as well as people’s tendency to move to capital. I believe out metro rail in Dhaka will have similar beneficiary effect.

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