Around the Web

Watch: How Calcutta’s infamous traffic posed a major hurdle to US military forces back in 1945

‘US military vehicles found themselves disputing the right of way with rickshaws, ox-carts, the city transit system, pedestrians, bicycles and civilian cars.’


Even when it was officially called Calcutta, Kolkata could boast of bad traffic. And ‘twas ever so. A short film from 1945 made by the British Government, titled Calcutta Traffic Control System, records the struggles of the American military police during the Second World War on the streets of the city.

The 18-minute film, made by the War Department and Army Pictorial Service Signal Corps, provides a comprehensive explanation of the traffic control system implemented by the military police in Calcutta (and beyond), to ensure smooth functioning of the China Burma Indian Theatre (CBI) Road, which passed through the city

Calcutta’s chaotic streets posed a major hurdle to their mission. As the narrator begins, “In the CBI theatre the military police were faced with two kinds of traffic problems: traffic through a tortuous, unexplored jungle on a road still under construction...and street traffic in ancient foreign cities, not yet geared to the high speed of the modern world. One such foreign city is Calcutta, India, the metropolis of the Orient.”

In a condescending, self-righteous tone, the narrator continues to criticise Calcutta, “Its native population, their customs, their very religions were set to a tempo much too slow for the swift efficiency of a modern army. United States military vehicles found themselves disputing the right of way with rickshaws, ox-carts, the city transit system, pedestrians, bicycles and civilian cars. Calcutta was a veritable obstacle course in traffic control.”

The video then goes on to proudly explain, with comprehensive, intricate details, the course of action taken by the military police to ensure smooth movement of their supplies, and the traffic control systems implemented.

The film proclaims that the measures undertaken by the military police in Calcutta applied “modern principles of traffic management to a city not even accustomed to walking on sidewalks.”

The effects do not seem to have lasted, if the video below from a few decades later is anything to go by.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

When house hunting is as easy as shopping for groceries

The supermarket experience comes to a sector where you least expected it.

The woes of a house hunter in India are many. The dreary process starts with circling classifieds in newspapers and collecting shiny brochures. You flip through the proposed and ready designs that launch a hundred daydreams on the spot. So far so good. But, every house hunter would attest to the soul-crushing experience of checking out a disappointing property.

The kitchen of a 2BHK is carved from the corner of the hall, the 3BHK is a converted 2BHK, the building looks much older than in the pictures…. after months of reading the fine line, and between the lines, you feel like all the diagrams and highlights seem to blur into each other.

After much mental stress, if you do manage to zero in on a decent property, there’s a whole new world of knowledge to be navigated - home loans to be sifted through, taxes to be sorted and a finance degree to be earned for understanding it all.

Do you wish a real estate platform would address all your woes? Like a supermarket, where your every need (and want) is catered to? Imagine all your property choices nicely lined up and arranged with neat labels and offers. Imagine being able to compare all your choices side by side. Imagine viewing verfied listings and knowing what you see is what you get. Imagine having other buyers and experts guiding you along every step while you make one of the most important investments in your life. Imagine...

MagicBricks has made every Indian house hunters’ daydream of a simplified real estate supermarket a reality. Now you have more than a pile of brochures at your disposal as the online real estate marketplace brings you lakhs of choices to your fingertips. Instead of bookmarking pages, you can narrow down your choices by area, budget, house type etc. Just so you aren’t hit by FOMO, you can always add a suburb you’ve been eyeing or an extra bedroom to your filter. But there’s more to a house than just floor space. On MagicBricks, you can check for good schools in the vicinity, a park for evening walks or at least an assured easier commute. Save time and energy by vetting properties based on the specs, pictures and floor plans uploaded and have all your niggling concerns addressed on the users’ forum.

Shortlisted a property? Great! No need to descend down another spiral of anxiety. Get help from reliable experts on MagicBricks on matters of legalities, home loans, investment, property worth etc. You can even avail their astrology and Vastu services to ensure an auspicious start to life in your new home or office. With its entire gamut of offerings, MagicBricks has indeed brought the supermarket experience to real estate in India, as this fun video shows below.


Get started with a simplified experience of buying, renting and selling property on MagicBricks here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of MagicBricks and not by the Scroll editorial team.