Cars, 3-wheelers rule national highways

December 11th, 2006

New Delhi: If you think national highways are the preserve of trucks and other heavy vehicles, you are wrong. The fact is that trucks and buses put together account for less than one-fourth of all traffic on national highways. Even if light commercial vehicles are included, the combined share of the obvious forms of commercial transport is under 30%.
   The real masters of our national highways are cars and three-wheelers, which account for 28.6% of the traffic. Only slightly behind are two-wheelers, which exactly match the combined number of trucks, buses and LCVs.
   Surprisingly, cycles and cycle rickshaws are almost as numerous on these major roads as trucks. These interesting facts emerge from the traffic census conducted by the department of road transport and highways (DRTH) between January and June this year across 22 states and Union territories. The data show that in the surveyed states, more than 90 lakh vehicles ply on NHs everyday. Of this, around 26 lakh are cars, jeeps, three-wheelers and other such vehicles. Another 25.6 lakh are two-wheelers, 14.6 lakh are trucks, and 11.3 lakh are cycles and cycle rickshaws. Buses, LCVs, and animal-drawn vehicles make up the rest.

   There are, however, different patterns in different states and regions. The south, for instance, seems like a biker’s zone. In the four states/UTs for which data are available — Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry — twowheelers outnumber cars and trucks. About 11 lakh twowheelers a day rule the highways in this region, with 8.3 lakh three- and four-wheelers and 3.2 lakh trucks adding up to just a bit more than that figure. Trucks, in fact, are just marginally ahead of 3.1 lakh cycles and rickshaws.

   Move a little to the west and trucks come into their own. They are the most frequently seen vehicles in highway traffic in Maharastra. Include Gujarat and Goa, however, and cars and two-wheelers creep a little ahead.
   The pattern in the north is similar to the overall picture. In the six states/UTs that constitute this region 10.3 lakh three- and four-wheelers outnumber the 8.5 lakh two-wheelers and 4.7 lakh trucks in the region’s average daily traffic. About 4.6 lakh cycles stir across the national highways each day in the north.

   More than 35,000 animaldriven vehicles on an average day makes this a zone that witnesses the harmony of the most modern and most ancient modes of transportation. Uttranchal, however, is one of the few states where the NHs live up to most people’s expectations with trucks outnumbering other means of transport.
   The pattern is similar in the Northeast, except that threeand four-wheelers contribute an even larger share of total traffic — over 30% — and cycles and cycle rickshaws match the number of trucks on national highways.

   On the whole, it seems like India’s major highways are used more for private travel than goods transport, a situation that is unlikely to be sustained given the hectic pace of economic growth. The considerable number of cycles and cycle rickshaws is also a pointer to the fact that most national highways also double up for stretches as civic roads passing through villages and towns. This is perhaps why the volume of two-wheelers is also so large.

Trucks, buses and LCVs account for just 30% of traffic. Cars and 3-wheelers constitute 28.6%.

In north, 10.3 lakh three and fourwheelers outnumber the 8.5 lakh two-wheelers and 4.7 lakh trucks.

In south India, about 11 lakh 2-wheelers ply on national highways outnumbering cars and trucks.

In northeast, cycles and cycle rickshaws match the number of trucks on national highways.



Entry Filed under: Delhi Traffic News

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