There’s no stopping these traffic jams

January 23rd, 2007

Hyderabad: The next time you get caught in a traffic jam, stop cursing your fate and just ponder over these statistics: nearly 50 per cent commuters use personal transport, 42 per cent take RTC buses, as many as 2,00,000 new vehicles are being added every year and roads are laid on just a meagre four per cent of the total area of the city. And, topping all these facts, 75 lakh motorised trips by over 20 lakh vehicles cause traffic jams over 150 kms of road everyday.

These mind-boggling statistics were revealed by traffic engineering experts and authorities at a round table conference on ‘Traffic and Hyderabad City,’ organised by Society for Preservation of Environment and Quality of Life and the Institution of Engineers (India) here on Monday.

About 20 lakh vehicles are registered in the city which has a population of 70 lakh. In simple terms, every third person has a vehicle. Of them, 11 lakh vehicles are two-wheelers and three lakh cars. “There should be an effective public transport system for the city. A national policy should be brought in to restrict the number of vehicles or to discourage private transport,” the experts opined.

“Narrow roads, encroachments on roads, lack of awareness among motorists and no integrated approach to tackle the problem are the prime reasons for traffic congestion in the city,’’ Huda vicechairman Jayesh Ranjan told the gathering.

He said a unified metropolitan transport authority would be created for better coordination among different departments like MCH, Huda, RTC, Traffic Police, RTA and Roads and Buildings. “The new authority will become operational in a few weeks,’’ he added.

“Of the total 75 lakh motorised trips, only 40 per cent are public transport vehicles like RTC and it should be increased to 60 to 70 per cent. Road widening, improvement of junctions and construction of flyovers are only temporary solutions to the traffic woes. The permanent solution would be public transport,’’ MCH additional commissioner N V S Reddy said.

Only one-third of the carriageway was being used, and the rest was wasted for various reasons like encroachments on roads, improper parking and lack of bus bays and auto bays, Reddy said.

Earlier, RTC buses used to take two to three minutes to travel a kilometre in the city, but now the travel time has increased to four to five minutes due to traffic jams. Bus bays are not being taken care of by the officials while widening roads, experts observed.

JNTU Prof P Ramachandra Reddy said the one-way traffic rule would not provide an easy solution to the traffic chaos. There was a hue and cry when the one-way traffic rule was imposed at Liberty and Banjara Hills-Jubilee Hills stretch and the traffic police had to withdraw the restriction later, he added.

Engineering Staff College of India director and moderator of the meet S Nagabhushana Rao said the recommendations of the experts and participants would be sent to the government.

Source: TOI(Hyderabad-epaper)

Entry Filed under: Hyderabad Traffic News

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