In News

  • The Gurugram traffic police have tied up with Google maps for dissemination of traffic-related information in real time for public use.
  • The information such as planned road closures, diversions, traffic alerts regarding road crash, etc. is now shared by Gurugram traffic police with Google maps.
  • Based on the information shared by the traffic police, Google maps immediately updates the information on its public maps.
Traffic Problem in India
  • India is a country with the second largest road network in the world.
  • Out of the total stretch of 5.4 million km of road network, almost 97,991 km is covered by national highways.
  • Congestion and the associated slow urban mobility can have a huge adverse impact on both the quality of life and the economy.
Reasons Behind Traffic Congestion:
  • Vehicle registrations have increased by almost three times in the last decade. Also, vehicle density is increasing at a much faster pace than road length - hence obviously congestion will be higher.
  • Inadequacy of traffic police: Less number of traffic police personnel per commuter contributes to the problem.
  • Narrow Roads: Many roads in India are not that widespread, and additionally due to illegal possession on the road they are getting narrow and becoming a reason behind traffic jams.
  • Illegal Parking: On-road parking of vehicles is one of the main reasons behind serious traffic congestion on different parts of the Talegaon city.
  • An increasing number of population: Increasing number of population which is a bad indicator for traffic management and this could be a vital reason behind traffic.
  • Higher Purchasing power of the public: Due to the higher purchasing power of Indian citizens the popularity of private transportation is increasing and but existing roads and highways are not supportive or changing according to the increasing number of vehicles.
  • Improper planning of city development: Development Plan has its long term city development planning. But that planning is not proper. Most of the time it is seen that some illegally ceased roadside land, but due to the vague development plan, these kinds of movements are going in vain.
Effects of Congestion
  • Waste of valuable time and health - On average, travelers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata spend5 hours more on their daily commutes than their counterparts in other.
  • Economic loss - India’s biggest cities may be losing up to $22 billion annually to traffic congestion,
  • Pollution - The sudden stop and go driving pattern in the congestion leads to more fuel consumption in the city and thereby increasing the pollution level in the city by emitting more carbon into the environment.
  • Noise - Traffic congestion causes the noise of a high level (more than 90 dB) which makes the environment unpleasant.
  • Photochemical Smog - The slow speed of vehicles in the traffic jams also leads to the emission of oxides of nitrogen and some hydrocarbons which is a major culprit of a term known as photochemical smog.
Government efforts towards dealing with Traffic Congestion It is pertinent to note that various schemes have been implemented by the central government to address the issue of core connectivity in rural and urban regions. A few initiatives have been listed below:
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana- It was launched in 2000, with the aim of providing good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages across India. Of the 178,184 habitations with a population of above 500 in the plains and above 250 in the hilly areas, 88% were already connected by June 2018. The scheme has successfully integrated isolated hamlets into the larger economy
  • An amendment to the National Waterways Bill was passed in 2015 to develop convert an additional 110 rivers in waterways under the Pradhan Mantri Jal Marg Yojana to increase the modal share of passenger and freight traffic, through cheaper transportation and improved regional connectivity.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Parivahan Yojana - It was launched in 2016 to improve rural mobility by supplying subsidized public transport on rural roads. The government has launched the Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY) wherein self-help groups under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission will operate safe, affordable and community monitored road transport services to connect remote villages with key services and amenities (such as access to markets, education, and health)
  • Strict Policing: This is the most unpopular of all. The traffic police need to become strict and start levying fines on rule-breakers who jump lanes, signals and even jaywalkers. This will also apply to auto-rickshaws and public transport buses.
  • Bus Stands: Bus stands are often built close to signals and buses diving into and out of traffic is a huge risk as well as cause congestion when they stop near a signal. So bus stands need to be moved at least 150metres away from traffic signals.
  • Pavements: Pavements are meant for people walking along the streets and not a free extension to the shop or a marketplace for hawkers. Due to the above 2 issues, people have to walk on the roads, risking themselves and slowing down traffic considerably. Local authorities need to take a strict view of the same and charge heavy fines to people misusing them.
  • Public transport: Public transport is one of the most critical components of the system. A good network which all classes can use will reduce the dependency on own means of transport. Quality public transport has been one of the most discussed and most applied means of reducing traffic congestion.
  • We can take lessons from Cities like Singapore who have developed their public transportation system so well that people prefer it to their own transport.
  • All public transport, private or government-owned, should not be older than 8 years as they usually breakdown a lot of roads, flyovers at peak traffic hours due to slow speeds and causes even more congestion.
Read More: All You Need To Know About Traffic Index 2018  |  Road Accidents In India  |  The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways