The city’s buying cars faster than it’s building roads. In the last 58 years, the number of vehicles on Mumbai’s roads has increased 3,700 per cent while the city’s total road length has increased only 250 per cent.
The total length of roads has increased from 777 km in 1951 to 1,930 km in 2009. There is no official figure for the city’s vehicle population in 1951, but experts peg it at 49,000. This figure stands at 17.15 lakh in 2009, according to a Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority report, released last week. Since 2001, there has been an average annual increase of 1.03 lakh vehicles.
“A 10 per cent increase in car population increases parking woes by 25 per cent and traffic congestion by around 20 per cent. There is a need to implement schemes that put a premium on using vehicles in Mumbai,” said Ashok Datar, a transport expert. These schemes include the Bus Rapid Transport System and increased parking charges.
The study said the number of vehicles in the Mumbai metropolitan region is expected to reach 75 lakh by 2024. New York has 50 lakh vehicles while Beijing has 20 lakh.