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Capital chaos: More cars, lesser road space

Roads in the Capital are shrinking day by day. With the growing volume of traffic, mainly private vehicles, there is non-stop bumper-to-bumper traffic almost throughout the day, reports Atul Mathur.

delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2008 23:41 IST
Atul Mathur

Roads in the Capital are shrinking day by day. With the growing volume of traffic, mainly private vehicles, there is non-stop bumper-to-bumper traffic almost throughout the day.

Most of the roads in Delhi are also carrying traffic much beyond their capacity. Naraina Bridge on Ring Road, for example, witnesses maximum number of people passing through it. One of the vital link roads connecting west Delhi with south Delhi, the Naraina flyover caters to 1.44 lakh passenger car units (PCUs) daily.

Nizamuddin Bridge (1.43 lakh PCUs), ITO (1.23 lakh), Lala Hardev Sahai Road near Kashmere Gate ISBT (1.22 lakh), Gurgaon Road or NH8 (1.19 lakh), Tilak Marg (1.17 lakh), Patel Road (1.17 lakh), Peera Garhi ROB on outer Ring Road (1.08 lakh) are some of the most congested points in Delhi. The survey was conducted at 150 stretches and locations for 16-hour period (6 am to 10 pm) on a normal working day.

In fact, these are the roads which also witness maximum peak-hour traffic underlining the fact that there are certain centralised areas where people come to work every morning and go back in the evening.

Almost two-third of the total traffic on these stretches move in one direction.

The figures have come out in Delhi's first ever origin destination survey carried out by RITES, TERI and MVA Asia. The survey, in fact, is a part of a comprehensive study on 'Transport Demand Forecast Study and Development of an Integrated Road cum Multi-Modal Public Transport Network for NCT of Delhi'.

Of the total volume of traffic, light fast moving vehicles (cars and two-wheelers) comprise more than three-fourth of the total traffic (77 per cent), while bus traffic is a meager 3.1 per cent.

The report says that cars, which are low-occupancy vehicles, are the main cause of traffic congestion on roads. At many locations, car comprises 63 per cent of the total traffic.

Almost 44 per cent of the total road network on which these 150 stretches and locations exist, are narrow two-lane roads, resulting in more congestion and delays. Only 16.5 per cent of these roads are six-lane or above, which can be considered as wide with enough right of way. The report, however, said even wide roads cater to more traffic than their capacity. The report, however, said that 57 per cent road network has good road condition.

“This is the preliminary survey report given to us. This report will help us in formulating plans on multi-modal transport system, frequency of buses and route allocation,” Delhi Transport Commissioner RK Verma said.

While road expansion is a difficult proposition and constructing flyovers is not a viable solution, the need of the hour is to look for other possible options to decongest roads.

With the origin-destination survey and a study on ridership on various modes of transport available, the department looks for effective use and integration of various modes of transport, a transport department official said.

“Based on today’s pattern of movement and origin and destination of vehicles, we can plan the transport scenario for future. We can evaluate various alternative modes of transportation available to us,” said PK Sarkar, head of transport department, School of Planning and Architecture.

RITES is expected to submit the complete report along with the analysis and recommendations by March 2009.