While all roads in Amritsar are said to lead to chaos due to traffic mismanagement, a HUDCO study has pointed out the quantum jump in the number of vehicles as one of the reasons that cause mayhem on the city’s roads.
The study points out that the number of vehicles has increased, but the road infrastructure in the city is not suited to meet the growing rush of vehicles.
Areas in and around the walled city, particularly the busy Hall Bazaar, Queen’s Road, Cooper Road, Lawrence Road and Putlighar, suffer from traffic snarls as the width of the road is further narrowed by a number of vehicles parked on the road sides.
The study, sponsored by the Housing and Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO), was conducted by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) and co-authored by Dr Ranvindder Singh Sandhu and Manoj Kumar Teotia.
The report cites a record obtained from district transport officer about the number of vehicles during the period 2005-2012. As per the record, the number of vehicles, both big and small, plying on the city roads has increased from 4,93,399 to 7,51,371 during this period.
The maximum increase, as per the study, has been noted in the number of jeeps (164.19%) and cars (56.13%) followed by two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws. The two-wheelers constitute 85.29% of the total vehicles followed by cars (10.62%).
“Hence private motorised transport (mainly cars, scooters and motorcycles) accounted for a major rapidly growing mode of travel within Amritsar city,” it adds.
“This rising share of two wheelers does reflect the nature of lower class group emerging in the city in sizeable manner in comparison to middle and upper classes, who are car owners in real sense. For every one lakh population the numbers of cars available in Amritsar city are 7,044. Thus ownership is related to affordability factor,” said Dr Ranvindder Singh Sandhu.
He added that the share of auto-rickshaws has been to the tune of 2.58%. As per the study, the numbers of buses, however, constitute 0.36% of the total vehicles. Since the number of buses, the preferential mode of transport for a large number of citizens, is very less, they have to commute short distances in the city and long distances towards villages and small towns on twowheelers. In fact, a large number of fatalities are suffered by those who drive by two-wheelers.