Capital chaos: Delhi’s traffic has slowed down and doubled time spent on roads
The time spent by Delhiites on city roads has doubled in the last six years and the speed of traffic during peak hours has been cut by half, says a study by six top road design experts and engineers.
Today, a person travelling a distance of 40 km by a private vehicle during peak hours spends an average of 3.43 hours on the road, as opposed to 1.36 hours in 2011.
On the other hand, the average speed of a vehicle being driven during the evening peak hours — between 5 pm and 7 pm — has come down from 42 kmph to 20 kmph (without taking traffic signals and other stoppages into account).
Experts say unless immediate steps are taken to unclog its roads, Delhi may find itself crawling at 5 kmph — the average speed of a human walking — in the next 10 years.
The increase in Delhi’s vehicular population, which is forcing its road network to burst at the seams, has been squarely blamed for this phenomenon. The number of vehicles on city roads has grown from 74 lakhs to 89 lakhs in the last six years, a jump of almost 20%. A further two lakh vehicles enter the city from outside every day, adding to the congestion.
The researchers, six Bhopal-based urban designers and road engineers hailing from premier institutes such as IIT Kharagpur, Delhi and BITS Pilani, will submit the study to the Delhi government next year.
They will also provide suggestions on ways to improve urban infrastructure and encourage the use of public transport.
The report has been sent to IIT Delhi for scrutiny by other transport experts.
To arrive at these findings, the experts assessed the travel time and average speed of vehicles on five routes linking residential neighbourhoods with corporate hubs over the last six years.
“The idea was to focus on how the rise in number of vehicles was not only adding to pollution levels but also eating up travel time. To confirm our findings, we tracked the same routes over the last six years to see how the traffic has started dragging due to the addition of more vehicles,” said Prashant Raju, a road design expert from IIT Kharagpur.
He said though the study is still in its primary stage, it exposes the manner in which people have exploited the city’s infrastructure. “If something is not done soon, the traffic situation here will become similar to that of Dhaka – where vehicles do not move any faster than 6 kmph during peak hours,” Raju cautioned.
Other transport experts agreed that the national capital’s traffic situation was fast headed towards a point of no return.
“If you keep filling a jar that’s already filled to the brim, it will overflow. That’s precisely the state of Delhi roads. The focus should be on encouraging people to use public transport by making it comfortable and easily accessible,” said Dr S Velmurugan, senior principal scientist at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Road Research Institute.
Delhi’s traffic has doubled in the last eight years, Velmurugan added.
The Agra police have arrested three accused, including the husband of the murdered food and fashion blogger woman who was thrown off the fourth floor of an apartment to death in Agra on Friday. A case has been registered under sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code at Tajganj police station of Agra against the husband, two women and four to six others yet to be identified.
Ahead of the annual Amarnath Yatra, security has been heightened along the 198-km-long Indo-Pak international border and the Jammu-Pathankot national highway, said officials. “Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF and BSF conducted a massive search operation along the International Border to detect cross-border tunnels to pre-empt any possible terror strike during the Amarnath Yatra,” said officials. The annual pilgrimage begins June 30.
Nearly 2.5 crore people residing in villages of Uttar Pradesh will get Gharauni certificates by October 2023, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said here on Saturday. Addressing a gathering, including government officials as well as beneficiaries of the Gharauni scheme, at an event organised to distribute Gharauni certificates to 11 lakh villagers, Yogi said that 34 lakh people have already benefitted from the scheme. According to the population of the Jalaun district has got Gharauni certificates.
The arrival of tourists in Kashmir has broken a decade-old record as more than 12 lakh tourists have visited different places in the Valley this year. Officials in the tourism department and tour operators termed this as an exponential hike in tourist influx this year and goods omen for tourism sector of Kashmir.
The Northern Command chief, Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi during his five-day visit to the strategic Ladakh region, reviewed operations preparedness of the Indian Army on the eastern and western sectors and asked the soldiers to remain vigilant and maintain a high order of operational readiness, said officials. General Dwivedi visited the region from June 20 to 24.