Bengaluru traffic woes incur annual loss of ₹19K crore, says report
Sreehari emphasised on the need to plan and construct roads to match the city’s radial, outward, and circumstantial growth
Bengaluru suffers a loss of ₹19,725 crore per year due to traffic delays, congestion, stoppage of signals, time loss, fuel loss and related factor, said a research conducted by noted traffic and mobility expert MN Sreehari and his team.
Sreehari, who is also an advisor to several governments and smart cities for transportation, submitted the report to deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar on Saturday, with recommendations surrounding traffic management, road planning, flyovers among other things.
Shivakumar met Union minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on August 3 to discuss the issue of traffic congestion in Bengaluru. The Centre has asked the state government to prepare a detailed project report in order to ease the congestion in the IT city.
While despite having 60 fully functional flyovers in the city, Sreehari and his team found that the IT hub loses ₹19,725 crore for road users due to delays, congestion, stoppages at signals, interference of slow moving vehicles with fast moving, fuel loss, occupants time loss, loss of the vehicle time when converted into money based on salary etc.
According to the report, the increased growth of employment in the IT sector has resulted in the growth of all related facilities like housing, education among other things. This has resulted in an exponential population growth to 14.5 million and vehicle population close to 1.5 crore.
In terms of land area, the report said, Bengaluru has expanded from 88 square kilometre to 985 square kilometre in 2023. The state has further proposed to expand to 1,100 square kilometres. “On the other hand, the road length growth is not in proportion with the vehicular growth and area growth. The total length of road is about 11,000 kilometres which is not enough to meet our transport demand and trips made,” the report said.
“The exponential growth of population and their job potential speed could not match with the infrastructural growth that are existing. The gap deficiency has resulted in delays, congestion, higher travel time, and huge economic loss (intangible) in terms of direct and indirect cost,” according to Sreehari and his team.
Sreehari emphasised on the need to plan and construct roads to match the city’s radial, outward, and circumstantial growth. He also suggested supplementing road traffic with metro rail around and as well as linear railway lines along with one or two circular routes. In addition to this, the existing CRS [Commuter Rail System] should also be permitted by Indian railways to support the transportation network of Bangalore, he said in the report.
In order to alleviate traffic, the team suggested the removal of roadside parking, as roads are meant for traffic and footpaths meant for pedestrian walk, legally. “As a transportation expert and practising, preaching and advising, I have failed to show even one road in Bangalore without parking,” Sreehari said.
Pointing out at the infrastructure Bengaluru needs in the next 25 years in order to ease traffic, Sreehari and his team, recommended an increase in mass transportation like metro, monorail, high-capacity buses, while discouraging the private transportation system. Usage of artificial intelligence and introduction of robotics and informatics for road users using VMS (Variable Message System) was also suggested.
“Deploy enough personnel to keep a check on violators and immediate action plans in addition to camera and sensor system. Since the entire road system is full of activities, while exploring underground transportation, particularly for metros, government buses etc., give opening at every one or two kilometres and escape routes. This will also cover ventilation and other requirements during disaster,” the report said.
It also suggested an encouragement of aerial transportation in the next 10 years. To cater to this goal, private transportation must be discouraged and public mass transportation must be encouraged, the report said.
Meanwhile, another recent study by the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), suggested the construction of a flyover or an underpass in five out of ten junctions in the city facing heavy traffic as a long-term solution to tackle congestion. The total cost for the construction of these flyovers or underpasses was estimated at ₹16 crore.
The ISEC’s draft report includes short-term and long-term measures to reduce traffic congestion at these junctions. The ten major junctions for which measures have been suggested incldude Silk Board, Ibballur, Kadubeesanahalli, Dairy Circle, Tin Factory, Hebbal, Goraguntepalya, Sarakki, Banashankari, and Kumaraswamy Layout.
The report also emphasises an allocation of ₹8.9 crore specifically for the enhancement of footpaths in eight junctions and clusters.
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