Bengaluru is notorious across the country for its traffic jams and congested roads. The road condition is a daily discussion in offices every morning. There is, however, no hope for any betterment now. With the city’s vehicles officially crossing 80 lakh, which is five times more than what the roads in Bengaluru can officially handle, the situation is set to worsen in the not-too-distant future.
Figures that the Transport Department has compiled show that each day, a total of 1,752 vehicles are being added to Bengaluru roads. Not counting the vehicles from out of the state, this alone has led to the number escalate to 80 lakh. According to officials, this has caused traffic speed to slow down to around 10 kilometres per hour.
Situation to worsen
At any given time, only 17 lakh vehicles can ply, given that there are 3,000 roads in the city, which cover 14,000 kilometres. Officials say that if this number could be maintained, vehicles can move at 40 kilometres per hour. However, this now seems like a distant dream with choked roads painting reality.
While Bengaluru had 74.92 lakh vehicles by the end of last financial year (April 2018), 6.39 lakh vehicles have been added in the past year. The number of vehicles added daily was 1,600 in 2017-18 and has now increased to 1,752. However, the width of roads in the city has remained the same largely.
“There is no policy at present to restrict the number of vehicles per family. We cannot put a cap on people’s purchasing power. Their attitude has to change and they should start using public transport,” Transport Commissioner VP Ikkeri told The New Indian Express.
The increasing number of vehicles is also a major reason for accidents. Bengaluru roads have witnessed 22,000 accidents in only the last four years. These roads rank just below Chennai and New Delhi in the total number of accidents across the country.
In city limits daily, an average of 15 accidents take place due to bad roads, motorists attitudes and road rage. 47 accident-prone spots have been identified in the city by the Bengaluru Traffic Police, which witnesses over five fatal accidents a year.
Suggesting an indirect throttling of the number of vehicles, traffic expert Professor MN Sreehari said, “They can do this by increasing car parking fees or registration charges. This will make buyers think twice. At the same time, last mile connectivity should also be provided for people to abandon their vehicles at home.”
Apart from causing distress, accidents and air pollution, the increasing number of vehicles is also a major reason for triggering asthma and breathing problems among commuters who have to spend long hours in traffic.