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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Vehicle density makes traffic crawl

T.Lalith Singh

City has 26 lakh vehicles, adds about 2 lakh each year


Average peak hour traffic speed down to 10 kmph

Vehicle density in city much higher than other metros


- Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

Snail's pace:More vehicles on city roads cripple average driving speed.

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad has started to slow down, as far as the average vehicular speed possible and commuting time in the city is concerned. And the cause happens to be the sharp rise in two and four wheelers that takes the city ranking high among those with high density of vehicles.

According to a note brought out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) for a workshop on air quality and transportation challenge, the city has 26 lakh vehicles and goes on adding about 2 lakh more each year which translates to about 500 to 600 new vehicles joining the city roads every day.

The vehicular density in the city makes it as one of those with highest vehicles per km. As per the Hyderabad-City Development Plan under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the vehicles density (passenger car units per km of road length) has Hyderabad scoring 723, a figure much higher than 242 of Mumbai and 293 of Chennai.

In terms of availability of driving space measured by per cent of area covered by roads, Hyderabad has just 6 per cent while Mumbai has 10 per cent, Delhi about 18 per cent and Kolkata nearly 12 per cent. Seen with available road space, the rising number of vehicles has affected the traffic movement to a large extent in the city. During peak hours, the central business districts get bogged down with 50,000 to 60,000 passenger car units per day and says Vivek Chattopadhyaya of CSE, “it is similar and comparable to that of Delhi”. This in turn has also affected the journey time by way of crippling the average driving speed and prolonging the commuting time. Against the governed maximum of 40 kmph to 50 kmph, the city traffic crawls with an average peak hour traffic speed plummeting to 10 kmph to 20 kmph and even slower on some stretches. Different studies point at the average journey speed consistently dropping. If the average speed was around 17 kmph in 1981, the same came down to 12 kmph by the year 2006. It clearly slipped down further by now and given the continuing rise in the vehicles on city roads, looks set to go down still.

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