There has been a lot of buzz and discussion about issues related to traffic and pollution lately in almost all major metro cities of our country. So much so that these problems and discussions have now become a part and parcel of our daily lives. These issues have become so complex and intertwined with other issues that the solution that will help us out needs to be extremely comprehensive and integrated.
Before we get onto a solution, I would first try and list down some key issues/ problems looking at us in the face. Some of these problems lead to other problems or are a result of other problems, but let’s start with trying to identify these:
- Road widths falling insufficient to traffic/ vehicles on the road
- Insufficient organised or unorganised parking spaces
- Almost half or upto 2/3rd of the road widths being used for parking
- Grossly insufficient public transport system
- Minimal or nil last mile connectivity for people using public transport modes
- Unavailability of walkways, crossings etc. for pedestrians and cyclists
- Encroachment of walkways and/or roads for commercial activities
- Excessive pollution and dust in the air
- No respite/green areas for public using commercials hubs
- Virtually no maintenance of public areas –cleanliness, street-lights, greens
- Very limited zones of community, festivities and recreation in the vicinity of residential areas
Various piece meal solutions have been attempted and implemented such as the Odd-Even formula in Delhi, which from my perspective is an approach to salvage a dire situation and not a long term solution or the BRT corridor or Delhi Metro. Some of these succeeded, some failed and some still being tested. We surely need to uplift the public transportation system manifold in most of our cities; but we do need to look at the broader picture and have an integrated traffic and urban management system planned and implemented in various business districts.
While phase 1 of the odd-even car formula in Delhi brought in mixed opinions and undoubtedly many frustrated commuters, it did bring in many positive changes too. Are we up for it again? Click here to find out.
Implementation of a good plan also remains a challenge with our civil bodies. Although in some ways it is rather unfortunate, but lately most of the infrastructural developments in India have succeeded when built and maintained under a public-private partnership model. So much so that our elected administrators also know that if there’s something that really needs to happen and they can’t risk it slipping, they resort to this method. The IGI Terminal 3, a project that set new benchmark for airports in India, which was to be erected and commissioned in a challenging duration for the CW Games or new expressways etc. are some such examples.
Looking at the magnitude of the current problems at hand, I feel an integrated futuristic solution implemented through public-private partnership approach will have to be put in place to bail out of these problems. I have attempted to put an outline solution that attempts to address the above issues, which I will describe at length in my upcoming posts.
About the author
Saurabh Singh, leads the Design & Build (turnkey) portfolio for Colliers Project Management in India. He is an Architect with a specialisation in building engineering & management. At Colliers, Saurabh has been working closely with clients to create workplaces that keep employees engaged and productivity bars raised.